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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Keep Ya Worries... (Something Else! on for 3/4/2010)

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This one is for the Guru, MC formerly of Gang Starr. Apparently he had a heart attack over the weekend and was in a coma, but he had an operation and a full recuperation is expected. There are a lot of great tunes that came into being because of the one calling himself G(ifted) U(nlimited) R(hymes) U(niversal.) He's been in various projects such as the Jazzmatazz series of albums and (earlier) Gang Starr which he started in Boston, MA (USA) with Dj 1-2 B-Down and later hooked up with Dj Premier for the group's 2nd incarnation which was based in Brooklyn, NYC. He is responsible for introducing several artists to a wider audience such as frenchman MC Solaar and (jazz guitarist) Ronny Jordan of England. For this show I am focusing on music that Guru was either involved in or used as source material.
After the Something Else! Intro we dive right in with the instrumental version of "Jazz Thing" by Gang Starr, featuring Branford Marsalis (saxophone), Kenny Kirkland (keyboards) and Dj Premier. Though Guru isn't rhyming on this track, he is still there--Dj Premier cuts in vocal bits from their previous song on the subject, "Jazz Music." Following that is a bit of source material by Kool & The Gang, "Who's Gonna Take The Weight," which of course is related to the Gang Starr track of the same name. Next up is "Keep Your Worries" is from Guru's Jazzmatazz 3: Streetsoul and features the vocals of Angie Stone. "Time Is Movin' On" is from Red Hot + Cool, a compilation benefitting HIV/AIDS research and features Guru with jazz legend, trumpeter Donald Byrd and the aforementioned Ronny Jordan who were also both on Guru's first Jazzmatazz album. "It Feels So Good" is the title track from one of Grover Washington, Jr.'s classic albums from the 70s and Guru used it for his track "Slicker Than Most" (also from the first Jazzmatazz.) "Mostly Tha Voice" is another Gang Starr number and Guru speaks on the most important quality for a hiphop MC from his point of view. More sample sources up next with "I Cram to Understand You" by MC Lyte, a fellow Brooklyn MC. A few choice vocal bits were extracted for "The Place Where We Dwell," a musical guide to life Brooklyn. "Big Sur Suite" is Johnny Hammond's horn-laden piece about a lovely coastal location in California that was used in "24-7/365" by Gang Starr. Guru is a multi-skilled individual as shown by the next tune "Listen Here," pianist Gene Harris' cover for Blue Note of saxophonist Eddie Harris' (no relation) 60s jazz hit, is remixed by Guru (who also features on vocals) for Blue Note's The New Groove remix compilation. "Espionage (Cutee B remix)" by french hiphop artist Dj Cam is a pure and simple guest vocal for Guru. The closer is Gang Starr's classic "You Know My Steez (Three Men & A Lady mix) feat. The Lady of Rage and Kurupt. I'm glad that I could end with this and didn't feel the need to play "They Reminisce Over You" by Pete Rock & CL Smooth...
Get well Guru!!

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