Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, R&B
By the time Gang Starr's rapper Guru created the "experimental fusion of hip-hop and jazz" he called Jazzmatazz back in 1993, the idea of blending the two African-American styles had been fairly well explored. But as the f... more »
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By the time Gang Starr's rapper Guru created the "experimental fusion of hip-hop and jazz" he called Jazzmatazz back in 1993, the idea of blending the two African-American styles had been fairly well explored. But as the first wholly self-conscious genremixing, Jazzmatazz Volume I was at least a decent novelty record. In the two Years that followed, however, jazz rap--from Digable Planets to Buckshot Lefonque to the Roots--grew into a dominant strain of alternative hip-hop. The good news is that 1995's Jazzmatazz II acknowledges the changing times. Guru ups the ante by collecting artists from R&B (Chaka Khan, Mica Paris) and reggae (Ini Kamoze, Patra) in addition to jazz (Ramsey Lewis, Donald Byrd, Freddie Hubbard) and rap (Kool Keith, Big Shug). The concept broadens to bring together makers of all black music. At best, the songs reflect this more robust brew: "Watch What You Say," for instance, blends Khan's dynamic blue improvisational singing and Branford Marsalis's subdued saxophone phrases with Guru's rap and DJ Premier's unorthodox track of video game sound effects. The bad news, though, is that Volume II fails in precisely the same places Volume I did. First, Guru still raps with fine tone but little gift for either rhythm or rhyme. In a monotone he self- righteously calls himself "The Lifesaver" but offers only vague solutions like "deal with reality and try to keep focus" to innercity turmoil. Second, except for Khan's vocals and perhaps Lewis' piano solo on "Respect the Architect," the style meshes never get a chance to rise out of the same tried hip-hop form. --Roni Sarig
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ken | chicago | 12/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The best of the 3 jazzmatazzes. It is not nearly as jazz influenced as the 1st but absolutely the most complete of the 3. i love guru and Gangstarr. he is lyrically on point and every song is great. its deep and arranged well. This is one of my top 10 and top 5 hip hop albums in my mind. it takes a few listens to understand the complexity and integrity of this album. Completely original and very trippy when you get down to it. be patient and it will grow on you."
Very good, but:
firstname.lastname@example.org | Israel | 04/17/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In this album guru gives you the feeling that he is takin over. Unlike the first very best album of Jazzmatazz, he doesn't give enough room and freedom to the other musicians, and it's really to bad if you just look at the names that appears on. however it still a very good hip-hop album, but if the first is a must have, I'm not sure that this one is too."
A bangin cd of jazz and hip hop
G Warrior@aol.com | Chapel Hill, North Carolina | 06/19/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This one gets better every time I listen to it. The majority of the beats are great, the majority of the rhymes are great. While most of the tracks on the album are great, the album is 20 tracks deep, and at least one could be removed. The one that would improve the album if removed is "Living In This World." It doesn't fit with the rest of the work. It's too up-tempo, it's too happy and cheesy. With out that one, there are still 15 phenominal songs on the album. Two of the best are "The Traveler" and "Young Ladies", which features Kool Keith. If you like the Roots "Do You Want More???!!!", you may like this one more."