How oh how can I possibly convey to you the brilliance of this album? Set up almost as a little skit, with an old 70s narration by Julian ‘Cannonball' Adderly, the album is introduced as being "concerned with telling you, and letting you hear, something about what jazz is". From there it launches into a musical trip through time that only the Delorean could rival.


I could just list every artist featured in the mash up, but then I would bust my word limit for sure, so let me try to get a good representation. Ludacris, Faith Evans, The Zutons, Notorious BIG, Jill Scott, Talking Heads, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Mary Jane Girls, Blackalicious, De La Soul, and too many others to mention. If some of the names mean nothing to you, the tracks most certainly will (I had to google a couple, despite knowing every word to the Funky Nassau). Cynically, it's a handbook for Beyonce covers been and still to come, and showcases how modern artists rip off the past. More truthfully it's a rather poignant look at blurring genres and influences.


As a rock-chick-turned-jazz-fan myself, this is what I consider to be my type of jazz. All things funky, instrumentally prodigal, and reaches inside you. A definition that's as broad as music itself. Some people will write it off as a mixed tape, crappy DJs that can't make their own music, so they cash in on existing tracks. However, purely the choice of tracks from the kazillions that exist, the seamless mastery of the mixes, and the movement from era to era whilst achieving the moods is commanding of respect. The Nextmen are moving jazz into the modern world, and showing you how they do it. As Cannonball says "But it was still jazz. Still a music that expressed emotions. That had a place in it for the musical variations of an individual soul."


If you don't like DJ music, and don't like jazz, this CD is for you. If you love a good DJ (for they are self professed as "The Best DJ's In The World"), and have a great appreciation for jazz, then this CD is for you. I honestly cannot see how every person couldn't like this release. It's even catalogued through iTunes as "Easy Listening" because of its inability to be classified. It's just so varied, and perfectly composed. Perhaps the only annoying part is the cutting off of each track just as you're getting into it, but this is easily forgiven with each new morsel.


So not only is there brilliance in Dom Search and Brad Baloo as The Nextmen, there's brilliance in the original artists, with nothing but absolute classics for over an hour, and there's the brilliance of imparting knowledge to people on what jazz, and music in general is all about; "people expressing their feelings, their thoughts, their ideas about life, and doing it of course through their music." A Child's Introduction to Jazz, in a word: brilliant.

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