Guru's Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1, originally issued in 1993, is one of the first albums to combine a live jazz band with hip hop production and rapping. The Gang Starr MC had a unique vision, bringing together a diverse group of jazz players both old and new school like Lonnie Liston Smith, Branford Marsalis, Ronny Jordan (check out his solo on the track "No Time To Play"), Donald Byrd and Roy Ayers with vocalists like Carleen Anderson, N'Dea Davenport (of the Brand New Heavies) and French rapper MC Solaar. Combining the best of both worlds brought newfound accessiblity for both genres with Guru explaining that "Jazz's mellow tracks, along with the hard rap beat, go hand-in-glove with my voice." Jazzmatazz proved to be both highly influential and a huge commercial success and the album's strong reception led to a series of releases that also includes Jazzmatazz, Vol. 2: The New Reality (1993), Jazzmatazz, Vol. 3: Streetsoul (2000) and Jazzmatazz, Vol. 4 - The Hip-Hop Jazz Messenger: Back to the Future (2007).
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Bayou-born soul sensation, Durand Jones, is bringing his raw energy to Colemine Records with his debut LP. Jones brings you two fiery original soul music, pairing soaring vocal work with dusty drums, slinking guitars and screaming organs. With a stellar background in gospel, Jones got his start in the church, singing in the choir of his hometown in rural Louisiana. When his music career took him to Bloomington, Indiana, he was selected to join the legendary Indiana University Soul Revue, and it was through his involvement that he met writer/producer duo Aaron Frazer and Blake Rhein. The three began writing original soul music, recording themselves straight to tape in the basements of Bloomington- a process which brings you the gritty sounds available on Ohio-based Colemine Records. Sure to satisfy fans of Charles Bradley, Lee Fields, Aloe Blacc, and Leon Bridges.