Don't call it jazz-hop! Jazzmatazz Vol.1 was one of the first albums to draw a direction connection between hip hop and its jazz roots. Guru was able to enlist an all-star cast of jazz musicians including saxophonist Branford Marsalis, trumpeter Donald Byrd, vibraphonist Roy Ayers, guitarist Ronny Jordan and keyboardist Lonnie Liston Smith. The Brand New Heavies' N'Dea Davenport and French rapper MC Solaar contributed vocals as well. Fundamentally a hip hop album at its core, Jazzmatazz Vol.1 is most distinct for the live instrumentation provided by jazz legends. This was a few years before The Roots would have their first real breakthrough with Do You Want More?!!!??! and two decades before Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly. Yes, the rhymes can leave a little bit to be desired, but Guru's slick, laidback presence on the mic is as cool as it was on Step In The Arena, and Jazzmatazz succeeds as a trailblazing concept that paved the way for many other artists. Twelve tracks in all.
- 180g black vinyl pressing
- original release year: 1993
- music label: Music On Vinyl 2022
reviewed by Kool Moby 08/2016