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US3 - Schizophonic

US3 - Schizophonic
(CD) self-released US3CD002, 2006-06-05

The fifth US3 album from last summer was really one of the best and unexpected old school surprises fo the year. Some may remember a passé "jazz hip hop" label sticking to the band, but they hired two new rappers found at New York's legendary underground hangout the Nuyorican Poets Café toured for months and released a new perfect combination of live jazz with rap, poetry, hip hop and nuyorican latin beats. Listening to it takes us way back to the beginning of the 90s, De La Soul and the flower-power hip hop era, with some latin Brazilian samba numbers thrown into the mix, when the live band with piano, guitar, trumpet, double bass, saxophone and turntables is not kicking like it's 1964 over jazzy hip hop beats. If concerned, be advised that the vinyl 12 inch selects the best and most upbeat tracks of the album so don't wait for an eventual complete vinyl album...

Tracklisting :
01. That's How We Do It
02. Kick This
03. Was It Love?
04. Huff & Puff
05. What's Going On In The World Today?
06. Much 2 Much
07. Girls U Like
08. If Only
09. Don't Even Ask
10. Jobsworth
11. Get Busy
12. K.I.S.S.Y.O.U.
13. 1-2-3-4U
14. Round The Globe

Links :

Press Release :
Us3's fifth album Schizophonic sees producer Geoff Wilkinson's rolling cast of rappers and musicians returning to the task of fitting the pieces of the jazz and hip-hop puzzle into one kaleidoscopic whole.

Building on the group's mammoth 50-date/14-country European tour last year, the sound of Schizophonic is a lively, raucous and uptempo affair with a heavy emphasis on live playing married to crunchy hip-hop beats. The album features two new rappers, Akil Dasan and Gaston, both of whom Geoff found at New York's legendary underground hangout the Nuyorican Poets Café.

All members of the Us3 live band are also featured, including the blistering trumpet of Chris Storr, the soaring sax stylings of Ed Jones, the funky muscle of double bass player 'Level' Neville Malcolm, and the unique turntable mastery of DJ First Rate. Mike Gorman, Sean Hargreaves and John Crawford take turns at the pianists chair, while (60 year-old!) newcomer Ernie Cranenburgh lays down some truly beautiful jazz guitar.

Schizophonic bounces from the Brazilian samba school sampling 'Kick This', to the lyrical hip-hop sarcasm of 'Huff & Puff?, through the 60s soul-jazz vibe of 'Girls U Like', to the furious jazz drums & Monk-like piano of 'Get Busy'. Gaston recounts a desperate tale of child abuse in 'Don't Even Ask' complimented by the delicate brushes, moody piano and brooding horns. And if you came to dance flip to the 21st century bossa groove of 'Much 2 Much'. It's hip hop. It's jazz. It's Schizophonic.

A limited edition 6-track 12' sampler will be serviced to clubs prior to the album release.

The 8-piece Us3 live band will be touring again extensively throughout 2006. A summer festival tour is being put together now, and a European club tour is scheduled for October/November.'


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