Happy Friday everyone and welcome back to Mixed-Up Memories! I featured Brian Eno yesterday in the debut and as promised, updates can happen at ANY time... In this case it's a day later!
Today marks the 25th anniversary of the album "Jazzmatazz Vol.1" by rapper, Guru. Born in Boston as Keith Edward Elam in 1966, he earned a degree in business administration before founding the hip hop group, Gang Starr in 1987. Gang Starr would go on to release six albums.
In 1993 Guru began a solo career that would run side-by-side with Gang Starr. "Jazzmatazz Vol.1" was his solo debut and featured a fusion of hip hop and jazz, that was recorded with a live jazz band and a host of guest collaborators, including trumpeter Donald Byrd.
I was first introduced to this album a few years after its release by a very talented singer-songwriter-drummer friend of mine following a discussion about hip hop and jazz. I talked about how much I enjoyed playing tracks from P.M. Dawn, Dream Warriors, and Us3 in my first run on the Breakfast Show on Cape Cod radio station WKKL and my friend Jay told me he had some more artists for me to listen to. I left that evening as a new fan of both Guru and Digable Planets.
While this week contains the 25th anniversary of "Jazzmatazz Vol.1" on May 18th, 1993, it also contains a sad historical moment. Guru went into cardiac arrest following cancer-related surgery on May 19th, 2010. He passed-away at the age of 43.
Let's celebrate the life of Keith Edward Elam and his first solo LP, with the tune "No Time To Play." Featuring Ronny Jordan on guitar and Dee C. Lee & Big Shug on vocals, it's today's addition to the Mixed-Up Memories playlist on YouTube and Spotify. Happy Listening!