Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Marisa Brown
Though it can reasonably be argued that rap grew almost directly out of funk and its particular beat, there are a lot of overlaps with jazz, particularly the bop and post-bop eras: the uninhibited expression, the depiction of urban life, just to name two. Jazz samples have also had a large role in hip-hop, but the idea of rapping over actual live jazz wasn't truly fully realized until Gang Starr MC Guru created and released the first in his Jazzmatazz series in 1993, with guest musicians who included saxophonist Branford Marsalis who had previously collaborated with DJ Premier and Guru for the track "Jazz Thing" on the Mo' Better Blues soundtrack, trumpeter Donald Byrd, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Marisa Brown
Though it can reasonably be argued that rap grew almost directly out of funk and its particular beat, there are a lot of overlaps with jazz, particularly the bop and post-bop eras: the uninhibited expression, the depiction of urban life, just to name two. Jazz samples have also had a large role in hip-hop, but the idea of rapping over actual live jazz wasn't truly fully realized until Gang Starr MC Guru created and released the first in his Jazzmatazz series in 1993, with guest musicians who included saxophonist Branford Marsalis who had previously collaborated with DJ Premier and Guru for the track "Jazz Thing" on the Mo' Better Blues soundtrack, trumpeter Donald Byrd, vibraphonist Roy Ayers, guitarist Ronny Jordan, and keyboardist Lonnie Liston Smith, as well as vocalist N'Dea Davenport also of the acid jazz group the Brand New Heavies and French rapper MC Solaar. While Guru's rhymes can occasionally be a little weak "Think they won't harm you? Well they might/And that ain't right, but every day is like a fight" are the lines he chooses to describe kids on the subway in Brooklyn in "Transit Ride", he delves into a variety of subject matter, from the problems of inner-city life to his own verbal prowess to self-improvement without ever sounding too repetitive, and his well-practiced flow fits well with the overall smooth, sultry, and intelligent feel of the album. From Jordan's solo on "No Time to Play" to Ayers' vibes expertise on "Take a Look At Yourself" to MC Solaar's quick and syllabic rhymes on "Le Bien, le Mal," Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 and what turned out to be the best of the series is a rap album for jazz fans and a jazz album for rap fans, skillful and smart, clean when it needs to be and gritty when that's more effective, helping to legitimize hip-hop to those who doubted it, and making for an altogether important release.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/18/1993
  • Label: Virgin Records Us
  • UPC: 094632199829
  • Catalog Number: 21998
  • Sales rank: 41,882

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Introduction (1:20)
  2. 2 Loungin' - Donald Byrd (4:38)
  3. 3 When You're Near - N'Dea Davenport (4:02)
  4. 4 Transit Ride - Branford Marsalis (3:58)
  5. 5 No Time to Play - D.C Lee (4:54)
  6. 6 Down the Backstreets (4:47)
  7. 7 Respectful Dedications (0:54)
  8. 8 Take a Look (At Yourself) (3:59)
  9. 9 Trust Me - N'Dea Davenport (4:27)
  10. 10 Slicker Than Most (2:36)
  11. 11 Le Bien, le Mal - MC Solaar (3:21)
  12. 12 Sights in the City (5:10)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Guru Primary Artist, Vocals
Roy Ayers Vibraslap, Vibes
Courtney Pine Flute, Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone
Lonnie Liston Smith Piano, Keyboards, Electric Piano
Ronny Jordan Guitar
MC Solaar Vocals
Carleen Anderson Vocals
Gary Barnacle Flute, Saxophone
Zachary Breaux Guitar
Donald Byrd Piano, Trumpet
N'Dea Davenport Vocals
Simon "The Funky Ginger" Law Keyboards
D.C. Lee Vocals
Branford Marsalis Saxophone
Technical Credits
Jimmy Bell Engineer
Guru Arranger, Producer
Gary Barnacle Contributor
Zachary Breaux Contributor
Zdar Cerbonschi Engineer
Keith Elam Executive Producer, Concept Development
Simon "The Funky Ginger" Law Contributor
D.C. Lee Contributor
James B. Mansfield Engineer
Joe Quinde Engineer
Kieran Walsh Engineer
James Bell Engineer
Henry Marquez Art Direction
Craig Marcus Engineer
Bill Adler Liner Notes
Duff Marlowe Executive Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A must have

    Obviously, this is the first of GURU's JAZZMATAZZ project and without a doubt one of my favorite CD's. His blend of jazz and hip hop is so seamless, that the hot girl next to me in traffic can laugh at my car dancing all she wants.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews