The Roots have revealed a few musical guests, including Ludacris, for their first week as house band for the debut of “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.”
The seven-member band will aim to provide viewers with a full circle offering of guests.
In addition to playing walk-on and bumper music, the group will back the show’s musical guests. The first week’s music lineup includes rapper Ludacris. The Roots are also planning to feature guest players with the band, including Blue Note pianist Robert Glasper and Heads Up International bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding. “We’re pretty much open to the idea of having artists on who wouldn’t necessarily be put on a late-night talk show,” Questlove said in an interview. (Billboard)
Making the move from a highly acclaimed low-profile band to being featured on a major network, the group has confesed to having initial doubts.
“Initially I was a little leery,” Black Thought said in an interview. “I initially was thinking, Is this just going to be ammo for some other rapper to try to dis me for?’ Like, `Your career is so over now/ You’re a house band for …’ You have to be that many steps ahead of whatever move you’re going to make…[however], It was just sounding better and better as the months went on…The pros outweighed the cons.” (Associated Press)
While an album and touring dates will later follow, Questlove recently spoke on the importance of their new gig.
“Right now, my whole life is this show,” Quest said. “This would basically match or surpass what we would make touring 200-plus days out of the year. And, two, this allows us to be home…It’s going to be a major challenge. Right now, we’re writing about 25 [songs] a day. I’m surprised we’re not running on fumes.” (Newsday)
The group’s move to television was announced last November.
“A comedian from “Saturday Night Live” Jimmy Fallon is going to replace Conan O’Brien,” Quest previously said in a video clip. “And he has asked The Roots to be in his late night band…We’re pretty much contractually bound to stay in New York for 43, 44 weeks.” (You Tube)
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” is scheduled to premiere Monday, March 2 on NBC.