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Us3 - Broadway & 52nd

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Broadway & 52nd

US3

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Broadway & 52nd continues the breakthrough formula achieved by Us3 on Hand on the Torch of mixing classic jazz samples from the Blue Note library with hip-hop. As before, producer Geoff Wilkinson (joined by Jim Hawkins, replacing Mel Simpson) augments the samples with live performances from various soloists. The fusion itself works better on this record than on most jazz-rap hybrids, with every element coming together to form one coherent whole. Whatever else might be said about it, this record definitely does not sound like an unnatural combination the way some other crossover attempts have. However, there are weak points, the weakest point being the quality of the MCs. The raps are split by KCB and Shabaam Sahdeeq, and while Sahdeeq's contributions are competent, if uninteresting, KCB just sounds stiff and forced. However, even when the raps are boring or awkward, the songs are never derailed. The main reason for this is the fact that for the most part the arrangements are rather nicely split between the samples, the raps, and the live playing. But does any of it work especially well? That answer, unfortunately, is far from an enthusiastic yes. But as the sum of its parts, Broadway & 52nd is well-worth a listen.
© Daniel Gioffre /TiVo

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Broadway & 52nd

Us3

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1
Intro
00:01:14

Bud Powell, Composer - Geoff Wilkinson, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Us3, MainArtist - Jim Hawkins, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - V De Morales, Composer

(C) 1997 Blue Note Records ℗ 1997 Blue Note Records

2
Come On Everybody (Get Down)
00:05:49

Gareth Williams, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Geoff Wilkinson, Composer, Producer, Mixer, Executive Producer, StudioPersonnel - Us3, MainArtist - Jackie McLean, Composer - KCB, Rap Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Mark Aubrey, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Hawkins, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Graham Hogg, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - JC Concato, Mixer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alexander Pope Norris, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Bradley Armstead, Composer

(C) 1997 Blue Note Records ℗ 1997 Blue Note Records

3
Caught Up In A Struggle
00:03:42

Horace Silver, Composer - Geoff Wilkinson, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Us3, MainArtist - Jim Hawkins, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - M. Vialva, Composer

(C) 1997 Blue Note Records ℗ 1997 Blue Note Records

4
True To The Game
00:03:34

Geoff Wilkinson, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Us3, MainArtist - Jim Hawkins, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - B. Armstead, Composer

(C) 1997 Blue Note Records ℗ 1997 Blue Note Records

5
Snakes
00:04:07

Geoff Wilkinson, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Us3, MainArtist - Wayne Shorter, Composer - Jim Hawkins, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - B. Armstead, Composer

(C) 1997 Blue Note Records ℗ 1997 Blue Note Records

6
I'm Thinking About Your Body
00:05:24

Tim Vine, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Bobby Mcferrin, Composer - Geoff Wilkinson, Composer, Producer, Mixer, Executive Producer, StudioPersonnel - Us3, MainArtist - Shabaam Sahdeeq, Rap Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Ed Jones, Soprano Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Mark Aubrey, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Hawkins, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - M. Vialva, Composer - Graham Hogg, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - JC Concato, Mixer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 1997 Blue Note Records ℗ 1997 Blue Note Records

7
Grand Groove
00:03:36

Geoff Wilkinson, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Us3, MainArtist - Jim Hawkins, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - B. Armstead, Composer

(C) 1997 Blue Note Records ℗ 1997 Blue Note Records

8
Nowadays
00:04:24

C.C. COURTNEY, Composer - Geoff Wilkinson, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Us3, MainArtist - Peter Link, Composer - Jim Hawkins, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - B. Armstead, Composer

(C) 1997 Blue Note Records ℗ 1997 Blue Note Records

9
Sheep
00:04:46

Geoff Wilkinson, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Us3, MainArtist - Jim Hawkins, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - M. Vialva, Composer

(C) 1997 Blue Note Records ℗ 1997 Blue Note Records

10
Doin' A Crime
00:05:37

Geoff Wilkinson, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Us3, MainArtist - Jim Hawkins, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - M. Vialva, Composer

(C) 1997 Blue Note Records ℗ 1997 Blue Note Records

11
Recognise And Realise
00:05:40

Geoff Wilkinson, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Us3, MainArtist - Jim Hawkins, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - M. Vialva, Composer - R. Timmons, Composer - B. Armstead, Composer

(C) 1997 Blue Note Records ℗ 1997 Blue Note Records

12
Time And Space
00:04:45

Geoff Wilkinson, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Us3, MainArtist - Clifford Jordan, Composer - Jim Hawkins, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - M. Vialva, Composer

(C) 1997 Blue Note Records ℗ 1997 Blue Note Records

13
Soul Brother
00:03:59

Geoff Wilkinson, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Us3, MainArtist - Lonnie Smith, Composer - Jim Hawkins, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - B. Armstead, Composer

(C) 1997 Blue Note Records ℗ 1997 Blue Note Records

14
Hymn For Her
00:04:53

Geoff Wilkinson, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Us3, MainArtist - Jim Hawkins, Composer, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 1997 Blue Note Records ℗ 1997 Blue Note Records

Descrizione dell'album

Broadway & 52nd continues the breakthrough formula achieved by Us3 on Hand on the Torch of mixing classic jazz samples from the Blue Note library with hip-hop. As before, producer Geoff Wilkinson (joined by Jim Hawkins, replacing Mel Simpson) augments the samples with live performances from various soloists. The fusion itself works better on this record than on most jazz-rap hybrids, with every element coming together to form one coherent whole. Whatever else might be said about it, this record definitely does not sound like an unnatural combination the way some other crossover attempts have. However, there are weak points, the weakest point being the quality of the MCs. The raps are split by KCB and Shabaam Sahdeeq, and while Sahdeeq's contributions are competent, if uninteresting, KCB just sounds stiff and forced. However, even when the raps are boring or awkward, the songs are never derailed. The main reason for this is the fact that for the most part the arrangements are rather nicely split between the samples, the raps, and the live playing. But does any of it work especially well? That answer, unfortunately, is far from an enthusiastic yes. But as the sum of its parts, Broadway & 52nd is well-worth a listen.
© Daniel Gioffre /TiVo

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