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The looming question on Hangin' In The City is the identity of the mysterious cosmic contributor, Randroid. What do you think? Whoever he is, this Randroid guy does a lot of vocals, and he's using Randy Brecker's lyrics. And he's put together something with Hangin' In The City that aims for pure slurpy pop. (Admittedly, there's some nice scattered solo inspiration; and even a small helping of out blowing on "I Talk To The Trees.") Rapper, funk guru, songster: what more could anyone expect from a Randroid?
Well, as this record progresses, it turns out the real Randy has a big edge on his mystery accompanist. Nevertheless, parts of this record, including the tune "Jaco," would serve just fine as background music at K-Mart. When the Randroid steps in, he does a loose kind of hovering among various cliches. Don't look for any inspirational vocal stylings here. But the lyrics for these tunes do offer quite a bit of entertainment. Consider this excerpt from the bumpin' "Then I Came 2 My Senses":
She so was so fine, she would suck you in. I was flyin' blind [uh] like a duck sippin' on slow gin.
And then we're off to more expositions about alcohol and love, etc... eventually, as the next tune kicks in, we travel back to K-Mart. You know, there's a reason they play music like this in places like that. It makes people want to buy things.
Track Listing: Overture; Wayne Out; Hangin' In The City; I Talk To The Trees; Down For The Count; Pastoral (to Jaco); Them I Came 2 My Senses; Seattle; Never Tell Her U Love Her; I Been Through This Before; One Thing Led To Another.
Personnel: Trumpet/Flugelhorn & Pre-Production Programming by Randy Becker; all lead vocals by Randroid. Randy Brecker: trumpet, flugelhorn; Michael Brecker: tenor saxophone; George Whitty: keyboards and programming; Hiram Bullock: guitar, background vocals; Adam Rogers: guitar; Dean Brown: guitar; Joe Caro: guitar; Chris Minh Doky: acoustic and electric bass; Will Lee: electric bass, background vocals; Richard Bona: electric bass; Joe Locke: vibraphone; Don Alias: percussion; Mike Harvey: background vocals; Katreese Barnes: background vocals; and Randroid!
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.