An ocean of ink has been devoted to the new hybrid of jazz and hip-hop. But many of these bold collaborations break little new ground, emphasizing the hip-hop and relegating the jazz to exotic flavoring. Thai’s not the case in Osby’s intense and challenging fusion, which may well be the first jazz record to bear a warning sticker for strong language.
Formidable saxophonist Osby, best known for his tenure with the Brooklyn-based M-Base Collective, effectively shuts down the snobbish argument that hip-hop is just noise. Osby teams with Ali Shaheed Mohammad of A Tribe Called Quest (one of hip-hop’s most innovative groups) and producer Eric Sadler, a driving force behind Public Enemy’s brutal sound, to make a record that cuts no corners as either jazz or rap. (Blue Note)