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"WILD YEARS-THE MUSIC & MYTH OF TOM WAITS" BY JAY S. JACOBS

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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Record Reviews > Us3

MUSIC REVIEWS

 

Us3-Say What!? (V2)

More than a decade on down from making an indelible -- if somewhat short lived -- impression on pop culture with their revolutionary jazz/rap fusion, Us3 just keep on keeping on.  Their 1993 hit album Hand on the Torch, which featured the Herbie Hancock-sampling smash "Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)," opened people's eyes to the funky possibilities of be bop.

Say What!? show that Us3's game hasn't changed up that much.  Sure, they've lost those Blue Note samples, but the real instruments merely give the music a more fluid, rhythmic flow. 

The disk melds many sounds and styles, putting together a satisfying gumbo of genres.  They can marry smooth be-bop with horrific ghetto storytelling on "I Don't Care," or do a straight-ahead go-go funk wailing diva track like "Say You Belong to Me."  There is also the charming old school scratch track "ABC (Listen Up)."  "Afrodisiac" drops knowledge over an exotic film-noir sounding back track, all wailing sax, Egyptian sounding guitar and stuttering drums. 

Us3 is rap for jazz fans -- or is it the other way around?  Either way, it's smart, sensual music and worth checking out.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright 2007 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.  Posted: August 15, 2007.

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Copyright 2007 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.  Posted: August 15, 2007.