Whatever happened to Digable Planets after its sophomore release, 1994's Blowout Comb, doesnt change the facts on the ground: one of the most innovative and straight up cool hip-hop groups of the early '90s dissipated like cigarette smoke exhaled by one of its beloved jazz musicians. The trio (Doodlebug, Ladybug Mecca, and Butterfly) bucked the growing popularity of gangsta rap, and instead spoke through both their lyrics and production the lingua franca of jazz greats like Sonny Rollins and Charles Mingus. They and others got sampled and name-checked, and Digable Planets hit the road with real musicians--yet another bold act. If they would've stayed together, they'd be at least as important as The Roots. No matter; Digable Planets reunited in '05 and released a greatest hits package titled Beyond the Spectrum: The Creamy Spy Chronicles and hit the road again. Three years later, they're back--and still cool like dat.
Wed., Nov. 12, 8 p.m., 2008