Producers Tony Joseph and Darryl Ross again bring together the worlds of hip-hop and jazz for the second volume of Hidden Beach's Unwrapped series.

Producers Tony Joseph and Darryl Ross again bring together the worlds of hip-hop and jazz for the second volume of Hidden Beach's Unwrapped series. For Unwrapped Vol. 2, Joseph and Ross enlist Hidden Beach recording artist Mike Phillips, as well as veteran studio instrumentalists Patrice Rushen, Jeff Lorber, and Karen Briggs, among others, to create easy-listening versions of some of hip-hop's recent chart-toppers. The collective taps the catalogs of Jay-Z, Ludacris, Nelly, and Mystikal, among others, for this set. Tracks like A Tribe Called Quest's "Electric Relaxation" and Erick Sermon's "Music" serve as prime candidates for the Unwrapped treatment. The original versions' jazzy grooves pop on their instrumental counterparts. The collective's cover of Ja Rule's "Always on Time" maintains the track's original pop sensibilities while at the same time injecting it with a more mature feel. Meanwhile, covers of Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" and Ludacris' "Roll Out (My Business)" may have sounded like good ideas in theory but prove to be lackluster in reality. That said, Unwrapped Vol. 2 is still well worth a listen.—RH