In the summer of 2000, Madlib’s name was beginning to be known to hip-hop fans as the creator and producer of Lootpack and Quasimoto, whose debut album The Unseen had just been released. Behind the scenes, the producer was beginning an extended break from hip-hop production, trading the SP1200 for the Fender Rhodes.
That fall, Madlib put the jazz group Yesterdays New Quintet together – Joe McDuphrey, Malik Flavors, Ahmad Miller, Monk Hughes and Otis Jackson Jr. They set up shop in the West Los Angeles living room the home/headquarters of Stones Throw, living and worked there through the end of the year before Stones Throw relocated to another house elsewhere in Los Angeles. A few days later, Madlib and YNQ showed up there too, building a studio in the home’s former cold war-era bomb shelter.
And from there, the core of Yesterdays New Quintet expanded into what Madlib called “Yesterday’s Universe,” a loose-knit collective replacing the original group, with Madlib as the constant producer & arranger. Each member of the original group released solo works, many of them performed with Madlib on Shades of Blue (2003), and several new groups within the universe would follow. Many of these were announced on the compilation album Yesterdays Universe (2007). Even more names had their debut on Madlib’s High Jazz (2010).
Yesterdays New Quintet – Elle’s Theme, EP (2001)
Yesterdays New Quintet – Angles Without Edges, Album (2001)
Yesterdays New Quintet – Stevie, Album (2003)
Joe McDuphrey Experience – Experience, EP (2002)
Ahmad Miller – Say Ah, EP (2003)
Monk Hughes – A Tribute to Brother Weldon, Album (2004)
Malik Flavors – Ugly Beauty, EP (2004)
Otis Jackson Jr. Trio – Jewelz, EP (2007)
Sound Directions – The Funky Side of Life, album (2005)
Various Artists – Yesterdays Universe, album (2007)
The Last Electro… – Miles Away, album (2010)
Young Jazz Rebels – Slave Riot, album (2010)
Various – Madlib Medicine Show #7: High Jazz, album (2010)
RMC – Space & Time, album (2010)
Jahari Massamba Unit – Pardon My French, album (2020)