In Hip Hop History Today “Guru released the album Jazzmatazz Vol. 1” May 18, 1993
Guru’s Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 is a jazz rap album by alternative hip hop artist Guru, released on May 18, 1993 on Chrysalis Records. This album is one of the first albums to combine a live jazz band with hip hop production and rapping. It is the first such project to feature established rappers. Live backing is provided by a band that includes Lonnie Liston Smith, Branford Marsalis, Ronny Jordan, Donald Byrd and Roy Ayers. The album also features vocal collaborations with Carleen Anderson, N’Dea Davenport and French rapper MC Solaar. The variety of guest artists adds diversity and originality to each track, and gives the album a distinct jazz feel. Guru, quoted in the album’s liner notes, talked about his natural affinity for both jazz and rap. “Jazz’s mellow tracks, along with the hard rap beat, go hand-in-glove with my voice,” he said. Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 peaked at #24 and #91 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums and the Billboard 200 albums charts. The single “Trust Me” peaked at #50 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles & Tracks chart. In spite of the lagging American sales, Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 was a commercial success in Europe, where jazz was much more popular in the 1990s. Listen to Jazzmatazz Vol. 1 above.