|"Connecting The Dots": rich medina
by Michael Heyliger
Philadelphia's Rich Medina wears many hats.
Producer, musician, spoken-word artist, DJ,
singer, rapper. His new album, "Connecting
The Dots" is a seamless journey through
just about every style of music in existence.
Whether it's worldbeat, jazz, downtempo
house or hardcore rap, Medina manages to
include it on this wildly inventive disc.
Vocally, Medina appears on a handful of cuts here, the most striking
of which have him dropping science on the spoken-word tip. His voice
is commanding. An amazing wrinkle to this album is that he's able to
move from tracks like that into songs like "Emancipation Suite", which
manages to combine jazzy flute, African rhythms, and a late-night
house music flavor into one song. The breadth of genres included
here is amazing. Medina holds it down on the traditional R&B tip with
songs like "Holdin' Up", which features a male vocalist trying to do his
best Michael Jackson. The melancholy "Happiness" features breathy
female vocalist Michelle Shaprow, as well as a minor-key guitar
underpinning that gives it an almost-rock edge.
"Out Of Nothing" will take you back to the golden age of club music,
with diva-like vocals froma trio of vocalists. With it's ambient
trumpet, it sounds like Herb Alpert meets Adeva. Medina then takes it
straight to the gutter with "Official" featuring rapper Jon Doe, whose
sharp political rhymes are a highlight of this set.
For all of you eclectic folks-Rich Medina is your man. "Connecting The
Dots" features a little bit of just about every musical genre known to
humans. Whether you're looking to mellow out, bust a move, or even
laugh (there are a couple of comedy skits here), 'Connecting The
Dots" is a well-made affair that stays true to it's title by joining
together multiple musical styles.
For more information & music samples at: www.okayplayer.com