RATING: 3 CHET BAKERS
Hidden Beach Unwrapped is back with more jazzy hip hop goodness. The musicians that stood out on the first two volumes are back as well and show no sign of slowing. Musicians such as Mike Phillips (Sax), Jeff Lorber (Pianos), Karen Briggs (Violin) and Jeff Bradshaw (Trombone) among many others are back once again giving you what you've grown accustomed to hearing.
On the third volume of Unwrapped, we have some of the same things that make this series great, and also they introduce a new twist in having some tribute medleys of some of our fallen stars in hip hop.
Jeff Lorber and Karen Briggs pay homage to the late Tupac Shakur with a medley of some of his tracks such as "Keep Your Head Up", "I Ain't Mad Atcha" and "How Do You Want It", while Andrew Gouche, Dennis Nelson and Larry Dunn show respect to the late Christopher Wallace (aka The Notorious B.I.G.) with the songs "Juicy", "Big Poppa" and "Hypnotize".
And the final tribute, at the tail end of the album, is the tribute to the late Jam Master Jay, in which Peter Black and Andrew Gouche take on "Walk this Way", "King of Rock" and "Sucker M.C's".
When the Hidden Beach gang aren't paying homage to the fallen stars of the hip hop genre, they are showing their talents by performing some of the hip hop tracks we've all come to love over the past decade or two.
The great thing about this Unwrapped series is that they read as a veritable who's who of hip hop. Songs like "Doo Wop (That Thing)", "The Way You Move", "Check the Rhime" and "Tainted" are all here and done in a jazzy way that I'm sure you've never heard before.
Standout tracks include Bradshaw and Nelson's jamming on Snoop Dogg's "Beautiful", Mike Phillips going in on Outkast's "The Way you Move", and Jeff Lorber' on 50's "P.I.M.P."
While the album as a whole wasn't as strong as Volume 1, which is probably the best out of all of the ones they have done, this is still a very solid output and stays consistent with what they've been doing.
As always, below you can check out snippets from the album and click to buy if you feel moved to do so. Once again, you can't really go wrong with Unwrapped. Respectfully done jazz versions of your favorite hip hop tracks. What's not to like?