UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP’S URBAN LEGENDS TO RELEASE 3-LP DELUXE EDITION SET OF GURU’S JAZZMATAZZ, VOLUME 1
FOR THE ALBUM’S 25TH ANNIVERSARY
PRE-SALE LAUNCHES APRIL 20; RELEASE DATE: MAY 18
3-LP SET WITH 12-PAGE GLOSSY BOOKLET AND SLIPCASE COVER
DELUXE PACKAGE FEATURES ALBUM’S ORIGINAL 12 TRACKS, INSTRUMENTALS,
AND 7 RARE B-SIDES AND REMIXES
“Jazzmatazz is not only the latest pairing [of jazz and hip-hop], but easily one of the best… This should silence those who mistakenly feel that rap is not musical… deep instrumentals, relevant lyrics and a lot of attitude.”
– The Source, Ronin Ro [May 1993 issue]
PRODUCT VIDEO LINK: http://bit.ly/2vtSZ3x
PRESALE LINK: http://bit.ly/2F1oOjA
LOS ANGELES, CA – April 20, 2018 – On May 18, 2018, UMe/Urban Legends celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Guru’s Jazzmatazz, Volume 1 with the release of a 3-LP Deluxe Edition vinyl set with the original 12-track album, an instrumental LP, and a third disc featuring rare, unreleased remixes and B-Sides. Housed in a custom slipcase with new artwork, each LP is packaged in its own unique sleeve and will include a 12-page, 12×12 glossy booklet with photos by Thierry Le Gouès.
Customers who pre-order the album in April get two “instant gratification” digital tracks, both rare B-sides: “Loungin’ (Square Biz Mix)” and “No Time To Play (CJ’s Longer Radio Master Mix)”
By the first turn of the 1990s, groups like Gang Starr were regularly sampling jazz, executed at a nearly pinnacle level on their songs “Words I Manifest” and “Jazz Thing,” from 1989 and 1990, respectively – the latter taken from Spike Lee’s Mo Better Blues soundtrack.
By late 1992, Gang Starr’s MC Guru was ready to take the “jazz thing” to the next level. Beyond merely sampling artists or hiring them for a session, he set about conceptualizing full collaborations – a true synergy of the two musics, with MCs and jazz players working together from jump. So, when the lyricist, born Keith Elam, pitched the idea of Jazzmatazz, Volume 1 to the good people at Chrysalis/EMI, he didn’t meet much resistance. His smoky, laid-back flow had already established itself as a perfect compliment to the tempos and outlook of “America’s Classical Music,” and his musician rolodex had been expanding since “Jazz Thing.”
As Guru told Bill Adler in the album’s liner notes, “[My father and grandfather would] take me and my whole posse and sit us down in front of these speakers and make us listen to jazz.” There is little doubt that those original listening sessions included some of the same older artists featured on Jazzmatazz: Donald Byrd (heard on the single, “Loungin’”), Lonnie Liston Smith (“Down The Backstreets”), and Roy Ayers (“Take A Look (At Yourself)”).
But Jazzmatazz, Volume 1 wasn’t a “dig up the old guys” project, not by a long shot. In addition to the aforementioned legends, Guru enlisted an impressive list of young jazz talent as well – guitarist Ronny Jordan runs some amazing lines on “No Time To Play”; saxophonist Branford Marsalis and guitarist Zachary Breaux anchor on “Transit Ride”; Gary Barnacle’s sax and flute grace on “Slicker Than Most”; and saxophonist Courtney Pine deftly finesses on “Sights Of The City.”
Jazz artists weren’t the only ones who got in on the game – R&B vocalists N’Dea Davenport (featured on both “Trust Me” and “When You’re Near”), Carleen Anderson and DC Lee lent their incredible pipes to the project (the latter two on “Sights In The City” and “No Time To Play,” respectively). And French rapper MC Solaar gives “Le Bien, Le Mal” an international flair that only increased the album’s appeal.
Almost all of the tracks on the album went beyond mere session work or sample fodder for all involved – most of them were in fact co-produced by the guests, alongside Guru who oversaw the concepts. And, of course, Guru stepped out from the board to rhyme on all tracks himself.
Upon the album’s original release, in addition to getting love from hip-hop fans, it also received a positive response among jazz writers and fans of all ages – the former was a crowd that was slower to accept the rap world. Jazzmatazz, Volume 1 was a success around the world, and Guru toured behind it, incorporating his amazing jazz collaborators who stretched across generations.
25 years later, the album still sounds as fresh today as it did back in 1993. Sadly, Guru is not here with us to celebrate it here on Earth (he passed away in 2010). But Jazzmatazz, Volume 1 – and the sequels that followed throughout the ‘90s – remains a major part of his lasting legacy on the music world as a whole.
Presented here for the first time as a Deluxe, multi-album set, this unique edition is the ultimate way to celebrate a visionary project that changed the music world 25 years ago.
As Guru told liner notes scribe Bill Adler back in 1993: “It’s Jeep-ready. I tested it in the Jeep and the beats are there.” And, he added, “But at the same time, I can give this to my father and my godfather and I know they’re going to feel it.”
GURU’S JAZZMATAZZ, VOLUME 1 “3-LP DELUXE EDITION SET” TRACKLIST:
LP #1 – ORIGINAL ALBUM
2. Loungin’ (featuring Donald Byrd)
3. When You’re Near (featuring N’Dea Davenport and Simon Law)
4. Transit Ride (featuring Branford Marsalis and Zachary Breaux)
5. No Time To Play (featuring Ronny Jordan and DC Lee)
6. Down The Backstreets (featuring Lonnie Liston Smith)
1. Respectful Dedications
2. Take A Look (At Yourself) (featuring Roy Ayers)
3. Trust Me (featuring N’Dea Davenport)
4. Slicker Than Most (featuring Gary Barnacle)
5. Le Bien, Le Mal (featuring MC Solaar)
6. Sights In The City (featuring Courtney Pine, Carleen Anderson, and Simon Law)
LP #2 – INSTRUMENTALS
1. Loungin’ (Instrumental)
2. When You’re Near (featuring Simon Law) (Instrumental)
3. Transit Ride (featuring Zachary Breaux) (Instrumental)
4. No Time To Play (featuring Ronny Jordan) (Instrumental)
5. Down The Backstreets (featuring Lonnie Liston Smith) (Instrumental)
1. Take A Look (At Yourself) (featuring Roy Ayers) (Instrumental)
2. Trust Me (Instrumental)
3. Slicker Than Most (Instrumental)
4. Le Bien, Le Mal (Instrumental)
5. Sights In The City (Instrumental)
LP #3 – RARE REMIXES/B-SIDES
1. Loungin’ (Square Biz Mix)
2. Loungin’ (Guru Meets The Professor Mix) (featuring Donald Byrd)
3. Loungin’ (Jazz Not Jazz Mix) (featuring Donald Byrd)
4. No Time To Play (CJ’s Longer Radio Master Mix) (featuring Ronny Jordan and DC Lee)
1. Trust Me Trust Me (CJ’s Master Mix) (featuring N’Dea Davenport)
2. Season For Change (Ronny Jordan featuring Guru)
3. Season For Change (Dawn Of The Season Mix) (Ronny Jordan featuring Guru)
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