featured REVIEW


J Rawls Liquid Crystal Project Hum Drums • 2006

'I would like to welcome you to my imagination, jazzhop', J Rawls invites us. From the moody sounds of 'Brown Skin Lady' over 'Deux Process' to 'Great Live Caper', hip-hop fans knew this was bound to happen, written in the stars, even more than the Columbus, Ohio resident’s latest soul adventure 'The Essence Of Soul'. 'The Liquid Crystal Project' is named after the group he formed with jazz musicians B-Jazz, Shaun Scott, B Chapman and Selah, who marry their keyboards, guitars and piano’s to Rawls’ trademark production of warm-hearted bass lines and lazy drums inflecting the listener with a lustrous feeling of melancholia and haziness.

Celebrating the art of hip-hop and sampling, this album is full of dedications and references towards notable hip-hop producers and jazz legends that have been sampled by mid-school beatsmiths. 'A Tribute To Dilla' samples the infectious chorus that was used by Dilla on Slum Village’s 'Players', 'Simple Game Plan' finds the LCP on some Stan Getz stuff, 'Still Taking It EZ' is the 2006 instrumental follow-up to Common(Sense at the time)’s 'Take It EZ' from his first album 'Can I Borrow A Dollar?', Bobby Hutcherson’s 'Montara' gets a slightly different approach as Madlib’s version on 'Shades Of Blue' in 'A Tribute To Bobby' while Tom Scott’s trumpet, sampled in Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s 'T.R.O.Y.', gets a drum coat in 'A Tribute To TROY'. The bonus cut could’ve blessed 'The Essence Of Soul' album, but eventually ended up here for some reason.

J Rawls and jazz go together as Doritos and guacamole dip so it was only a matter of time for a project like this to see the light of day and we must say it surprised us still. Okay, there’s a lot of blueprints and dedications involved, but it’s at the same time from a very personal, creative point-of-view, makin this album unique in a small niche of hip-hop, where it only competes with albums such as Madlib’s 'Shades Of Blue', for best recording.

POSTED ON 10|18|2006 by cpf

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