Friday, January 22, 2010

The 1960's Jazz Revolution Again

by JayAre (J. Rawls and John Robinson)

J. Rawls has been quite prolific the last few years, putting out a couple of really good jazz albums, producing an r'n'b album with Middle Child, and lacing a few different hip-hop albums with tracks.

This has apparently led to a lengthier collaboration with John Robinson here, in a project that marries his jazz work with hip-hop. Listening to this album, I am not immediately made to think of 1960s jazz, a topic I know very little about, except by tracks that seem to emulate Thes One's incredible Lifestyle Marketing project. There are some sampled hooks here that could easily have come from period advertisements.

Regardless of provenance and intent, Rawls and Robinson have put together a very good jazzy hip-hop disk, in the vein of some early Digable Planets, with perhaps a little less funk. Robinson, who I sometimes find boring, and other times find forced, comes off very nicely here; he focuses on his story-telling skills, and keeps my interest throughout (except for 'The Lee Morgan Story' towards the end).

Rawls production is the real star of the show however, and he demonstrates what he learned on his Liquid Crystal Project albums, applying it to this disk with skill. This is a very nice background album.

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