You'd be hard pressed to find an emcee who melds better with R&B artists than Guru does. He further proves this point with the third installment of his Jazzmatazz series. This album takes you on a journey, something that you don't see much of these days, you can completely lose yourself in this album, you've totally relaxed yourself, and suddenly, the CD is over.
The album starts with a heater, 'Certified,' produced by Jay Dee. Guru bounces all over this track, providing an energy-filled record right from the beginning. This album has so much to offer, with potent collaborations with R&B's finest. The clear standout track is the Angie Stone backed record, 'Keep Your Worries,' produced by DJ Scratch.
Macy Gray brings a showstopper with 'All I said,' where Guru and her trade excuses about why he didn't call his girl. Guru shows his maturity on this record, how far he has come is a startling revelation. This Jazzmatazz series gives Guru chances to branch out, most notably a track with jazz great Herbie Hancock.
Erykah Badu drops by for 'Plenty,' a fine piece of music, with great emotion, and a strong Guru lyrical appearance. This track may be the pick hit by many, hopefully it'll be the second single, and may very well make waves at commercial radio. Both seem to have great chemistry, a surprising combination. Guru can't seem to do much wrong on this installment of his Jazz series.
Every great album, has its problems. With this effort, there truly isn't much going wrong. My problem lies with the track handled by The Roots, 'Lift Ya Fist.' It's an uninspired four minutes of aimless music, in my opinion, they are seriously slipping, and this is a great example of their continuing downfall.
One thing this album proves is how much better it is than Jazzmatazz Volume 2. The previous volume of this series was a lazy, rushed piece of art that really didn't satisfy anyone. Minus the lead single with Chaka Khan, that album was a confused mess. On this next effort, Guru brings his brainchild to the forefront, finally reaching his potential, bringing hip hop and jazz together to form a near masterpiece.
In conclusion, this isn't a perfect piece of music, but honestly, is that possible? You'd be hard pressed to argue your way through that one. Regardless, Guru brings his best non-Gangstarr material to the table, with moving performances from R&B's finest along with the finest in jazz artistry.