Digable Planets epitomized the laid-back charm of jazz hipsters better than any group before or since. The trio’s 1993 debut album, Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space), was a mellow ride packed with samples from Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, and Curtis Mayfield, and the single “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)” became a Top 20 pop hit.
Digable Planets plays the Spiritbar on Tuesday at 10 p.m. Tickets are $10.
After earning a Grammy for Best New Duo or Group and embarking on an ambitious tour that included several live musicians, the Planets returned in late 1994 with their best album yet. Blowout Comb continued the group’s jazz-rap fusion, but also saw them branching out to embrace the old school sound of the street as well.
Digable Planets formed in the early ‘90s, when Butterfly (b. Ishmael Butler, Brooklyn, NY) met Ladybug (b. Mary Ann Vieira, Silver Springs, MD) while attending college in Massachusetts. The two later hooked up with Doodlebug (b. Craig Irving, Philadelphia, PA), in Washington, D.C., and began recording. Their first single, “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat),” released on the Pendulum subsidiary of Warner, hit the R&B Top Ten while their debut, Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space), was a critical and commercial success.