Jazz Liberatorz

Clin d'Oeil

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The French hip-hop trio Jazz Liberatorz had a small release in 2007, but made their mark with 2008's Clin d'Oeil. The album reclaims the brief love affair between hip-hop and jazz that took place in the U.S. in the mid-'90s, using deep basslines, sampled horns, and beat poet-styled phrasings from a slew of guest MCs. The sound is ultra-cool, combining European hip-hop's love of slicker, more urban beats with the simplest jazz instrumentation -- atomic chunks of sound and songs that are reworked to soften the edges of a rapped delivery and convert it to a strong flow through sheer musicality.

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