Beach Recordings presents Unwrapped Vol. 2 by various artists
Recordings took a lot of jazz and hip-hop fans by surprise with
2001’s “Unwrapped – Vol. 1”.
Their idea made sense though, and Vol. 2 builds on the
philosophy that jazz and hip-hop can work together because they’re
from the same source.
Ski’s rap says what needs to be said as he reels off “jazz,
hip-hop and R&B” and rejoices that “finally, somebody got
on Time is mellow,
bumpin’ and confident. The
gorgeous female vocals and a sublime acoustic guitar float over Andrew
Gouché’s tasty bassline. Check
out the percussion solo.
mood gets heaver for Roll Out (My Business) with the tenor sax
of HBR’s own Mike Phillips and vocoder vocals.
Patrice Rushen’s Rhodes solo is a time warp but still sounds
fresh over this tough backbeat.
just adore Electric Relaxation.
That man Dennis Nelson’s back on acoustic guitar.
You’ve got a head-noddin’ beat, Jeff Lorber on keys and a
sweet muted trumpet. It’s
all just slightly “out there” and it works for me! It makes me want to check out the original by A Tribe Called
Wonder’s “Pastime Paradise” was heavied up by Coolio for his own
Gangsta’s Paradise. Violinist
Karen Briggs fronts this intense interpretation of a hip-hop anthem.
not to smile as Bouncin’ Back (Bumpin’ Me Against the Wall)
takes you on a journey from 20’s jazz club to dancehall and back. This is fusion at its most inventive.
can’t get with Summertime?
Doesn’t matter if it’s Kool’s original blissed-out
“Summer Madness”, Will Smith’s mellow rap or this groove-laden
gem. Jeff Lorber’s back, Mike Phillips is back and blowing
strong. Cool, cool, cool.
captures the elegance of Marvin Gaye’s original “Turn on Some
Music”, wraps it around a deeply funky bassline and drops a chant in
there. It’s even got a
Clinton-esque touch with mad keyboards, horns and bass vamps all over
it. Close your eyes and
Bernie Worrell and Bootsy are in the house.
Not a Player is
maybe more commercial. It
has a super-smooth vocal by Terry Stanton.
Patrice Rushen stretches out and Gouché’s “got it”.
Bad boy on bass – where’d you come from?
The Latin vibe in the second half and the EWF-style
“badiya” chant hit me right where it hurts.
to make Nelly’s Hot in Herre any heavier – so keep it heavy
but let Karen Briggs get deep and let guitarist Peter Black freak out.
Someone write and tell me if you got to a club that plays this
– it rocks!
Here They Come is a
riotous shout out to hip-hop’s premier league: Black Sheep, Digable
Planets, A Tribe Called Quest and Busta Rhymes. There’s heavy guitar and even heavier beats – it’s like
21st century P.Funk and things get a little crazy.
the bonus disc, the philosophy behind “Unwrapped” is aired one
more time. Lighten up
guys – the folks you’re selling this to already “got it”.
like the way things get sexy on Girls, Girls, Girls.
In the interplay between Mike Phillips’ sax and Karen
Briggs’ violin, there’s some real smouldering goin’ on.
That backbeat is hypnotic too.
Get Money I’ve found Hidden Beach heaven.
Jeff Lorber’s chilling on electric piano to the max and the
way Andrew Gouché’s ‘squelchy’ bass and that digital snare drum
bounce off each other is the total bomb for me! Gouché’s
trebly and very upfront solo’s waiting for you bass freaks. A sweet vibes solo closes this outstanding track.
the second version of Bouncin’ Back (Bumpin’ Me Against the
Wall) I really focused on the muted trumpet solo by Paul Litteral
and the phased trombone solo by Jeff Bradshaw. They are something
a short animated movie on the bonus disc, together with the software
you need to view it. It’s
very eye-catching and a good indication of HBR’s
Vol. 1 was a milestone release and an ambitious project.
Co-producer Tony Joseph believes that the musicianship and
overall sound on Vol. 2 is an improvement.
I definitely agree with that.
It’s a more complete album!
I’d have a one-disc set here with only one rap intro, only one take
on Bouncin’ Back and use the video on MTV.
The thirteen tracks you’d be left with would be well worth
the money. I’m looking
forward to Vol. 3 already…
Beach Recordings - cat no. EK 87124
Producers – Tony Joseph and Darryl Ross