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The Best of Guru's Jazzmatazz [Explicit Lyrics]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Marisa Brown
Credit Guru for keeping his career alive and relevant after he and DJ Premier moved on in their careers apart from one another. The first album from his Jazzmatazz series, out in 1993, was a fresh, invigorating look at the possibilities of hip-hop, right smack in the Native Tongues era of the genre, when the smoother beats of Tribe and De La Soul ran supreme. Unfortunately, the subsequent releases didn't quite live up to the innovation and interest of the original, but this, a collection of tracks from the first three installments, is still a decent look back at what he's done. The Best of Guru's Jazzmatazz doesn't pull any material from after 2000, but the lack of ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Marisa Brown
Credit Guru for keeping his career alive and relevant after he and DJ Premier moved on in their careers apart from one another. The first album from his Jazzmatazz series, out in 1993, was a fresh, invigorating look at the possibilities of hip-hop, right smack in the Native Tongues era of the genre, when the smoother beats of Tribe and De La Soul ran supreme. Unfortunately, the subsequent releases didn't quite live up to the innovation and interest of the original, but this, a collection of tracks from the first three installments, is still a decent look back at what he's done. The Best of Guru's Jazzmatazz doesn't pull any material from after 2000, but the lack of anything from Vol. 4 which was decent enough in its own right, but hardly jazz doesn't hurt the compilation. The MC's ability to attract top-name jazz and soul artists is certainly impressive, as everyone from Erykah Badu to Ramsey Lewis to N'Dea Davenport to Lonnie Liston Smith have made appearances throughout the years and are all included here, and though his own rapping abilities can be shaky at times, The Best Of captures him and his friends at their strongest and most inspired. However, there is a definite style progression as the album makes its way through its 18 tracks three of which -- the remixes of "Respect the Architect" and "Loungin'," and "Choices" from the 2000 Laurence Fishburne film Once in the Life -- are bonuses. By the time "Supa Love," which features Kelis and is from Streetsoul, arrives, it's a little unclear why the series was still called Jazzmatazz at all, and though the other guests here the Roots, Badu sound good, the songs diverge wildly from what Guru had attempted with his earlier, actually jazz-driven numbers. That being said, The Best Of still does a pretty decent job of conveying Guru's overall vision and post-Gang Starr career, even if Vol. 1 is a better and more fulfilling listen and musical endeavor.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/12/2008
  • Label: Imports
  • EAN: 5099951905927
  • Catalog Number: 5003230

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 No Time to Play - Ronnie Jordan (4:54)
  2. 2 Trust Me (4:27)
  3. 3 Slicker Than Most - Gary Barnacle (2:35)
  4. 4 Down the Backstreets (4:47)
  5. 5 Sights in the City - Carleen Anderson (5:09)
  6. 6 Loungin' - Donald Byrd (4:38)
  7. 7 Respect the Architect - Bahamadia (4:50)
  8. 8 Watch What You Say - Branford Marsalis (4:37)
  9. 9 Lost Souls - Jamiroquai (4:11)
  10. 10 Choice of Weapons - Gus Da Vigilante (4:24)
  11. 11 Looking Through Darkness (4:47)
  12. 12 Keep Your Worries - Angie Stone (4:58)
  13. 13 Supa Love - Kelis (3:51)
  14. 14 Lift Your Fist - The Roots (3:47)
  15. 15 Plenty - Erykah Badu (4:33)
  16. 16 Choices - N'Dea Davenport (3:46)
  17. 17 Loungin' - Donald Byrd (3:50)
  18. 18 Respect the Architect - Bahamadia (4:13)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Guru Primary Artist
Donald Byrd Track Performer
Technical Credits
Courtney Pine Producer
Lonnie Liston Smith Producer
Carleen Anderson Producer
Donald Byrd Producer
DJ Premier Producer
N'Dea Davenport Producer
Evren Göknar Mastering
Peter Tosh Composer
Carlos Bess Producer
DJ Scratch Producer
Erykah Badu Producer
Tom Recchion Art Direction
Andres Gil Torres Liner Notes
Ronnie Jordan Producer
George McWilliams Art Direction
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