Best Fusion of Hip-Hop and Jazz on Disc (2007)

True by Design

There's a natural affinity between jazz and hip-hop; the genres each champion improvisation, be it instrumental or verbal, as well as the joy of grooves and the pleasures of cool. So, too, does Future Jazz Project, which brings these sounds together in a way that's all too rare these days. On their new recording, keyboardists Greg Harris and Greg Raymond, drummer/DJ Dameion Hines and bassist Casey Sidwell fashion a musical backdrop that deserves to be heard in the foreground. Meanwhile, MC Big House and vocalist Selina Albright contribute two very different yet wholly compatible flavors: forceful rhyming and soulful crooning. On "Stress" and other standouts, these ingredients cohere to form a new kind of jazz fusion -- one that's far more vivid and exciting than most music grouped under this heading. That's intelligent Design.


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