Guru passed away yesterday at the age of 43 from a year long battle with cancer. I wasn't a fan of Gang Starr, the rap group he created in the early 90's with DJ Premier (they were an influential East Coast rap group) but was a huge fan of his Jazzmatazz series, where he incorporated rap into a jazz framework. He was both a producer and vocalist on the albums (Vol. 1-4) and he also used various singers and rappers on the songs, incorporating some classic jazz artists as well. It was the first time anybody had rapped over what could be considered authentic jazz music. I loved the 1st cd, which was released in 1993, and as it turns out it was the best of the bunch. Some good songs on the other discs, but some great songs on Volume 1. Some of the jazz greats on the disc: Roy Ayers (father of acid-jazz), Donald Byrd, Branford Marsalis, and great vocalists including N'Dea Davenport and D.C. Lee.