Feb 18th, 2022
After the great response to their last single of 2021, the hip-hop/funk/jazz mashup “Live Slow“ featuring US rapper Herbal T, Bristol’s soul-jazz warriors The Jazz Defenders release a new single for the new year and it’s another hip-hop/jazz fusion. Once again, a taster for their forthcoming second album King Phoenix (due for release on Haggis Records in spring 2022), but this time featuring special guest UK rapper Doc Brown.
“Perfectly Imperfect” has a slow and lazy acoustic jazz meets funk groove featuring a great double bass intro before some crisp horns come in to introduce Doc‘s first bars. As he flows on the mic, some sweet 90’s style street soul backing vocals float behind him giving the track a proper dreamy and summery hip-hop head-nodding vibe. A short but very sweet piano solo from George Cooper on the outro adds a nice touch of class. For reference, think “Summertime” by Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince meets Guru’s Jazzmatazz with a touch of London Soul flavour (Omar, Soul-II- Soul). Without a doubt, a potential future summer soul/jazz/hip-hop party anthem in the making.
The quintet, led by keyboard maestro George Cooper from the UK funk kings The Haggis Horns, have been building their reputation across the UK and beyond in the 2 years since their debut album Scheming hit the scene. In Autumn 2021, they toured the UK including a sold-out show at Ronnie Scotts in London, one of the legendary jazz venues in the world. They also had good radio support for their singles from Jamie Cullum (BBC Radio 2), Craig Charles (BBC 6 Music), Helen Mayhew (Jazz FM), and DJs on well-respected stations like Worldwide FM (Colin Curtis/Ashley Beedle) and Totally Wired Radio (Eddie Piller/DIG Family/Gerry Lyseight/Bob Hill).
On “Perfectly Imperfect”, The Jazz Defenders link up with multi-talented UK rapper/actor/comedian Doc Brown. Brown has an impressive acting CV that includes appearances on UK TV and in films but it’s his music that’s of interest here. From his early 2000s UK rap battle roots and London open mic sessions, he started working with DJ/producer Mark Ronson. That collaboration took him on the road worldwide in a band that included The Haggis Horns horn section. A friendship with the latter resulted in him guesting on their 2017 single “Take It Back”, where he met Jazz Defenders leader/keys man George Cooper. That connection leads us here to the first single by the Jazz Defenders of 2022 and another nice taster for their forthcoming second album dropping in March.