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Jazzyfatnastees

The Once and Future

(MCA)

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Released in the U.S. at the beginning of last November this is an album which has only just hit the streets in the U.K. Consequently, many of you may have already come across this. However, the quality of the material ensures that another look is more than deserved.


Consisting of Tracey Moore & Mercedes Martinez the Jazzyfatnastees are a female duo who first appeared as background vocalists to the likes of The Roots and De LA Soul, and subsequently on the Down in the Delta soundtrack. This, there debut opus, is a beautifully crafted work whose ten tracks are a testament to the adage that quality is always better than quantity.


In a year that was dominated by talk of “Scrubs & Bills” the Jazzyfatnastees mature and often poetic lyricism was nothing less than invigorating. One need look no further than “Hear Me”, a socially conscious message to an unborn child: “Child in my womb, love fills this room / Tranquility surrounding me / Let me be your eyes / I’ll show you what I see.” In addition, we have tales of abusive relationships (“How Sad”), internalised emotion (“The Wound”), a haunting past (“Let it Go”), emotional dependence (“Why”), and the lovelorn blues of “Breakthrough”. However, if I had to pick two highlights, they would be the exquisite story of unconditional love “Unconventional Ways” and the heartfelt “Related to Me.”


Effortlessly intertwining the strands of hip-hop, soul and jazz, the underscoring of the Jazzy’s impeccable harmonies with the ever-faultless Roots production results in a truly organic experience. For all those who may be put off by such an association, cast your mind back to Erykah Badu’s “Otherside of the Game” and ensure that you don’t underestimate both the talents of the producers and those of the girls themselves. Thoroughly Recommended.

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