A 90s hip-hop/jazz fusion saxophone player, J. Spencer (b. c.1971, Oakland, California, USA) originally emerged via Motown Records’ MoJazz subsidiary imprint as a talented harbinger of a ‘new age in jazz and rap’.
The result was ‘A little bit of hip-hop/A little bit of jazz’, as one track on his debut album, Chimera Vol. 1, suggested. Writing credits included several for his friend, Elijah Baker (Tony! Toni! Tone!), alongside his own compositions. He was joined on sessions for the project by Derrick Hall (bass), John ‘Jubu’ Smith (guitar) and Tommy Bradford (drums). The additional rapping personnel included Mike D, P. Funk and Vitamin C, all fellow natives of Oakland, plus the ‘Flat Lip Horns’ brass section. The follow-up collection, Blue Moon, was released at the end of 1995 and peaked at number 49 in the Billboard R&B charts.
His untimely death in 2005, will keep us wondering what could’ve come from this innovative young artist.