An excerpt from David Foster Wallace now priceless 1990 book on Hip Hop culture, Signifying Rappers
Rjam Productions, modestly headquartered in a mixed black/Hispanic Field, Corner section of North Dorchester, is as follows:
* One (1) four-car garage fitted with dubbing and remastering gear worth more than most of the rest of the real estate on the block; * One (1) touch-tone telephone (leased); * Two (2) Chevy Blazers, vanity-plated RJAM1 and RJAM2, each equipped with cellular phones and slick tape decks (also leased); * One (1) VCR with Kathleen Turner’s Body Heat cued up on the morning in question; * Most importantly, eight (8) promising acts under binding contract.
If, as has happened to many local labels, Rjam were liquidated to satisfy creditors, these would be the pieces. But there are stores of value in the converted garage beyond the reach of the auctioneer’s gavel. Schoolly D, the original Signifying Rapper, looms irresistibly from the pages of rap “fanzines” Hip-Hop and The Source; and Rjam’s prime, unauctionable asset is the consuming ambition of the artists in its stable to be the next Schoolly D. Or the next Ice T, or Kool Moe Dee, or L. L. Cool J., or whoever’s the special hero of the kid cutting the demo.
Talking about Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane once told Down Beat Magazine:
“Working with Monk brought me close to a musical architect of the highest order. I learned from him in every way.”
This is a solo record, but Monk is joined on the last cut by Coltrane and Wilbur Ware for a moving rendition of Monk’s introspective, searching tune, appropriately titled Monk’s Mood. For fans of Monk or Coltrane, it’s a thrill to hear these two geniuses in the studio for the first time together. It’s a shame that their entire recorded output together only lasts from April through June of 1957.