DJ Jazzy Jeff

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 May, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 May, 2007, 12:00am

DJ Jazzy Jeff

Return of the Magnificent


DJ Jazzy Jeff's solo work is music for kicking back. While Jazzy - aka Jeff Townes, most widely known for his double act with the Fresh Prince, aka Will Smith - is one of Philadelphia's funkiest contemporary music exports, his solo deejaying has pulled crowds since his early teens.

His second solo effort is an exemplary collection of his slick productions (which he has also turned to other artists including Smith and Jill Scott), in which scratching seamlessly becomes just one element of an infectious percussion repertoire. Brand New Funk 2k7, with Peedi Peedi on vocals, is the most groovesome, with Jess n Fess, on which Rhymefest raps, a close second.

The air of old-school hip hop hangs over tracks such as opener Hip Hop, featuring Twone Gabz,

but Jazzy's work transcends expectations of the genre. Vocalists rarely venture into self-important posturing and the good-time vibe is usually to the fore.

Sultry R&B crooning from Chinah Blac melts into the credible, saucy slow-tempo number Touch Me Wit Ur Handz, only let down, like so many other tracks with annoying SMS-style spelling in its title.

Self-humbling skits between tracks that play on Jazzy's second fiddle to Smith, although amusing the first-time round, grate on further plays.

To those who want to give the whole gangsta/pimp thing a miss, this is some of the best produced feel-good hip hop around.