Various_artists-unwrapped_vol_1_span3
May 2002

Various Artists
Unwrapped, Vol. 1
Hidden Beach Recordings

A frequent device in hip-hop is to sample hooks from pop and classic jazz. The intriguing idea behind Unwrapped, Volume 1 (Hidden Beach EK 85653; 61:53) is to turn the tables and "borrow back," by having a group of creative jazz artists take a turn at stretching and reinventing some of hip-hop's modern "classics." With such typically innovative spirits as guitarist Paul Jackson, keyboardist Patrice Rushen and electric violinist Karen Briggs going to work, you might expect vibrant results. What you might not expect are some truly inspired improvisations, from Briggs' amazing, flying riffs over hypnotic keyboard revolutions on the Roots' "You Got Me," to Paul Jackson's sweaty, stinging guitar work on a hard-bopping read of Common's "The Light." Throughout, familiar tunes are dissected and wrung out, revealing hidden treats in their structure. Great examples of this are flamenco strums and stinging bent-note chords on an organic, mellow "Danger (Been So Long)" and a zinging, stately bounce wrought by Andrew Gouce on "Ms. Jackson." Briggs' violin lends an almost Middle Eastern quality to "Forgot About Dre," while Rushen's sparkling vibes give "Crush on You" bustle and exuberance. This invention and joy energizes the entire album, and illustrates the inexorable links between genres.

Originally published in May 2002
BUY THIS ALBUM from Amazon.com
STREAM THIS CD from Rhapsody.com

Add a Comment

You need to log in to comment on this article. No account? No problem!