Chimera

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
When J. Spencer's debut album, Chimera, came out in 1993, Mojazz/Motown exalted the Oakland saxophonist as one of the people fearlessly bridging the gap between jazz and hip-hop. But truth be told, Chimera is more hip-hop than jazz -- this is essentially an album of rap with jazz overtones. And that certainly doesn't make it bad, although it does mean that the CD should be judged by hip-hop standards instead of jazz standards. Chimera, quite honestly, doesn't have a jazz mentality. Improvisation and spontaneity are the things that make jazz what it is -- that's what Al DiMeola has in common with Django Reinhardt -- and Chimera sounds produced rather than improvisatory ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
When J. Spencer's debut album, Chimera, came out in 1993, Mojazz/Motown exalted the Oakland saxophonist as one of the people fearlessly bridging the gap between jazz and hip-hop. But truth be told, Chimera is more hip-hop than jazz -- this is essentially an album of rap with jazz overtones. And that certainly doesn't make it bad, although it does mean that the CD should be judged by hip-hop standards instead of jazz standards. Chimera, quite honestly, doesn't have a jazz mentality. Improvisation and spontaneity are the things that make jazz what it is -- that's what Al DiMeola has in common with Django Reinhardt -- and Chimera sounds produced rather than improvisatory and spontaneous. The rappers who Spencer features are really the main attraction; the soprano saxman doesn't get enough room to stretch out and he ends up sounding like a sideman on his own album to borrow a phrase from keyboardist Jeff Lorber. If you want to hear how different saxophonists can do radically different things with rap, just compare Chimera to some of the albums that saxman Bill Evans not to be confused with the famous pianist recorded in the '90s. When Evans featured rappers on some of his '90s albums, he maintained a jazz mentality -- MCs were expected to interact with a spontaneous, improvising fusion band just as a jazz singer would interact with such a band. For Evans, featuring rappers was a lot like a hard bopper featuring Abbey Lincoln; Chimera, however, is really about technology rather than improvisation. But again, that doesn't automatically make it a bad album. Some of the tracks are mundane and pedestrian, but more often that not Chimera is a decent if imperfect example of alternative rap with jazz overtones.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/21/1993
  • Label: Motown
  • UPC: 737463700429
  • Catalog Number: 7004

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Hip Hop Jazz (4:14)
  2. 2 Smooth Style (4:57)
  3. 3 Hot Pants (5:10)
  4. 4 Like It Like That (5:42)
  5. 5 Hip Hop Jazz Interlude (0:20)
  6. 6 Fantasy (4:42)
  7. 7 B.F.O. (5:20)
  8. 8 Funky Fresh Interlude (0:06)
  9. 9 Can I Do Ya (5:16)
  10. 10 Life in My Town (5:33)
  11. 11 Thinkin' About You (5:52)
  12. 12 La Song (4:44)
  13. 13 Barbara (3:53)
  14. 14 Till I Found You (3:53)
  15. 15 Everlasting Love (5:48)
  16. 16 Thank You Lord (3:18)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
J. Spencer Primary Artist, Soprano Saxophone, Rap
Bobby Martin Strings
Wild Bill Davis Vocals
Elijah Baker Bass
Kitty Beethoven Vocals, Background Vocals
Tommy Bradford Drums
Brian Collier Drums
Paulinho Da Costa Percussion
Mike D Rap
Ephraim Galloway Vocals
Derrick Hall Synthesizer, Piano, Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocals
Terrance Hatter Synthesizer, Percussion, Drums, Keyboards
Ricky Lawson Drums
Wayne Lindsey Keyboards
Tony Maiden Guitar
Kevin Matthew Keyboards
Kevin Matthews Keyboards
Frank McComb Keyboards
Bill Ortiz Trumpet
P-Funk Rap
Richard Patterson Bass
Jim Pugh Vocals
John Jubu Smith Guitar
Norbert Stachel Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Carl Wheeler Clarinet, Clavinet
W. Amar the Wizard Wilkins Rap
James Pugh Vocals
William Davis Vocals
Vitamin C Rap
Technical Credits
Bobby Martin Contributor
Elijah Baker Arranger, Composer, Producer
Dennis Belfield Composer
Jonathan Clark Artwork
Brian Collier Contributor
Mike D Composer
Derrick Hall Arranger, Composer, Programming, Producer, drum programming
Terrance Hatter Composer, Programming, Producer, drum programming, Percussion Programming
Odeen Mays Programming
Steve McKeever Arranger, Producer
Tony Mills Engineer
P-Funk Composer
J. Spencer Composer, Producer
Carlos Stanfield Producer
W. Amar the Wizard Wilkins Composer
David "Hawk" Wolinski Composer
Dave Holmes Engineer
Vitamin C Composer
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