Personnel includes: Marc Antoine (vocals, guitar, keyboards, Moog synthesizer, programming); Sovory (vocals); Harold Todd (flute); Rachel Z (Fender Rhodes piano, keyboards); Jimmy Haslip (bass); Luis Conte (percussion).
Principally recorded at Sonic Jungle Studios, Los Angeles, California.
Personnel: Marc Antoine (guitar); Sovory (vocals); Marc Antione (rap vocals, guitar, keyboards); Harold Todd (flute); Rachel Z, Rodney Lee (Fender Rhodes piano, keyboards); Steve Reid , Luis Conte (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Scott Blockland.
Recording information: Frazzy Frog Studio, France; Sonic Jungle, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographer: Bill Bernstein.
Rarely has an album title so perfectly encapsulated the essence of a hybrid project as Marc Antoine's smartly realized Urban Gypsy. Usually in rhythm and jazz, soul-based loop electronics back up horns like trumpet or sax, and flamenco guitar strains are left to those who can provide more Latin-styled backbeats. But Antoine creates hypnotic soundscapes both by machine, doing all the programming himself, and organically, with the help of Steve Reid and Luis Conte. On up-tempo swings, he gets the hip-hop grooving before texturing his bold acoustic precision. And his ballads allow for some clever improvisation between streams of cool strumming. A flair for Brazilian zing explodes on an all-too-short interlude before Antoine returns to his homeland for a street carnival shuffle appropriately titled "Paris Jam." All-star assistance is provided by Rachel Z (a bluesy Fender Rhodes jaunt) and Jimmy Haslip. This spectacular fusion of styles and melodic flair can take its rightful place at the top of either genre it touches upon. ~ Jonathan Widran