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Rough & Smooth
Rough & Smooth
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Outside
Title: Rough & Smooth
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Blue Thumb
Release Date: 4/22/1997
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Jazz, Pop
Styles: Acid Jazz, Dance Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 011105701020, 5023639004329

CD Reviews

The Rough & The Smooth: a Must-buy for Acid Jazz enthusiasts
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The one thing listeners can always count on Outside to produce is new, exciting work that transcends convention. This album certainly manifests this principle. UK's Matt Cooper has returned from his previous ground-breaking debut to put forth his second album. On this musical excursion, he's invited the assistance of musician/arranger Andreas Allen from the U.S. to lay some of the tightest tracks ever. Although this album was released in 1997, it intertwines the sounds of traditional straight-ahead jazz with modern syncopation. Most acid jazz or experimental jazz groups tend to rework the stylings of earlier fusion jazz greats such as Bob James, Joe Sample or Donald Byrd; many times, these groups play a hint or two of jazz samples and incorporate laid-back R&B vocals. This sets Outside far apart from the rest of the pack. Every cut on the album is unique -- whether blending classical violin with drum and bass (see To Forgive but Not Forget, featuring the Without Frontiers string group) or fusing lounge jazz with roots Reggae (Flowers Ain't IV Picking) -- yet each are interwoven into a musical fabric that continues to the end, despite the digital separations between songs. Think Soul II Soul with Sun-Ra and you'll get the picture. By far, Outside's third album, entitled "Discoveries", is the best experimental jazz record of the past 15 years. However, on this second album, Matt Cooper and Andreas Allen are still a team well-developed enough to make "The Rough & The Smooth" an almagamation of pleasant, smooth and utterly vibrant textures."
This is acid jazz!
Olukayode Balogun | Leeds, England | 05/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Actually, there's quite a lot on offer here: drum & bass, reggae and dance beats, hard grooves with trippy bass lines, jazzy chords and clever improvisation. This is no clumsy hotchpotch mishmash of ideas though. It all comes together very nicely, actually, and it all adds up to that thing sometimes called acid jazz. It's served up here by the (almost) one-man band Outside, otherwise known as Matt Cooper.

Just like The Rebirth, a band who's stunning album This Journey in I reviewed some time ago, I was introduced to Outside by my best friend and would probably never have heard of them if it wasn't for him.

I love this CD. This is the kind of stuff the DJs used to drive crowds crazy with at Dingwalls (a north London club) on Sundays, back in the day. Ike Obiamiwe's very soulful vocals on "The 29/8 Steps", "The Plan" and "Journeyman Part 2". Origin's equally impressive vocals on "Moodswing", "To Forgive But Not Forget" and "Minty". Jhelisa, Imaani and Origin on vocals on "Journeyman Part 1". The use of the St Aloysius Junior School Choir on "The Plan" and "Minty". It's all so inventive and original. Greg Osby also pops up with a brilliant alto sax solo on "Moodswing" and Tony Remy plays electric guitar on "Journeyman Part 1".

If you like the instrumental work of bands like Incognito, Brand New Heavies or even Galliano (whatever happened to them?) and you fancy something just a touch more adventurous, I think there's a very good chance you'll like this.

Good quality music continues to get swept under the constant wave of commercial "radio and MTV-friendly" rubbish out there (or modern popular music's "single-mindlessness", as I sometimes call it) and it's sad, really."
Fantastic-ultimate acid jazz with that soul swing
Olukayode Balogun | 11/10/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"the outside is definately a group that was missed by the american public. the music is favorite selections are "the lower we fly" and to "forgive but not forget". its great cool out music and smooth back drop music for studying."