[jahsonic.com] - [Next >>]

Nu (as in Nu Soul, Nu Jazz)

Related: new - jazz - soul

Nu Soul

Nu soul (or neo soul) is a musical genre that fuses R&B, 1970s style soul and hip hop. It is usually said to begun in the late 1980s with New Jack Swing artists like Guy and, later, Boyz II Men. The originator of proper nu soul is Mary J. Blige, who's 1992 debut What's the 411? has proven enormously influential. In the mid-1990s, artists like D'Angelo (Brown Sugar), Lauryn Hill (The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu (Baduizm) made the genre a critical success, with moderate to occasionally blockbuster commercial success. Soon after the turn of the millennium, artists like Alicia Keys (Songs in A Minor) further popularized the sound, to some critical disdain. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nu_soul

Nu Jazz

Nu-jazz (sometimes electro-jazz) was coined in the late 1990s to refer to styles which combine jazz textures and sometimes jazz instrumentation with electronic music. Like the term electronica, nu jazz is a loosely defined umbrella musical style. It ranges from the infusion of live instrumentation to house beats of jazz house exemplified by French St Germain and German Jazzanova; to more band-based improvised jazz with electronic elements such as that of the British Cinematic Orchestra, and the Norwegian future jazz style pioneered by Bugge Wesseltoft.

Nu-jazz typically ventures farther into the electronic territory than does its close cousin, acid jazz (or groove jazz), which is generally closer to earthier funk, soul and rhythm and blues, although releases from noted groove jazz artists such as the Groove Collective blur the distinction between the styles. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nu_jazz

It is a testament to the genre's fortitude that Jazz has outlived the many faddish music trends emerging in the 103 years after its inception. Some bordering on the farcical (euro cheese, "world music"), most over-credited (grunge, smooth "jazz" and retro-swing) and none possessing the ingenuity of Jazz to update and reinvent itself. The soul of jazz is its uncanny ability to weave itself in and out of other genres while retaining its essence, whatever this may be at the time since it evolves even within itself (consider the myriad variants which have surfaced.

Yet, it is precisely this vision to redefine and reconceptualise jazz which has been its most vicious enemy in recent years; as various charlatans (especially the Buddha Bar series and later part of Café Del Mar) scrambled to "reinvent" jazz into a sham called "nu-jazz" - think passé chill-out beats, generic rapping, hammy vintage jazz samples and hackneyed funk guitars. In light of this, we scrutinize the efforts of 2 soothsayers of sound who are on the "nu-jazz" bandwagon, unwittingly or otherwise. Before we proceed we have to remember that the venerable old dame herself begs definition. One must be aware that Jazz is greater than the sum of its musicians (Jazz is not simply anything by Miles Davis and not everything by Miles Davis is jazz) and it is itself a conflation of diverse music genres from European Classical music to African Tribal Rhythms to Latin styles to even Indian influences. --Bernard Chung, http://www.funkygrad.com/estyle/displayarticle.php?artID=282&subcat=popcorn

New Jack Swing

New Jack Swing is a hybrid style of rhythm and blues (R &B) or soul music combined with Rap/Hip-hop, popular from the late 1980s-early/mid-1990s.

Also called "New Jack R & B" or "Swingbeat," the term was coined either by journalist/New Jack City co-writer Barry Michael Cooper or music artist/producer Teddy Riley who invented this style in the experiment of integrating hip-hop rhythms, samples and production techniques with the urban contemporary R & B sound. The style developed in a way similar to many previous styles, as a new combination of older styles. Some of the songs only had hip-hop beats, some had rap sections alternating with singing. New Jack Swing is mellifluously soulful solo or harmonizing vocals sung over funky, rap rhythms. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Jack_Swing

Nu Yorica [...]

