Debut solo album from Gang Starr's Guru. Jazzmatazz Vol.1 was one of the first albums to successfully make the connection between hip hop and its roots in jazz. 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 the jazz legends. This was a few years before The Roots would have their first real breakthrough with Do You Want More?!!!??! and decades before Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly. Yes, the rhymes can leave a little bit to be desired, but the album succeeds as a trailblazing concept that set the stage for many other artists. Twelve tracks in all. Released by Virgin on black vinyl housed in a full color sleeve.
- music label: Virgin 2016