RnB / World Fusion / Pop/Art Song/Folk • United States
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Sylvester Uzoma Onyejiaka II, Musician and Producer

Originally hailing from Austin, TX, Sly5thave aka Sylvester Onyejiaka was fascinated by music at a very young age. Often staying after church to play the drum set, sing in the choir, or tinker around on the piano, it was only a matter of time before he received his first saxophone at the age of 11. Initially self taught, he joined band a year later than his peers, quickly becoming obsessed with music. Sylvester continued to harness his craft, eventually landing at the University of North Texas where he played in numerous ensembles and was featured on many recordings; the most notable of which being the Grammy Nominated “Lab 2009” with the One O’Clock Lab Band under the direction of Mr. Steve Wiest. While in Denton Sylvester took the time to explore many different genres of music in addition to jazz -- composing and playing
Thanks to snobb for the addition and js for the updates

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SLY5THAVE Sly 5th Ave Presents Akuma album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sly 5th Ave Presents Akuma
World Fusion 2013
SLY5THAVE The Invisible Man : An Orchestral Tribute to Dr. Dre album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Invisible Man : An Orchestral Tribute to Dr. Dre
RnB 2017
SLY5THAVE What It Is album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
What It Is
RnB 2020

SLY5THAVE EPs & splits

SLY5THAVE Composite album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Pop/Art Song/Folk 2017
SLY5THAVE Let Me Ride Feat. Jimetta Rose album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Let Me Ride Feat. Jimetta Rose
RnB 2017

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SLY5THAVE The Invisible Man : An Orchestral Tribute to Dr. Dre

Album · 2017 · RnB
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I have to admit that the idea of an ‘orchestral tribute to Dr Dre’ first hit me as some kind of joke along the lines of The Monkees play heavy metal, or Mozart goes reggae mon. It was hard to imagine the sparse hip-hop arrangements of Dr Dre in an orchestrated format, but Sly5thAve’s new album, “The Invisible Man, an Orchestrated Tribute to Dr Dre”, has certainly proved me wrong. In a year laden with highly creative artsy RnB albums, “The Invisible Man” has been able to stand out as one of the best for 2017. The combination of Dr Dre’s laid back grooves and Sly’s hip, slightly retro, orchestrations are an irresistible combination that may have you playing this one over and over.

Sly5thAve is actually Sylvester Uzoma Onyejaka II, a versatile saxophonist who also produces and doubles on a variety of instruments. His talents have brought him work with many including Prince, Maceo Parker, all of the Marsalis Brothers and many other top RnB, pop and jazz musicians. “The Invisible Man” is just Sly’s second full length album, but it sounds like the work of a seasoned veteran. Right off the bat these orchestrated soulful tracks may have you thinking Isaac Hayes and Quincy Jones, and there is some of that sound here, but even closer is the arranger that Dr Dre was fond of sampling from, David Axelrod. Sly’s use of pulsing steady rhythms often recall Axelrod’s sometimes processional sounding arrangements that could almost border on regal and militaristic in an almost campy sort of way. In that respect, another similar famous arranger comes to mind, and that’s George Martin, the exotica composer who also did arrangements for the Beatles, particularly the ‘Sgt Peppers’ album. Still, with the Dr Dre’s iconic beats and attitude going on, Sly’s orchestral creation stands in a world all its own.

The hip-hop world was all over this record when it came out, but the jazz world didn’t seem to take much notice, which is unfortunate because there is plenty here for a fan of contemporary jazz to like. Many of these tracks feature jazz solos by a variety of top notch musicians, for instance the burning guitar solo by Patrick Bailey on the hard driving “Curtis”, or Sly‘s Eddie Harris like electric sax ride on “The Jam Part III“. Although this album lists 23 total tracks, many of the tracks blend together to make just one song, such as the ultra funky string of tracks that start with “No Diggity”. For those who may be rapaphobic or raptose intolerant, although this is a Dr Dre tribute, there is no rapping on here. Meanwhile. others may want to use these tracks to back up some original free verse.

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