J-Rawls - The Liquid Crystal Project.
There's nothing sweeter than Jazz...Well hip hop is almost as sweet. But I mean...You could fuse the two and stuff to produce an album that is literally perfect.
You might know of J-Rawls for producing like 1-2 cuts off of "BlackStar" - Mos and Kweli's eponymous debut. And like a lot of artists in the game,(Mos Def, Captain Kirk, Guru) He has his own band.
So yeah...It's basically his band doing hip hop instrumental covers with a live band....100% organic. Think "Organix" or "Do You Want More?!?! with no MC and less band-Jam type arrangements.
The beauty of this album is that it's not neccesarily really obvious covers that make you go -_-. But within that, He covers some stuff that makes you go "oh yeah...I remember that"
The stand outs on the album for me were:
"A Tribute To T.R.O.Y." - Which as its name suggests is a cover of Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth's "They Reminisce Over You" which originally sampled Tom Scott's "Today".
The song starts off with some chopped sampling from the Tom Scott original with a little hi-hat going off in the background.
Then as the drums opens up with a kinda marching band snare roll, One of the illest Alto Sax(Could be tenor...Don't quote me) breaks jumps off into the verse which is just swept along by some real mellow key work...Kinda like the "Electric Piano" you got from your Yamaha back in the day.
Best thing about this track is that it's not too busy. There's no douchebaggery by the keyboard player or the Sax player going solo wildly. The drums are always in the pocket..They keys get busy from 1:40-ish to 2:40 which lets you remember a melody other than the signature Sax break (Which re-appears. Don't worry)
Keep On Runnin - Think one of the illest dilla beats...Runnin by The Pharcyde right? Yeah...This is melodic on a different level. Some silky key work...Once again, No forced groove. Just the band in the pocket along with some weird airy sound in the background..(i dunno if its a second synth set to strings or a modified electric violin? Either way it's dope).
There's also sweet Neo-Soul moments, A Tribute to Dilla and some of the better synth work and Sax use you'll hear on a hip hop style record.
The album gets my full seal of approval....The 5 Cap rating. It's the most i've been touched by an instrumental album since "Donuts".
Get it here (http://www.megaupload.com/?d=VTD1C7DB) - But if you CAN, Cop it. If not, Enjoy it anyway (: