The Diplomats are one of the hottest crews in recent memory — with barely one good album between them. Instead, the Harlem crew has cut some absolutely breathtaking singles, always on their own weird, wordplay-obsessive terms. One of the best releases, featuring Cam'ron, Juelz Santana, Jim Jones and others, was this mix-tape. On the Juice Crew tribute "Dipset Symphony," Juelz, Jim & Co. signify on the old school over the piano scamper of Otis Redding's "Hard to Handle" — "All you kids lie like carpet do," Juelz spits, while Rell riffs (rips?) off A Tribe Called Quest. Other highlights include Juelz and Fabolous 'slow roasting "So What's It Gonna Be" and Cam and Freekey's grim opera "Somebody's Gotta Die Tonight." If that's not enough Harlem for you, check out Jim Jones 'Harlem: Diary of a Summer featuring the excellent, Don Johnson-esque "Summer in Miami." As the dudes boast, it's more than music — it's a movement.
By Britt Robson on 10.02.12 in Reviews
Donny McCaslin has long seemed a prime candidate to update and upgrade fusion jazz-rock. Since as far back as Seen From Above in 2000, his tenor saxophone style has been fueled by a rambunctious lyricism that isn't afrai...
By Ken Micallef on 09.28.12 in Reviews
Over the course of 20 albums as a leader, trumpeter Dave Douglas has reconfigured the role of his instrument within jazz while broadening the music's ever flexible palette as a composer and arranger. Whether performing t...
By Peter Margasak on 05.22.12 in Reviews
On her terrific second album, bassist and composer Linda Oh digs deep within her personal history and surrounds herself with top-flight musicians to bring her ideas to life in full-blown color. Oh was born in Malaysia to...
By Seth Colter Walls on 12.21.11 in Reviews
In 2011, trumpeter Dave Douglas released three short albums (by modern standards) under his "Green Leaf Portable" rubric. This "portable" designation — as well as the "just another in a series" style of numbering e...