The Smoking Section (Masthead) Respect Our Fresh!

"Divorcing Neo To Marry Soul"

I love that title from Jaguar Wright's new album. Alot of these neo-soul cats be feelin themselves, singing loud but not saying a damn thing. But I digress....

So I'd been waiting on this Herbie Hancock album for a minute.

I know, you're saying "Pull ya skirt down b."

"Herbie Hancock from Friday Night Videos & "Rock It"?

Nah, yo. Same dude but times have changed.

The lineup on this joint looked serious.

John Mayer
Christina Aguillera
Annie Lennox
Joss Stone
Jonny Lang
Damien Rice
Santana the indomitable Herbie.

Again, I know.

Most folk (read: other Black folk lol) ain't really hip to these names but we've been trying to expose you to them thru here.

See, Herbie's got history.

A jazz piano & keyboard legend.

He's played with the greats (Miles included) and I think that's where my newfound appreciation and acceptance came from...if he rolled with Miles, he has to be down.

A master of instrumenation, placement and production.

Constantly evolving and changing with the times.

I've learned to really listen to music and notice what instrument is played where and how it effects the flow of the song as well as the album as a whole.

And taking a cue from Santana, Herbie brought in some of the new school to his school and created a mesmerizing mix.

Christina doing Donnie Hathaway?

I swear I didn't know Christina had a fuckin voice til I heard "Walk Away".

The little weird pop star can blow and she does the track justice. Fuck Britney.

All the other names...the do their thing as well while Herbie lays it down.

And for my divine self, this album is a mark in my personal music growth I guess.

Ten years ago if you told me I was gonna be pumping Herbie Hancock and amped to hear his new album...I would've given you the gasface.

I grew up on Ice Cube and "fuck the R&B love triangle/when you out there kickin it with the brothers/you don't give a fuck about lovers..." type shit.

The cuts on here are thoro.

Nothing that's gonna floor you but it makes for a smooth listening experience.

When I cut on hip-hop, I have to pay attention.

But when I venture to other genres, I've found I can be entertained by the music without straining or focusing to hear the punchline or the metaphors.

Genres outside of hip-hop, like jazz and blues, are straight about enjoying the music.

Jamming. Vibing.

Being in a bar, music playing in the background or the band strumming along and you just having a good laugh with friends.

Herbie's new joint is just that.

Smoke a cig. Sit back and relax (...or work on your blog if you're like me).

Herbie Hancock - Possibilities

Next up, I'mma introduce you to a new writer/contributor/all-around cool mofo Coolhand Luke. We asked for contributors and Cool straight knocked it out the park McGwire style. Son came thru with the whammy for real. He's on that same tip as everybody else around here and his recommendations are better than insider stock tips so listen up. He dropped several pieces on us with this being the first of many to come.

Amos Lee is....the bastard love child of Bill Withers and John
Prine (a folk singer.)

Shit, IDK... Amos Lee is proof that there are many talented cats out
there that you may never hear of, because of the oversaturation and
manipulation of modern day radio stations. I'd call him an acoustic neosoul/folk/funk artist.

Think 1/4 Sam Cook, 1/4 Otis Redding, 1/4 Bill Withers, and 1/4 Tony Rich...with a pinch of the song writing and social conscience of Bob Dylan.

I actually picked up his cd while on vacation in Charleston, S.C, back in March, and was sold on purchasing it after hearing just one cut, "Keep it Loose Keep it Tight."

He is also a labelmate of Norah Jones (Blue Note) and she plays piano on "Keep it Loose Keep it Tight" and plays piano and harmonizes on "Colors."

His songwriting style is masterful and to the heart, his voice
incredible and effortless, and his songs...simplicity at its finest,
yet as deep as the emotions that each song evokes... A talent not to be slept on.

This is my chillin' cd of choice. I can just lose myself in the gentle guitar strums and thoughtful words. "All My Friends" particularly moves me, because it deals with the subject of us all growing older, yet still longing for the simplicity, warmth, and security of childhood. What I wouldn't give to have just a day without the stresses of "grown-up" life.

Highly recommended are the tracks:

Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight
Seen It All Before
Give It Up
All My Friends

Truth be told, this whole cd is a revelation.

Amos Lee - Amos Lee

Full Clips

You know what I hate. When we scream and rant about a song or group way in advance and nobody pays attention and then later comes back and asks "yo you heard that new ________?"

"Yeah, I heard it motherfucker and I told you about it before. Welcome to three months ago" lol.

Well, my PNC, Retro, had the nerve to tell me "Gotty I'm bangin that 'Presidential'". I just shook my head because you already know in the Dirty we been rattling trunks with that for months and I know we put it up here long ago, prolly back when we were just a little daily email lol.

Nevertheless, don't sleep this go round.
Youngbloodz - Ev'rybody_Know_Me-(Proper_Advance)

I'm not sure how official this one is but it came from a good source.

Lloyd Banks - The Big Withdraw (Sampler/Advance)

DJ Quik - Trauma

Two joints by request from our readers...

AZ - Pieces Of A Man

Stevie Wonder - Hotter Than July

This just looked straight up intriguing to say the least...a mix of classic soul songs sampled by the Wu? A mix of RZA's sources? You know it was "oh shit" as seen as we saw it.

Peep the tracklisting...

1. Trouble Heartaches And Sadness - Ann Peebles
2. Lets Straighten It Out - O V Wright
3. Ill Never Grow Old - The Charmels
4. The Masquerade Is Over - David Porter
5. Groovin - Willie Mitchell
6. You Ought To Be With Me - Al Green
7. Youre All I Need To Get By - Marvin Gaye And Tammi Terrell
8. If You Think It (You May As Well Do It) - The Emotions
9. Nautilus - Bob James
10. Gotta Find A New World - Al Green
11. Dont Do It - Syl Johnson
12. Little Ghetto Boy (Live) - Donny Hathaway
13. Could I Be Falling In Love - Syl Johnson
14. After Laughter (Comes Tears) - Wendy Rene
15. Aint No Sunshine - Lyn Collins
16. Is It Because Im Black - Syl Johnson
17. In The Rain - The Dramatics
18. The Way We Were - Gladys Knight And The Pips
19. Motherless Child - O V Wright
20. Children Dont Get Weary - Booker T And The MGs

Shaolin Soul Vol. 1

2Pac - All Eyes On Me

DMX - Here We Go Again

Props and respect due to Louie Po and CBuck for the additional contributions today.

Latest from The Smoking Section

Smoking Section Twitter

Smoking Section Facebook