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Aug 15th 2003

Wanting to do the dirty deed - Impromp 2 Impromp 2 (ft: Kim Fields)- Mocha Soul (Big 3 Records)


Comprising of trumpeter/singer Johnny B (a Cleveland, Ohio native) and LA native rapper/singer Sean E. Mac, Impromp2 represents a different yet familiar vibe in the terms of jazz rap/jazz soul equality.

The lads came to prominence as a group in 1995 with their excellent debut set - You’re Gonna Love It. Becoming one of the first act signed to the now defunct Motown label - MoJazz records, the album was produced by the UK's Steve Harvey (you'll recognize the name from Donnie's recent release) and provided the duo the element in the shaping of the Impromp2 sound. Hits from that album included ' Enjoy Yourself' and 'Summer Nights' which saw plenty of radio play. The sophomore set 'Can't get enough' (1997) didn't quite get to live up to the standard of the first as it never got released due to MoJazz closing shop.

So with no label and no new material in sight, the lads would perform when they can and toured (with Maxwell) while getting while searching for a new label. As they were about to go on tour with Maxwell, Johnny bumps into Qadree el-Amin, an entertainment mogul whom Johnny knew from his days of managing former Motown superstars Boyz II Men. Qadree seems to have remembered Impromp2 thanks to his wife, Suzanne, was a fan of their work. He became their personal manager and signed them to his Big 3 label (whom he co-owns with label founder and chairman Bill Edwards. Now settled on a new label, the lads got back in the studio after a 6 year hiatus and recorded their latest album 'The Definition of Love'

The first single from the album and the one I'm reviewing here is “Mocha Soul,” showcases poet/actress (and apparently singer too) Kim Fields, (the very same of 'The Facts of Life' and 'Living Single' fame) Kim is also a Big3 Records label mate who has her own album, Uninhibited, forthcoming. Using a sample from `70s jazz legend Lonnie Liston Smith, the song invites alluring poetess to the stage where she is told by the lads that they’ve got to “have a taste of her love”. Layered over a soothing baseline Mocha Soul managed to capture the rawness of forbidden fruit in one swoop.

The album is in record stores now so why don't you make a trip to your local record shop and get acquainted with these talented young musicians who's bound to impress you with their music. A TY-D pick indeed.

Listen to Impromp 2's 'Mocha Soul'

Sir TY





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