TheSaurus

Kids Gather Round
Self-released

In the early '90s, Gang Starr rapper Guru helped pioneer the fusion of hip-hop and live jazz with his various Jazzmatazz groups and recordings. While he might not have been the first to mix the two, he proved that they can be worthy companions, as does TheSaurus. As the band's bio suggests, "Think Dr. Dre with a jazz degree. Think Mingus playing for the Roots." That sounds about right. Take, for instance, one of this album's standouts, "Work," in which bassist Ian Hutchinson paraphrases Cannonball Adderley's "Work Song" while frontman Paul Mullikin raps about cracking the whip and keeping his nose to the grindstone. Mullikin also does fine Rhodes playing on the groove-laden instrumentals "Infidelity Blues" and "Minor Profits." All in all, Kids is a solid effort throughout.

 
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