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Columbia Nights

Alternative R&B act Columbia Nights put a contemporary, somewhat left-of-center spin on late-'70s and early-'80s crossover jazz, incorporated touches of laid-back hip-hop, and combined analog and electronic elements. They called their approach "soultronic." Prior to starting the group, musicians and producers John E. Daise and Hayling Price had played together in a Philadelphia-based band. They lost contact but crossed paths again in Washington, D.C., where they began to collaborate in a home studio setting. After adding Sarai Abdul-Malik, a vocalist enrolled in the jazz program at Howard University (coincidentally, the birthplace of quiet storm, a radio format with detectable traces of influence in CN's output), the group continued to develop material. Their first two releases were digital singles, both of which were covers: "Stormy Weather" (Little Dragon) and "Feel" (George Duke). Shortly after that, the trio released Dawn | Dusk (2012), a seven-track EP, on the Record Breakin' label. Jason Edwards, who previously played with Daise and Price and contributed percussion to a pair of the EP tracks, subsequently joined as a full-time member. After a remix EP and an assortment of collaborations and stray cuts -- including covers of Sade's "Make Some Room" and I-Level's "Heart Aglow" -- the trio released In All Things (2015). The album featured contributions from Abdul-Malik, Diggs Duke, Aaron "AB" Abernathy, and Vaughan Octavia, among other vocalists and instrumentalists.
© Andy Kellman /TiVo
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