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Sharpshooters: Choked Up

The Sharpshooters aren’t breaking any new conceptual ground. Still, their Choked Up (Shadow, SDW018-2, 55:42) shows that there are still a few miles left in the often foundering and misdirected jazz/hip-hop applecart. This Seattle-based duo’s formula should be familiar to the groove-jazz masses: Sax, flute, percussion vibes and guitar skip over varied backgrounds, from the mid-’70s flavored instrumental pop stew of “Sweet Talking” to the asphalt-tinged bounce of “Jazz Confusion.” It’s just that the ‘Shooters have a firmer grip on the various ingredients than most-the sax break on the too-short “Lifted,” for example. But the straight-out hip-hop tracks-“Trust No One,” “Massacre”-are the most interesting-despite the often weak raps.

Originally Published