Soul'd Out (Offical Mixtape)
Even when he plays in a straight-ahead band, virtuosic twentysomething trumpeter Maurice Brown can't turn his back on the electric funk and hip-hop that have shaped his generation of jazz players. And when he sails outside the mainstream--as he does with this new sextet--those influences make the trip intoxicating. Soul'd U Out gives full vent to his passion for contemporary pop--neosoul, funk, rock, psychedelia, and especially hip-hop, which makes itself felt not just in the beats but in the sampled electronics and Brown's melodic trumpet hooks (which other people ought to be sampling themselves). Of course, his love for jazz is evident too: the tune 'Funk Hop' (streaming on his MySpace page) quotes from Miles Davis's famous 1966 recording Miles Smiles amid it's tossed salad of waka-waka guitar, James Brown rhythms, and radio static. And the song relies on the sweetness of tone and playful phrasing that have made Brown one to watch since his high school years in Chicago. Though his music now bristles with the almost manic energy of New York, his post-Katrina home base, it retains it's youthful soul and liberating grit. --Neil Tesser, Chicago Reader.