paradise.jpgTitle: JazzFunkHipHoPoetry
Artist: Paradise
Label: True Vibe
Catalog No.: 8 37101 13505 4 (UPC)
Date: 2006

The Bay area’s spoken word artist Richard “Paradise” Moore collaborated with musician Bill Jackson to create JazzFunkHipHopoetry (pronounced Jazz-Funk-Hip Hop-a tree), a fusion of music and spoken word. This short, seven track sampling of Moore’s poetry never quite manages to realize the potential suggested by the album’s title, and ends abruptly before being able to redeem itself.

JazzFunkHipHopoetry gives “remix” a brand new definition. The album parallels an amateur open mic night, rehashing the same instrumental accompaniment throughout the majority of the album. There is little jazz, a bass line reminiscent of funk, and hip hop is missing altogether. “How to be a Black Man in America” and “Keepers of the Flame” sound undeniably similar, the slight difference being the key change in the instrumentals. Moore’s delivery in “It’s OK to Be a Black Girl” and “Ain’t Yo Mama Black” seems somewhat forced and, in certain instances, rambling, which takes away from the message in his words. Yet Moore’s positive and socially conscious message is what ultimately keeps the album afloat since such messages and reflections, especially about African Americans, are a rarity in contemporary music.

JazzFunkHipHopoetry should have spent a little more time in the studio for development. Its intention is in the right place, but it falls short on delivery.

Posted by Regina N. Barnett