B.Y.O.B.

B.Y.O.B.

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AllMusic Review by

Michael Ivey's follow-up to the perceived semi-misfire of Not in Kansas Anymore was this fun and funky side excursion on his 13 Records label, bringing together several folks in his musical circle for a series of collaborations and solo turns. Call it his equivalent of a common hip-hop practice, a compilation, or lead album with a variety of side performers, the better to introduce a whole bunch of folks associated with a key production core. The same general sense of musical reach from Basehead is here, with Ivey playing a variety of instruments while his various guests, including central performers Jay Nichols on drums and Bill Conway on bass, play around with musical roles in their own right. Everything's a little less rigorously arranged and quirky than Basehead's efforts; and while odd samples creep in around the edges (check out the series of phone conversations at the end of "Too Good to Let Go"), often the feeling is more of a series of funky jams that were recorded just to see what happened. One Citizen Cope provides full DJ/scratching duties on "Change It" (featuring a hilarious/disturbing parody by Bruce Gardner of amoral gangsta poseurs) and "The Rackett," but otherwise it's a live band thing and a pretty good one at that. Ivey doesn't do as much vocalizing; he offers up some cryptic rambles on "Ramifications of Shaking One's Ass" over his good efforts on wah-wah, but otherwise he concentrates on the music. Of the guest performances, Uncle Clarence the Thomas' slow and sharp funk/soul effort "Distances" and 2Unique's sweetly sharp political raps on "A Day Off in the Life" stand out the most. "Go Jazz Go," an (unsurprisingly) jazzy instrumental, and Ivey's other vocal turn, "Ramblifications of Getting and Saying High," also are worthy of interest.

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