The fourth installment in the stellar JAZZMATAZZ series finds Baldhead Slick in top form, carrying on the tradition of that old jazz-influenced boom-bap that he pioneered in the 1990s as half of Gang Starr. While it does feature appearances from a few jazz legends like Bob James and David Sanborn, JAZZMATAZZ IV is lighter on big-name players than previous installments (which featured participation from the likes of Donald Byrd, Herbie Hancock, Branford Marsalis, and Isaac Hayes). This time around, the jazzy feel comes primarily from Superproducer Solar's production style, which utilizes a bevy of soul loops and samples resulting in a feel-good hip-hop sound--a little lighter than that of the Guru/Premier combo. Much like JAZZMATAZZ III: STREETSOUL, part four also ventures successfully into R&B and reggae territory with guest vocals from Raheem DeVaughn, Shelley Harland, Vivian Green, Dionne Ferris, Kem, Bobby Valentino, and Damian Marley, while Guru passes the mic to fellow MCs Slum Village, Common, and Blackalicious. Overall, the diverse musical styles and artists involved gel nicely enough that JAZZMATAZZ IV should please fans of hip-hop, nu-jazz, neo-soul, and everything in between.
XXL (Magazine) (p.133) - "[J]azz favorite David Sanborn's sax serenades the cool 'Living Legend' and Bob James' keyboard skills accentuate the blaxploitation soul of 'State of Clarity'..."