DJ JAZZY JEFF The Magnificent (BBE/Fusion III) Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
The revival of Jazzy Jeff Townes over the last few years, from Will Smith sidekick to the father of the Philly soul storm, has been little short of incredible. On the basis of the hype and his work with everyone from Jill Scott to the Roots, you might think Jeff's long-awaited solo album would be a classic. It's not, and the DJ really only has himself to blame. The beats on The Magnificent are solid enough, ranging from block-rocking hiphop to house and smooth soul, but rather than use his sprawling contact list to bring in ringers to rhyme over the cuts, Jeff turns to unknown MCs and has-beens who let him down. J-Live, Freddie Foxxx and Scott turn in fine performances, but Boyz II Men were no one's idea of cutting-edge in 1994, much less 2002. A man with Jeff's connections can do better.