DJ Jazzy Jeff at Elysium Lounge, Detroit, 11-12-2011
I Love Detroit Michigan hit Elysium Lounge for the second weekend in a row last Saturday night, this time to take in a hot two-hour performance by Philadelphia native DJ Jazzy Jeff aka Jeff Townes. Turns out Carl Cox’s “All Roads Leads To The Dancefloor” Tour provided both the laser lights and supplemental sound that added so much to last weekend’s festivities, and we were just a little bit disappointed to learn that Elysium’s house sound system, on it’s own, lacked the necessary clarity to properly showcase Jazzy Jeff’s scratch-heavy mixing style. The singular smoothness of Jeff’s masterfully programmed transitions was passably audible, however, and attendees seemed more than sufficiently entertained by his eclectic selection of underground hip-hop instrumentals and recent pop hits. Click here and here to see our videos of his performance.
We’re sure y’all remember Jazzy Jeff’s classic hits with Will Smith aka The Fresh Prince back in the 80s and 90s, especially the heavily MTV rotated “Parents Just Don’t Understand“, but we are here to tell you, people, that Jeff’s underground hip-hop roots reach much deeper than a handful of old-school mainstream radio hits and an occasional appearance as “Jazz” on the NBC sitcom “The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air”. Despite Smith’s well-deserved success since the “Fresh Prince” days, we believe Townes to be a better DJ than Smith is an actor. Townes has been DJing since the mid-70s and is credited, along with DJ Cash Money, with creating the “transform” style scratch. Townes’ remarkable versatility is evidenced by an exceptionally lengthy catalogue of original solo compostions, remixes, DJ mixes, collaborations and production work. Check out this recent YouTube video to get just a smidge of an idea of what Jeff is capable of on a truly high quality mixing system. Townes’ newly released and deeply soulful album, “Back For More“, is available for free download online, and features vocalist Ayah, plus a litany of classic soul, Motown and R&B samples. ~I♥DM