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Guru's Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1

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Guru's Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 is the debut solo studio album by American hip hop recording 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 (of the Brand New Heavies) Dee C Lee 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.[2]

Guru's Jazzmatazz Vol. 1
Studio album by Guru
ReleasedMay 18, 1993
StudioD&D Studios, New York, New York & EMI Music Studios, London
GenreJazz rap
LabelChrysalis Records
Guru chronology
Daily Operation
Guru's Jazzmatazz Vol. 1
Hard to Earn
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars [1]

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.[3]

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.


Track listingEdit

  1. "Introduction" – 1:20
  2. "Loungin'" (with Donald Byrd on trumpet and piano) – 4:38
  3. "When You're Near" (with N'Dea Davenport on vocals and Simon Law on keyboards) – 4:02
  4. "Transit Ride" (with Branford Marsalis on alto and soprano saxophone and Zachary Breaux on guitar) – 3:58
  5. "No Time to Play" (with Ronny Jordan on guitar and D. C. Lee & Big Shug on vocals) – 4:54
  6. "Down the Backstreets" (with Lonnie Liston Smith on acoustic and electric piano) – 4:47
  7. "Respectful Dedications" - :54
  8. "Take a Look (At Yourself)" (with Roy Ayers on vibraphone) – 3:59
  9. "Trust Me" (with N'Dea Davenport on vocals) – 4:27
  10. "Slicker Than Most" (with Gary Barnacle on saxophone and flute) – 2:35
  11. "Le Bien, Le Mal" (with MC Solaar) – 3:21
  12. "Sights in the City" (with Courtney Pine on alto and soprano sax and flute, Carleen Anderson on vocals and Simon Law on keyboards) – 5:10


  • Roy Ayers - Vibraslap, Vibraphone
  • Courtney Pine - Flute, Saxophone, Sax (Alto), Sax (Soprano)
  • Lonnie Liston Smith - Piano, Keyboards, Piano (Electric)
  • Ronny Jordan - Guitar
  • John Etkin-Bell (JB) - Engineer
  • Big Shug - Additional Vocals
  • Guru - Arranger, Vocals, Producer, Mixing
  • MC Solaar - Vocals
  • Carleen Anderson - Vocals
  • Gary Barnacle - Flute, Saxophone
  • Zachary Breaux - Guitar
  • Donald Byrd - Piano, Trumpet
  • Zdar Cerbonschi - Engineer
  • N'Dea Davenport - Vocals
  • Keith Elam - Executive Producer, Concept Development
  • Simon "The Funky Ginger" Law - Keyboards
  • D.C. Lee - Vocals
  • James B. Mansfield - Engineer
  • Branford Marsalis - Alto and Soprano Saxophone
  • DJ Jazzy Nice - Scratches
  • Black Jack - Additional vocals
  • Mickey "Mus Mus" - Additional vocals
  • DJ Jimmy Jay - Scratches
  • Lil' Dap - Live Drums
  • The Cutthroats - Additional vocals
  • Joe Quinde - Engineer
  • Kieran Walsh - Engineer
  • Ray Burmiston - Photography
  • James Bell - Engineer
  • Henry Marquez - Art Direction
  • Philippe - Assistant Engineer
  • Doug Boehm - Assistant Engineer
  • Craig Marcus - Engineer
  • Michael Benabib - Photography
  • David Carpenter - Assistant Engineer
  • Diane Cuddy - Design
  • Bill Adler - Liner Notes
  • Luke Allen - Assistant Engineer
  • Marc Villalonga - Photography

Other mediaEdit

The song "When You're Near Me" was featured in Cindy Crawford's video "The Next Challenge".

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Marisa Brown. "Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 - Guru | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-05-22.
  2. ^ "In Memory of one of the best emcees who ever lived on the planet. Keith Elam a.k.a GURU of Gang Starr…". Guru Tributes. Retrieved 2014-05-22.
  3. ^ "Jazzmatazz" liner notes by Bill Adler, Chrysalis F1-21998.

External linksEdit