  1. Nu Yorica Roots (2000) - Various Artists [CD, Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    1. Together - Baretto, Ray 2. Oye como va - Puente, Tito 3. My spititual indian - Palmieri, Eddie 4. Mama guela - Rodriguez, Tito 5. Drum kaya - Cuba, Joe 6. Word - Averne, Harvey 7. Acid - Barretto, Ray 8. Que suena la orquesta - Palmieri, Eddie 9. Tito on timbales - Puente, Tito 10. Descarga cubana - Puente, Tito 11. Riot - Bataan, Joe 12. Tanga - Machito 13. Oracle - Martinez, Sabu 14. Oracion Lucumi - Rodriguez, Arsenio 15. Horsin' up - Orchestra Harlow
    Soul Jazz are among the finest compilers of detailed and authentic re-issue compilations in the world and the third Nu Yorica Roots is no exception to their house rule of quality roots music. It focuses yet again on the development of Latin fusion within New York in the 1960s and is a fairly comprehensive spectrum of the sound, from Mambo and Latin-Jazz to Boogaloo and Descarga. To pick out certain tracks from this fantastic selection is nigh-on impossible, as every tune stands out in it's own right. Suffice to say that with dance-floor gems from the likes Ray Barretto ("Together"/"Acid") Eddie Palmieri ("Que Suena La Orquestra") Tito Puente ("Oye Como Va") and a number of equally excellent less well-known Nu Yorican dance movers, this is yet another wonderful Soul Jazz moment. --Found Sounds, Amazon.co.uk Review [...]

  2. Nu Yorica [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    This is one of the few compilations to have attained classic status. SoulJazz followed a clear concept: the impact of environment and identity in the creation of a community of musicians, specifically those musicians living in East Harlem who were of Cuban and/or Puerto Rican heritage OR African-American but enamoured of Latin music during the 1970s. Ocho is an example of the latter: an all-black group from "across the river" which combined the expected soul and funk influences with hard Latin genres. Bobby Vince Paunetto, a vibist of Italian/Spanish heritage, fused Cal Tjader with breakbeats and an operaticexploitation sensibility on "Little Rico's Theme". The Puerto Riqueno Ricardo Marrero's "Babalonia" is not only a prime breakbeat cut, it's also a masterpiece of tension and release set up by the keyboard and horn arrangements.
    The NuYorican sound had been developing since at least Machito's heyday in the late 1940s and 50s, but the utopian communalism and fearless artistic leaps of the era (plus the expanded tone colors brought by electrification and radical engineering) catapulted the aesthetic into something new and startling, but the window for this music was narrow, and by the early 1980s such bold blendings of different genres would have much less commercial viability. Derrick A. Smith for amazon.com [...]


  1. Nu Jazz Cool (Ocho Records) (2003) - VA [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    1. Samba De Bencao - Bebel Gilberto 2. The Child - Alex Gopher 3. Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre) - Gotan Project 4. Barrio Alto - Thievery Corporation 5. She's So - Royksopp 6. Virtual Insanity - Jamiroquai 7. I Am the Black Gold of the Sun - Nu Yorican Soul 8. Easy to Remember - St Germain 9. No Problem - UFO 10. Teardrop Butterfly - Praful 11. Waltz for Koop - Koop 12. Felicidade - Suba 13. Queixume - Tom & Joyce 14. Mr PC - Snowboy Disc: 2 1. Riders on the Storm - Yonderboi 2. Ponteio - Da Lata 3. Feeling Good - Huff & Herb 4. Indigo Blues - Llorca 5. Garden of Earthly Delights - D-Note 6. Lady Day & John Coltrane - Gil Scott-Heron 7. Friendly Pressure - Jhelisa 8. Outro Lado - Zuco 103 9. The Jackal - Ronnie JOrdan 10. Seis Por Ocho - NuSpirit Helsinki 11. Cantaloup - Us3 12. Hoy Tenemos - Sidestepper 13. The Creator Has a Masterplan - Brooklyn Funk Essentials 14. Mettin Una Sera A Cena - Balanco 15. Les Nuits - Nightmares on Wax

  2. Nova Nu.Soul (2003) - VA [Amazon FR] | [Amazon US] | [Amazon Uk]
    01 Long Way Back (T Love feat. Dwele) 02 Brown Skin Lady (Blackstar) 03 Someday (Silent Poet) 04 Spanish Joint (D'Angelo) 05 Umi Says (Mos Def) 06 Drain My Grey Away (Keinaan) 07 Eve (Spacek) 08 Big Boys Cry Too (Toni Blackman) 09 Slyde (Bilal) 10 The Meaning Of Love (Yesterdays New Quintet) 11 Think Twice (Jay Dee) 12 Manhood (Vikter Duplaix) 13 Fire feat. Dee Ellington & Wildflower (Uschi Classen) 14 Hate Or Love (LSK) 15 Twisted (Ultra Nate)

  3. What's the 411? - Mary J. Blige [1 CD, Amazon US]
    Tracklisting: 1. Leave a Message - Tony Dofat 2. Reminisce 3. Real Love 4. You Remind Me 5. Intro Talk - Tony Dofat 6. Sweet Thing - Tony Dofat 7. Love No Limit 8. I Don't Want to Do Anything 9. Slow Down 10. My Love 11. Changes I've Been Going Through 12. What's the 411?

