"The Third Way (Hand On The Torch Vol II)"

The Third Way is a colorful and joyous celebration of the various strands of African-American musical tradition, drawing alternately on classic hip hop, reggae, Latin jazz, bebop, and big band sounds, and it’s a pure blast from start to finish.

The world of hip-hop has changed radically in the last 20 years but it’s that very distance that makes this album sound not so much like a blast from the past in terms of style, but rather a breath of fresh air.

A fine jazz-rap sequel to the original, arriving 20 years after the first… superb, thoughtful production…

These 14 tracks serve as a passage way to better days of yore when hip hop was done for fun, not profit.

The results are at times simply spectacular. Geoff Wilkinson and “The Third Way” hit all the right notes.

Wilkinson's production is silky tight, a sparkling, fresh melding of old school jazz with modern day perspectives.

Us3 has brought jazz back to the forefront of lyricism and Hip-Hop, with a deep emphasis on the culture that makes them who they are.

"Lie, Cheat & Steal"

Thought provoking, and toe tapping, Lie, Cheat & Steal is the kind of hip-hop album that's a throwback to when the music could make your body move while the lyrics simultaneously made you think. It's something very few can accomplish, but Us3 did to perfection with this.

Us3 has that funky edge that I'll always fully endorse, and if they continue to snag primetime talent to highlight their sheer musicality and DJ-ing prowess (courtesy of DJ First rate) there's no reason there can't be eight or eighteen more albums of the same quality.

For decades artists have flirted with the idea of fusing jazz with hip hop, but nobody has ever quite matched the creative innovation of producer Geoff Wilkinson.

Lie, Cheat & Steal is not just a solid hip-hop album featuring two lyricists who are at the top of their game, it's a series of devastating jackhammer blows to a power structure that has been kicking in our collective faces for the past decade.

Lie, Cheat & Steal is a mobile for the young, pissed-off have-nots.

Hiphop Jazz group Us3 do it big. Word up UK.

5th best hip-hop album of 2011

"stop. think. run"

Its music that pulls you into a jazzy, soulful, cool mood, pulling you through all of the ups and downs of Yung and Sene while constantly invigorating and refreshing you. This is music for the blue note in us all.

Wilkinson laces the album with a plethora of organic instrumental sounds which impart an overt jazzy quality to nearly every track. An entire review could be dedicated solely to the instrumental aspect of this album, but for the sake of time let’s just leave it at this: stop. think. run. is organic jazz hip hop at its finest; point blank; period.

Each track (all produced by Wilkinson himself) is crafted so uniquely that though they can bear resemblances, no two sound alike. Altogether, stop. think. run. is an ensemble which draws upon some of the finest instrumentation heard in Hip Hop recently – if not ever – along with rhymes suited to all occasions whether it’s thought-provocation, celebrating or simply mellowing out.

At the end of the day, it’s just about good music, and that’s what you get with Us3.

"Say What?!"

“While most artists that debuted around the same time have long since lost their shit, Geoff Wilkinson and company keep coming back bigger and better.”
www.tlchicken.com August 2007

“The first cut “Say You Belong To Me” is better than just about every R&B joint getting spins today. With “Man On Top” and “ABC” Us3 shows their unique style. While blending jazz and hip hop producer Geoff Wilkinson compromises neither. Both tracks feature jazz arrangements that could easily stand on their own, or be easily paired with jazz vocals. I was really diggin’ how the sax solo on ABC gives way to some well-done turntablism... Say What!? Is the perfect soundtrack to your next barbecue.”
www.okayplayer.com July 2007

“From big-band to free-form jazz, Staxy R&B to swing-combo style, Say What!? illuminates virtually every jazz hue, and tosses in the occasional Latin flair or Middle Eastern tinge to highlight the mix. The music is superb... This set takes Wilkinson to a whole new level.”
All Music Guide July 2007

“If you love good jazz, intelligent rap and solid R&B vocals this is for you, but be prepared to pay attention, there is one hell of a lot going on here, and it’s all good”
Seatwave July 2007

