Clever Jeff

Clever Jeff

Clever Jeff’s debut album, Jazz Hop Soul, was among the 1990s projects that combined hip-hop with elements of jazz. It would have been interesting if Jeff, a Bay Area rapper with solid rhyming skills, had been joined by an actual jazz band and improvising soloists. But while Jeff, who produced the album with Dave G, employs trumpet players on a few selections, he… More usually raps to programmed tracks — most of which are sleek, hypnotic, and jazz-influenced. If his goal was to provide an album that is at once sophisticated and gritty, he accomplished this rather nicely.

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