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Critic's Choice

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Jazz-hip-hop fusion sounds surprisingly fresh considering that we’re approaching 15 years since Gang Starr’s Guru took the plunge with his first Jazzmatazz album, which featured full-blown collaborations with Branford Marsalis, N’Dea Davenport and Roy Ayers and seemed forward-thinking enough to be billed as “experimental.” The possibilities between the two forms still seem limitless, and Guru has returned with the series’ fourth installation. With little to prove, Guru lets up on the overt jazz leanings and just lets it flow naturally on this one. But, as he said on Volume 2, he still “takes this jazz stuff real serious” and is still dropping science on a “360-degree mind revolution” in sober, concise, no-bullshit terms.

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