Grooves & Samples #16: John Dankworth – Bernie’s Tune (1969)

Grooves & Samples #16: John Dankworth – Bernie’s Tune (1969)

Grooves & Samples is a weekly dive into old dusty crates of jazz, funk, soul and beyond.

Gang Starr’s DJ Premier is often recognized as one of the best crate diggers and sample flippers in the whole hip hop industry. His beats and sampling has shed light on countless musicians of the past and brought that old music to a new generation. John Dankworth was one such artist that Premier sampled several times for some of Gang Starr’s most recognizable classic hits.

John Dankworth was a highly acclaimed English saxophonist and composer that had a lengthy and successful career that included playing with Charlie Parker in the late 40s, a long lasting friendship with Duke Ellington, and a knighthood in 2006. Quite frankly he was one of the foremost British jazz musicians of his time and had connections to countless of his musical contemporaries.

Nowadays his music lives on through the art form of hip hop and sampling. His music has been sampled extensively by the likes of Gorillaz, Nujabes, Damu the Fudgemunk, Madlib, and of course DJ Premier. This week we will focus on the track “Bernie’s Tune” from the 1969 LP Off Duty by John Dankworth and his Orchestra. The song is instantly recognizable as the sample that formed the backbone of the Gang Starr classic “All 4 Tha Ca$h”. Check out the tracks below and get on some John Dankworth, many records from his extensive discography can be found in indie record stores.

Kamir Hiam (USA) has been obsessed with hip hop culture since discovering rap as a child in the mid 90s. As curator of The Find's Stay Thirsty podcast, he is an obsessive crate digger, always looking for more dope music. Other hobbies include travel, reading, fitness, and science.