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The Magnificent

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Jeff Townes’ legacy might have been a footnote in Will Smith’s hip-hop history were it not for A Touch of Jazz, his production house, which resurrected Philly soul with Jill Scott and Musiq. On his Quincy Jones-ish debut, featuring star turns by rapper J-Live and crooner Raheem, Jeff forsakes innovation for another nourishing meal of rim shot and Rhodes. These sublimely fluid grooves have heart, and musically speaking, that’s more than you can say for Big Willie.