Interview- Ndugu Chancler (Part II)

The interview with Ndugu Chancler continues as we delve more into his thoughts on the current state of music and how much difference there is between now and the past.  These gems are probably my favorite part of the whole session.

Part 4

-The secret behind the classic records

– Why he doesn’t listen to radio

Part 5

– The change in the  music industry

Part 6

– Sampling and the new music makers

– The loss of music education

– How you can find him/what he’s working on

– Words of advice

You can find Ndugu on Myspace

And on Facebook

You may even catch one of his classes at the USC Thornton School of Music

The album, Ndugu Chancler: Old Friends, Live, will be coming soon.


Watch Ndugu play and speak on the secret to his success


3 Legends: Patrice Rushen, Stanley Clarke, & Ndugu get down…


Interview- Ndugu Chancler (Part I)

Michael Jackson.  Miles Davis.  Santana.  Herbie Hancock. Patrice Rushen.  George Duke.  Frank Sinatra.  Quincy Jones.  John Lee Hooker.  James Ingram.

These are just some of the legends that this man, Leon “Ndugu” Chancler has worked with.

Ndugu Chancler has essentially worked with the people who have laid the foundation of what music is today. The artists that many producers have sampled or cited as inspirations were his colleagues and band-mates.

On the 1st of every year Ndugu has an all day celebration at his home where he cooks for everyone. I was lucky enough to attend with some friends.  Let me tell you, Ndugu Chancler makes a serious plate of greens!  I’m not just saying that.

When I walked into the kitchen to talk to him, the whole room got silent.  I asked if I could interview him for the site.  He grilled me a little bit to see if I was serious, but said he was willing; but, before I did, he said I needed to go to and do my research.

I said “Oh no, I definitely know who you are.” (I’m a drummer myself, it’s only right to know his name).  He responded jokingly “Yeah yeah…a lot of people say they know who I am, but they don’t reeeaaally know who I am.”

Well he was pretty right.  I knew his resume was serious, but just how serious?  Extremely serious.

I present to you a two-part series on Ndugu.  He said so many things that I felt were so necessary to hear that I did very minimal editing.

Part 1

– Michael Jackson vs Miles Davis

– His story of how he fell in love with music

– Miles Davis’ role in music history

Part 2

-Lessons he learned through Miles

Part 3

Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Bruce Swedien, and working on Thriller

Part II we talk about the current state of music and his thoughts on: radio, record labels, technology, & the loss of music programs.

Here are some tracks Ndugu has played on.  Sound familiar?!

George Duke- Reach For It (Ndugu is doing the rap or “Narration” as he told me they used to call it!)

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Dazz Band- Let It Whip (Co-Written by Ndugu)

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And of course…one of the best compositions in history… Michael Jackson- Billie Jean

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Something to appreciate Vol 1

Most of my musings may be criticisms.  They are an analysis of things going on.  Problems I see.  But I want to take some time to show appreciation for some great artists and great music out there.

One of the things I love to do is watch YouTube videos and read people’s comments.  It really helps share the wonder of the music.  Here are some great songs and some comments I ran across, that I think illustrate the timelessness of them and put some of the things in words I couldn’t express.

Redman- Time 4 some Aksion

Boogers4dinner- “I know this sounds crazy but me and my friends went to the basketball court years back when this rap came out, and I just seen the video seconds before I left the house. I was in a zone when I went to the basketball court. I was on fire. That song was in my head the whole time! They said they never seen me play that well before. This song was in my head the whole time! I was in a zone for real! LOL I didn’t miss a shot that day.”

Superjigga2004- “What gets me all the time is when the song is about to close and suddenly he goes into another lyrical burst. Almost 20 yrs later and I still keep falling for it!”

SOS Band- No One’s Gonna Love you-

trackmanllm09- i luv this group im nineteen and my generation is terrible in music our music is not sincere its just whateva looks cool this is the type of song that you leave on repeat when your at home

J-Davey- Mr. Mister

madhatter536- my hormones ache just looking at her. I have a pool.

WilliamLevi09- Im so irritated that J*DaVeY isn’t as big as they should be! Ive been listening to them for year now and I cant stop singing their music. They need to seriously blow up in the industry asap. I want to see them on tv more often! C’mon J*DaVeY please come out with a new cd and tell BET, MTV, MTV2, VH1, etc. and radio stations all over to play your music! I freakin love you guys! I love all your music, ALL of it!

Rhaegar1- BET, MTV, MTV2, VH1, etc. and radio stations dont play good music thats why J*Davey not on there

Brittany Bosco- Blues for Blue/ Black & White

risas323- Dis is WHaT i CaLl MuZik

Cocomo08- Me too! Love this chick! I need to get this EP again because my computer crashed and away went my music. So sad.

Common- I Used to Love H.E.R.

Fetcha200- Wow I don’t even like Hip-Hop/Rap.
I’m more of a hard rock/blues/acoustic type of guy
but this shit surprised me.
Mad respect for this artist/song
and I mean it.

Yasenifah- my english university prof used this song in teaching us about a form of poetry… deep shit common

JawbolingWoW-  it took me awhile to understand this video.. and now i understand it.. i thought he was talking about a girl but it turns it he was talking about Hip-Hop.. this song really makes me sad thats why i love it.

calm1like- LOL i learned this song in english class last year for grade 12 in the poetry unit… just goes to show how amazing this song is

Dwele- Shady

MisterDynamite-  I just got this CD yesterday and I must say that this was one of the best purchases I ever made.  Most CDs usually have one or two good songs, but on this CD, every song is great.

LVipez- he has an aura wen he sings

kinda like dilla on his production

J Dilla- La La La

FRESHCOOLAIDE- This song sounds like love, and freedom.

Phlexxon- Feels like the sky looks right now in Compton – fresh and alive

joecrow24- do you know where it can be purchased?

Jayedoubleneye – Where can i buy this ?!?!

Miles Davis- So What

2424reservoirdog – I am a fan of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, but i love Miles Davis. Any fan of any musical genre should be able to appreciate his greatness.

JazznBlues85 – Kind of Blue is a true masterpiece. So full of melody, not a single note is out of place, it is what every album of any genre should aspire to be. These guys sing with their instruments, they talk also. Long live music!

grgtompen- perfection

alisesay- this is the first time n this real jazz song n artist ive ever listened to, nuff respect to the blues n jazz that started the foundation for soul funk n hip hop RIP MILES DAVIS sorry it took so long for man like me to discover your music

TheBee38- Classic class. You know he had a rare condition where he saw colours and shapes when he heard music. Colour to sounds, amazing eh? Wish I suffered this, i’d take it as a blessing. :)

StormZephyr – My God. I didn’t even know about Miles Davis until last week. It was like stepping out a familiar door into empty space, losing your footing and going into free-float in endless void.

BrzNinja – I’ve been just recently listening to Jazz, but this kind of music made me think in a way I never have. I closed my eyes and got into a deep trance. I forgot all my problems, and by the end of the song, I finally said… “So what?”


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