Okay, most Jazz Hip Hop leaves me cold. That’s a disclaimer right there. But J. Davis Trio’s self-released album, “These Things Happen,” won me over. Even though they sent me the clean version(!).
J. Davis Trio backs rappers with flows that are appropriately laid back for a Chicago jazz band. I haven’t heard of any of the vocalists on the album—I’m assuming they’re all local talent—but their styles are all so similar that the album hangs together.
I suppose if you’re gonna compare this to something, it’s like Guru’s Jazzamatazz, A Tribe Called Quest, Bad Plus, or maybe some of Del Tha Funkee Homosapien’s more mellow work. None of the rhymes are earth-shattering, but this kind of rap is directed more at mood than mind. One more thing, be warned: There is profanity here, which I found a bit unexpected, but it actually ends up giving the album a little bit of edge and humor that helps elevate it above others in this genre.