Russell Gunn, Chicago born, 20 October 1971, could probably best be described as one of those quintessential contemporary jazz musicians in the true African-American tradition. He has taken what he would maybe describe as the best of both worlds jazz and hip hop and raised the stakes on such hybrids to a new and interesting level of musical expression. This highly creative trumpet/flugelhorn player has shown a new way to make the jazz of yesteryear sound fresh and new in a pleasing manner something akin to what Guru did a few years ago. He has been honing his chops since his early Ethnomusicology days melding elements of Cuban, Brazilian, African and Hip-Hop into an adventurously progressive jazz style that pays tribute to its tradition while continuing to extend the form.
Ok, we know the purists of the world will scream and throw there, collective hands up in horror but could this be the way to bring the tradition of jazz into the twenty first century. We guess is yes, and theres no shame in that, jazz needs to find a new audience and Gunn has the talent and the method to do so. Smooth jazz this aint, thank goodness but with the assistance of Smooth jazz Icons Kirk Whalum and Orrin Evans featured on the album, could lessons be taken away by the very icons, only the future of this music will tell. In some small way he reminds one of Courtney Pine whose ideas are of a similar style and way of thinking. The only major difference between the two apart from their ages, the instruments they play and it is a pleasing and interesting album that will offer one a listen to the future of jazz today.
South African Distribution: Sheer Sound
My Space Website: http://www.myspace.com/russellgunn
Record Company Website: http://www.jazzdepot.com/
South African Distribution Website: http://www.sheersound.co.za/
Wikipedia Entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_Gunn
Track ListingsLove Requiem; All You Need Is Love; Because I Love You (Stalker Song); I'm in Love With a Stripper; Bitch, You Don't Love Me; Love Me in a Special Way; Love For Sale; Ghandi's Love; He Loves Me; The Stalker Song - Alternate Ending
MusiciansRussell Gunn, Trumpet, Flugelhorn & Effects; Kirk Whalum, Tenor Saxophone; Brian Hodges, Alto Saxophone; Orrin Evans, Keyboards; Carlos Henderson, bass; Montez Coleman, drums; Heidi Martin, vocals; Kahlil Kwame Bell, percussion