If you liked the sound of Kendrick Lamar, then you like Terrace Martin, the producer behind “Ab-Soul (Outro),” some of “m.a.a.d. city,” “Real,” “For Free,” “These Walls,” “Complexion,” “The Blacker the Berry,” and much more. When he’s on his own however, he’s a fantastic saxophone player, and his connections to the jazz-meets-hip-hop-world of Kamasi Washington, Robert Glasper, and Thundercat set up what he calls “The Pollyseeds,” a sort of super-group of the best in jazz and funk music today.
Why I hesitate on calling them a “super-group” however, is because although all the players have gathered together, Sounds of Crenshaw Vol. 1 is still by all means a Terrace Martin record. After all, it is “Terrace Martin Presents: The Pollyseeds.” Terrace’s last record, Velvet Portraits, felt like a West Coast revival of neo-soul and a return to jazz as a part of hip-hop, but it at also acted as a kind of slide-show of Terrace’s production work, with tracks like “Mortal Man” and bits of “These Walls” granted their official full-length versions.
On Sounds of Crenshaw Vol. 1, Terrace’s key production techniques and musical style clearly shines through, like on “Mama D/Leimert Park,” and fans of Velvet Portraits will easily find home on this record as well. His saxophone wails on the Robert Glasper assisted “Funny How Time Flies,” “Believe,” and “Chef E Dubble,” reminding us of everything there is to love about Terrace Martin. Sounds also includes some amazing features, such as the pop-oriented “You And Me” featuring singer Rose Gold, and “Intentions,” featuring the rapper Problem (labeled here as “Chachi”).
Functioning as the producer, songwriter, and instrumentalist, Terrace Martin has put together not one, but now two amazing jazz/funk records, and one can only hope the “Vol. 1” description can only indicate a “Vol. 2” to follow.
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