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Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1

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Audio CD, May 18, 1993
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$4.89 $0.01
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. IntroductionGuru 1:20$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Loungin'Guru Featuring Donald Byrd 4:39$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. When You're NearGuru Featuring N'Dea Davenport 4:03$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Transit RideGuru Featuring Branford Marsalis 3:58$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. No Time To PlayGuru Featuring Ronny Jordan and D.C. Lee 4:54$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Down The BackstreetsGuru Featuring Lonnie Liston Smith 4:48$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Respectful DedicationsGuru0:54$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Take A Look (At Yourself)Guru Featuring Roy Ayers 3:59$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Trust MeGuru Featuring N'Dea Davenport 4:27$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Slicker Than MostGuru Featuring Gary Barnacle 2:36$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Le Bien, Le MalGuru Featuring Mc Solaar 3:22$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. Sights In The CityGuru Featuring Carleen Anderson And Courtney Pine 5:10$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 + Jazzmatazz 2 + Streetsoul
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 18, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Chrysalis
  • ASIN: B000003JBM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,925 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

After rhyming over Premier's doctored jazz beats in Gang Starr, Guru decided to take it to the next level, employing the talents of actual jazz musicians to create the grooves over which he would flow. Coming off like a jazzier extension of the Brand New Heavies' Heavy Rhyme Experience: Vol. 1, Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 brought together a diverse group of jazz cats both old-school and new, including Roy Ayers, Donald Byrd, Lonnie Liston Smith, Ronny Jordan, and Courtney Pine. Guru even enlisted the serene pipes of Carleen Anderson and N'Dea Davenport and acted as something of an international hip-hop ambassador when he flipped "Le Bien, Le Mal" with French mic pro MC Solaar. From the Blue Note-style cover art to the hepcat spoken-word intro, this package is pure hip-hop jazz music. Jazz purists may wish to note that the grooves lean heavily toward the funkier 1970s era of jazz, and hardcore hip-hop heads my be turned off by the mellower musical stance. But then again, this is neither pure jazz nor hardcore hip-hop but rather an extension of the two. --Spence Abbott

Customer Reviews

Of course, the other vocalists are superb as well.
I just love good music and this happens to be some of what i like to listen too during my day.
Very mix of hip hop flows and smooth jazzy beats was that combination.
Eric D. Stewart

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By 3rdeadly3rd on June 1, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is quite simply an inspired album. The rapping from Guru is sharp, lyrical and creative while the jazzmen are as musical as they ever have been.
I've heard a lot of different stories about how this album was recorded (who performed over what, what was improvised etc.) but as far as I'm concerned - that doesn't matter. The point is that this album is a real high-water mark in hip-hop, one that doesn't seem under any real threat of being surpassed just yet.
As Guru says in the liner notes, the album is "jeep ready" as far as the music is concerned and yet it's also the sort of music that your parents would enjoy. Both of those statements (as contradictory as they may seem) are 100% true. Tracks like "Slicker Than Most" and "Le Bien Le Mal" feature one of hip-hop's finest lyricists doing his job the way only he can. "Le Bien" is also noteworty for being one of the first introductions that France's MC Solaar had to the wider world of hip-hop.
As for the jazz credentials of the album - these aren't in doubt at all. A friend of mine who plays jazz trumpet was stunned when he heard the list of jazz artists who were involved on this project. After I'd taped it for him, he played it for his trumpet teacher who was equally stunned. Every single performer excells themselves on this album.
Donald Byrd's trumpet makes Guru's lyrics have a different cadence in "Loungin'" - while this is one of the standout tracks, it is somewhat hampered by the spoken sample at the end. Ronny Jordan's guitar is truly superb and will move you - either head or feet depending on how you're feeling at the time.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By on May 5, 1998
Format: Audio CD
I was first introduced to Guru's Jazzmatazz in 1993 when Acid Jazz was big on the West coast, but had not reached my ears on the East Coast. While it's categorized as rap in many music stores, it's a hybrid of hip-hop and jazz, thus the moniker of Acid Jazz. [NOT to be confused with smooth jazz resembling "elevator music."]
Guru is its maistro, conducting distinguished guests like the smooth voiced N'dea Davenport and smooth guitarist Ronny Jordan - each stars with their own careers.
Guru's "No Time to Play" is an anthem for hard working people from hip business man to funky construction workers. And when we do play, Guru offers, "Loungin" as our theme song.
Different styles and tempos come together in this urban quilt of jazz samples and vocal textures to make one of my favorite CDs.
If you like a groove, but prefer the kind of sophisticated cool you can play even for your parents over the hard core you only listen to when you're in full party mode, Jazzmatazz is for you. And good news - Jazzmatazz has a sequal, Jazzmatazz II, for its biggest fans!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nucleicacid5 on February 9, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I was in college at Clark Atlanta University when this album came out. I thought the album was DOPE back then. I was raised on jazz and grew up on hip hop so this was a great album to listen to. For whatever reason most hip hop/jazz albums fail but this one worked...In the college circle this album was either rebuked or recieved luke this was the early 90's and that DAS EFX typ of rapping was in, hip hop was very closed minded at the time, anything done out of the context of hip hop at that time was rebuked...but coming from San Francisco we tend to have a more open mind to different vibes of music, this album was in the context of two of my favorite genre's of music. I will say this, Guru was really taking a risk with this album a HUGE risk with his fan based, but this album goes to show you that he was not a one dimensional individual. He was not some hip hopper that just stayed in cyphers all day thinking about lyric and stuff. Guru had a vision and he made it come to fruition. It has been...WOW...12 years since this album dropped and it has gained more influence and has been litteraly elevated to a classic, as it should be...IT IS JUST ONE HELL OF AN ALBUM...Jazzmatazz has aged like a fine French wine, the quality gets better over the years.

This is a great album to enjoy whether you are a hip hopper or a jazzman...I will say this Jazz people need to stop acting like such elitist and realize jazz can be integrated in other musical forms...And Hip Hop needs to stop being such and elitist closed minde genre also. Hip Hop has gotten so commercial and watered down, it does not resemble the hip hop of 93'. This album show the best of both worlds...Good Job were wayyy ahead of your time on this one...and he still is. I can't see this type of album happening today....
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alton Hitchcock, Jr. on July 19, 1999
Format: Audio CD
this is hip hop at its finest, inventive, original and in your face. lyrics are smooth as well as street based and introspective. I would recommend this album to anyone who really has a taste for hip hop. Not just some R&B hyped rap. This is a hip hop experience.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Donovan Juan on March 22, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Being a fan of Miles Davis, one of the key experimenters in the jazz world, I have always been on the look out for artists that have a leaning to the experimental and unconventional.
I had heard a few of Guru's later albums, and although I am not a fan of rap, his style was interesting. I was [angry] though that it was classified as 'jazz' since only a few were jazzy.
However I got around to hearing this album: Jazzmatazz Vol. 1. This is by far his best work. It was so experimental in nature, and the envinronment is obviously one jazz. The phat hip hop beats have have the same vibe as the instrumental solos in the backing tracks, and Guru's deadpan delivery of his rhymes are very good.
Favourites would be "Loungin'" and "Transit Ride". This album showed that Guru had potential to be a 'jazz' great, however his switch to a more hip hop than jazz sound on his later work is a great shame. Perhaps he will do better in the future.
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