    Mary J. Blige's debut album, What's the 411?, was a revolution in disguise. Like her new jack predecessors, Blige combined R&B with hip-hop, but unlike Guy and Bobby Brown, her music was more seductive and sly. More importantly, she sounds grittier and more real than most new jack swingers or female R&B vocalists. Blige can slip between singing and rapping with ease, which is partially the reason why What's the 411? is so successful. It doesn't hurt that her collaborators, from Grand Puba to Sean "Puffy" Combs, help construct backing tracks that are both melodic, relentlessly funky, and sexy. With producers Dave Hall, Mark Morales, and Mark Rooney, and the stylish touches that they added to Blige's unique vocal style created a stunning album that bridged the gap between R&B and rap in a way that no female singer had before. "Your Remind Me," "Reminisce," "Love No Limit," and the huge hit "Real Love," and the Rufus/Chaka Khan cover "Sweet Thing," make What's The 411 a for sure '90s classic. Cazual90222 for amazon.com [...]

  4. Moving - Bugge Wesseltoft [Amazon US]
    If you're a pure jazz aficionado then Bugge Wesseltoft's "New Conception of Jazz" series (of which this is the second) is likely to set off some serious warning bells and... once inside the album, you're unlikely to feel much happier. But, if you're into creative "chill out" tracks then you're in for a treat. Much closer to "Café del Mar" than John Coltrane, "Moving" is in fact a richly textured mix of electronic back-beats, atmospheric sampling and some excellent virtuoso playing. Is it real jazz?... who cares: better to sit back, relax and let Bugge & his Norwegian pals carry you along through another highly enjoyable set of laid back grooves. -- nicjaytee for Amazon.com

  5. Who Is Jill Scott?: Words and Sounds, Vol. 1 - Jill Scott [Amazon US]

  6. Supa Sista - Ursula Rucker [Amazon US]
    Ursula Rucker gives us a downright interesting record here. If you think you've got her all figured out base on her slight offerings on a few of the Roots records, you're missing out. Here, she is fully produced and stretches a lot more than a poem a year on a hip-hop record might lead you to believe. In fact, her music really makes the record, lifting it well above the pale of poetry CDs on the market (what few there are) when her poems don't.
    Is she the greatest poet in the world? Of course not. Her messages are often a little too obvious and preachy and her voice doesn't hit too much above her regular monotone anywhere near often enough, but man, does she know how to pick the song for the job. On tracks like "Womansong" and "7" she is working fully within her range and making great tracks out of good rhythmic and stylistic ideas.
    In fact, the music on this record is so consistently good that you'll often find yourself circumventing the poem for a soul music fix. Her tracks are informed by the recent bump in attention to actual soul music like Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and D'Angelo. The tracks are smoothed-out funk, and you can tell she's from Philly by her choices. Great stuff here, and not radio pap. You could put the music for "7", "Brown Boy" or "Letter to a Sister Friend" against almost any groove on the radio right now and watch her sales soar. Alas, radio's not that brave, and the record is just this side of too old for the short-attention span of the medium anyway. Sad. On the strength of the music on this CD, the album made it on my list of the best of 2001.
    The King Britt-co-produced track "Spring" is almost worth the price of the CD by itself, and considering you probably won't get it anywhere else but off this CD, go ahead and treat yourself. It's a beautiful song amidst an album of pretty great grooves anyway, so you really can't go wrong here. This is the album that Saul Williams should have had, or at least had its theories applied to. -- Scott Woods for amazon.com

  7. D'Angelo - Voodoo [Amazon US] if you enjoy Jill Scott, you will like D'Angelo.
  8. Bilal - 1st Second Born[Amazon US]
  9. Terry Callier - Timepeace [1CD, Amazon US] [more on Terry Callier]

your Amazon recommendations - Jahsonic - early adopter products

Managed Hosting by NG Communications