If you love the very smooth and soulfully jazzy sounds we have come to expect from Los Angeles producer, artist and musician extraordinaire, Terrace Martin, then you will really love his latest project, Sounds of Crenshaw Vol. 1. Which is the debut album released earlier this summer of Terrace’s new Jazz supergroup, The Pollyseeds, which consists of Terrace, rapper Problem (who’s billed as Chachi on the album), pianist Craig Brockman, guitarist Marlon Williams, and vocalists Wyann Vaughn and Rose Gold.
This is one of those very timeless albums, you can just throw and play the whole way through. Preferably on a nice summer day, cruising down the streets of Crenshaw. The very smooth and really mellow laidback vibes really resonating throughout. Whether it be on the very feel good, Up and Away or Mama D/Leimert Park. The latter being a real nice groove, which will definitely have you grooving along to the very smooth drums patterns played by Martin on his sax for much of the five plus minute record. There’s a lot of sax playing from Terrace throughout the album too, but without a doubt it really shines the most on track 9, Wake Up, with its tender lines of blues melody that accompanies the noir-istic pianism of Kenneth Crouch so well and the tail end of the Robert Glasper collaboration, Funny How Time Flies.
Martin is really able to round-up a nice group for his band too, with Vaughn, Gold and Chachi as the main vocalists. Chachi really sounding at home over the very bouncy laidback production with his very sing-songy lyrics and suave persona on, Intentions. Gold and Vaughn’s background vocals perfectly matching too. Gold’s really graceful voice really shining on the very easygoing, You and Me, with her as the lead vocalist over some very beautiful piano line work from Brockman and Williams, as well as Martin himself on an MPC sequencer and a Korg synth. Showing truly how much he himself has grown not only as a producer, but instrumentalists as well. Kumasi Washington adding a nice sax section of sorts with Martin on Believe too. The very spacey and almost out of this world smooth production from Terrace on the aptly titled, Your Space, really letting Vaughn showcase her own gracefully smooth amazing vocals.
The L.A. native makes his influence of vocoder hooks styled after Zapp & Roger party anthems, which he has used for much of his own solo work, no secret too. As he uses quite a bit on the album too and Chachi does as well. The latter really using it to perfection on the very emotionally anticlimactic, Feelings of the World, over the beautifully amazing electrical guitar work from Williams to go with Gold’s very gracefully smooth vocals. As Chachi sings about getting all emotional from doing wrong to his girl, while messing with other girls on the road. Martin of course closes out the album using it too, as him and a very soulfully amazing feature from Preston Harris, sing about not letting a love trip on them, with the appropriately titled, Don’t Trip.
You can also tell the influence that the L.A. natives hometown had in the very smooth, mellow and laidback, feel-good sound of the album. Which was made perfectly for that feel-good summer mood to go in the summer months and why I’m sure they dropped it during the summer as well. This is definitely an album that’s a real masterpiece and could actually be the closest, solo wise, to getting a Grammy-nomination, which he should’ve first got a little over four years ago with his own solo debut album, 3 Chord Fold, in 2013.