Album Review: The Sounds of Crenshaw, Vol. 1 by The Pollyseeds
Great, Based on 6 Critics
Exclaim - 90 Based on rating 9/10
No matter its style or source, I love to hear a collection of top-tier players, singers and producers organize themselves around a style they love, a style they have chosen to pay tribute to; when it isn't about them, but the contributions, the participation. When they give themselves over to the music as a devotional act.
On Sounds of Crenshaw Vol.
There's no denying Terrace Martin's status as a musical architect following his long history of working with everyone from Snoop Dogg to Raphael Saadiq, to Stevie Wonder and Kendrick Lamar. The multi-instrumentalist also knows how to put together some fairly amazing solo projects and compilations that have flown below the radar despite last year's Velvet Portraits earning him a Grammy nomination. Taking another approach past 2017's halfway point, he brings along Problem (under his R&B Chachi alias), Rose Gold and Wyann Vaughn for the budding of The Pollyseeds.
Deeply immersed in the contiguous worlds of hip-hop, R&B and jazz, producer, saxophonist and rapper Terrace Martin, clearly doesn't recognise musical boundaries. He's helmed hits for Snoop Dogg, played on Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly and was recently in the studio with Herbie Hancock, producing the keyboard meister's next album. Martin, then, is an in-demand tastemaker and following last year's solo LP, Velvet Moods, returns leading a group of musicians from LA's Crenshaw district that are augmented by the presence of Kamasi Washington and Robert Glasper, sharing plenty in common with the latter's R&B-oriented outings with his Experiment ensemble.
Terrace Martin's work on multiple Kendrick Lamar albums made him a part of any serious discussion about the art of production in modern rap. In the parallel dimension of contemporary jazz, he hasn't experienced the same kind of breakout stardom, though he has been creating new packages for funk and fusion gifts that otherwise might sound rote or expected. The saxophonist makes it easy to spot his influences--including vocoder hooks styled after Zapp & Roger party anthems, or keyboards that specialize in G-funk timbres.
F or more than a decade, producer and multi-instrumentalist Terrace Martin has served as a conduit between LA's jazz, R&B and hip-hop scenes, the missing link between artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Kamasi Washington and Robert Glasper. His latest project uses some heavyweight jazz talents but takes us into more mainstream R&B territory, with decent neosoul numbers including Intentions (featuring Chachi) and You and Me (featuring Rose Gold) mixed with rather bland and soporific fuzak. It only threatens to get interesting when Martin adds some rough edges to the smooth jazz.
The Pollyseeds, "Sounds of Crenshaw, Vol. 1" (Sounds of Crenshaw). According to notes advancing this groove-based new album by producer and multi-instrumentalist Terrace Martin, best known for his work with Kendrick Lamar, "Sounds of Crenshaw" takes cues from acts including early Steely Dan, Philadelphia funk band T.S.O.P., Motown backing unit the Funk Brothers and L.A.