REVIEW: Djinji Brown – Uncle Junior’s Friday Fish Fry

Uncle Junior's Friday Fish Fry

Artist: Djinji Brown

Album: Uncle Junior’s Friday Fish Fry

Label: Seven Heads

Rating: 7.5 / 10

Reviewer: Timid

For those of you who aren’t quite sure what a “fish fry” is, it’s kind of like a barbecue with umm fish and no barbecue sauce, I guess it could have barbecue sauce if you want it on your fish but I think hot sauce is more the preferred sauce but hey it’s your damn fish you can put a light virgin olive oil, shaved garlic, oregano with fresh ground and red pepper, chopped then butter sautéed onions, basil, rosemary sauce on it for all I care. Pass the tofu. Basically it’s a get together. Someone starts frying up a big mix of fish and the next thing you know the whole neighborhood is standing around with a plate. The music that was served as the background for these “events” exemplifies diversity; possibly due to the fact that they last so long you just end up playing every damn thing in your collection – but whatever. This is the idea of “Uncle Junior’s Friday Fish Fry”, a new mix series from 7 Heads that blends a wide variety of music (fish) together for your consumption which will be released in six installments; The Market, The Cleaning, The Seasoning, The Frying, The Grub, The Dishes (all steps in making a fish fry happen).

The series takes its name from fish fry’s that took place on special Fridays in the Bronx that were thrown by the father of the 7 Heads founder, if I’m not mistaken. If I am, just go with it, it makes it sound so much doper with a nostalgic back story.

The first in the series is The Market, mixed by Djinji Brown. What we have here is a crate diggers dream. This mostly instrumental CD is a full blending from start to finish compilation of various music styles. Djinji takes us from 70’s funk in the beginning with the theme from Black Belt Jones to a jazz sax solo at the end 18 tracks later entitled ‘Don’t Take Your Love From Me’ by Djinji’s father Jazz artist Marion Brown. The in-between consists of African, Cuban, Jazz, R-n-B blends, and Hip Hop among others. As Djinji described, all the fish cooked up at a fish fry is in the same batter and fried together so even the fish are different they still have a very similar taste. The fish fry comparison works well as you have a plate of food here with several different courses of different colors and tastes. Djinji even makes it ok for the other food to touch the potato salad. Sounds like Hip Hop to me.

The Market seems to be more of a CD for the DJ’s and B-boys than the average Hip Hop head. DJ’s will enjoy the variations of good music with out the sore fingers from crate digging, and the various rhythms will entice the B-Boys to wear a hole in the cardboard.

I was unsure of what to expect from this CD – I was thinking I was going to get some dope underground artists spitting some ish over some creative beats. That’s not the focus here. This is mood music, as it sways through the different vibes and takes you with it. It’s a mix CD of stuff that isn’t normally blended together.

On first listen when the funk kicks in I was thinking, “aww yeah – dope funky instrumental intro” until about 2 minutes in and it was still rocking. Then I started thinking “kind of daring to put a whole instrumental as the intro”. Shut up. As I said, I had a preconceived notion of what I was going to be getting. Djinji Brown is a cat who, as evidenced on this CD, takes chances and expands himself to beyond more than drum kick, snare and yes yes y’all… and this seems to me to still have Hip Hop at its core – a departure from the norm, a trek of your own influences. I would like to have heard a few dope verses throughout the entirety of the CD… not many – just a few to add a lyrical presence to the project.

“Uncle Junior’s Friday Fish Fry” is going to be an interesting series indeed as evidence of Djinji Brown’s offering and volume one of six; The Market. This is community gathering music; cook out in the summertime music. The emotional poet in me sees the likeness of New York in this CD where a walk down the street will see this type of diversity in it’s people and the landscape but also with a utopian vision of the harmonic blending of cultures; I’m hungry, I’m starting to drift. So grab some fish and choose your own sauce (I’m not going there again) I’m out to hook up another fish fry dish. Grits. Haters, kiss mine.

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