“Good cool club music that has a slew of phat grooves and thick rhythms. You know you want to dance to it!”
www.smother.net July 2007

“Say You Belong To Me” is the kind of song which, with a decent push, would be all over the radio this summer.
www.cdtimes.com June 2007

“Gifted producer Geoff Wilkinson has conjured up another masterpiece. Get this disc ‘cause they are better than ever, ya heard!?”
Swank June 2007

“grittier jazz and funk influences”
Blowback June 2007

“there’s going to be a lot of folks reassessing Us3 this year. Time to listen up.”
Fly June 2007

“Infectious and slick”
The Crac June 2007

“21st century jazz & hip-hop”
Urban Junkies April 2007

“The new Us3 is one of the best things that Geoff Wilkinson has done and that's saying something! It'll be the opener on next week's show’
Jon Cavanagh - BBC Radio Scotland April 2007


"Thirteen years on from Cantaloop and Geoff Wilkinson is still a master in the art of producing jazz-centred hip hop that combines a heavy emphasis on musicality with an energetic danceable funk."
Notion ­ July 2006

"Album number five and the originality isn't wearing off anytime soon, making the listeners the main beneficiaries. From jazz to hip hop via the influences of a world of music, Us3 are still as on-the-button as they ever were."
DJ magazine May 2006

"It is very often the case that sensationalist bands will outsell more talented and groundbreaking ones by many times, and that is certainly the case here. In terms of the music alone, Us3 are certainly musically far superior to the likes of Fiddy or Eminem, but they don't talk shit about guns and they don't have fake prison tattoos. Don't believe the hype, Schizophonic is right up there with the best of Œem."
Eddie Thomas ­ www.ubbacultcha.com ­ May 2006

"How can a band that has an ex-Scratch Pervert and a 60-year old jazz guitarist playing alongside each other be anything but great? Schizophonic is a demonstration of blistering instrumentalism, toe-tapping beats, razor-sharp rapping and world class arrangement."
www.myvillage.com ­ May 2006

"Us3 continue to meld the best elements of hip-hop and jazz better than the majority of their contempories. A great album."
www.thebeatsurrender.co.uk ­ June 2005

"Both rappers blend seamlessly with Us3¹s jazz and samba influenced beats and weave expertly amongst the horns and turn in first class performances."
Clash magazine - May 2006

"From upbeat hip hop to laidback jazz grooves, Brazilian samba rhythms to smoky, downstairs jazz club tempos, this is done really well."
www.ukhh.com ­ June 2006

"Us3 continue to push the boundaries, mixing poetic rap with jazz, nu-soul and Brazilian samba."
What's On June 2006

"the intelligent, laid-back rymes from the rappers combine perfectly with the jazzy chops from the band"
Blues & Soul May 2006

"Witty, caustic, deft rapping over live jazz instrumentations touches of genius"
Stuff ­ August 2006

"The mixture of live jazz instruments under intelligent lyrics is one that astounds"
One Week To Live ­ May 2006

"Us3 have delivered a great variant on a globally dominant theme. Love it!"
Steve Fanning ­ www.new-noise.net ­ July 2006

"An innovative hip-hop jazz record"
Alex Lawson ­ Shadowplay ­ June 2006

"Terrific rhythms, beats and horns."
www.lifeandsoul.com ­ June 2006

"If you like tunes with a difference go and get this."
www.caughtinthecrossfire.com ­ May 2006

"Give it a listen ­ you'll be hooked."
www.basic-soul.co.uk ­ June 2006

"Refreshingly positive"
Grindmode ­ June 2006


"Us3 continues to do what it has done best: the perfect blend of spicy, sexy hip hop laced with a jazzy, horny feel” - www.bigyawn.net

“A blend of positive, progressively phunky jazz, neo-soul, a touch of R&B here, a dash of Latin there.”

“Questions is full of strutting hip-hop Cubanisms ("Whatcha Gonna Do?"), jazzy conscious rap ("What Does That Mean?"), slow-simmering Latin funk ("Goodbye") and even a couple of affectionate looks back at that one big hit single ("Cantaloop 2004: Bossa Mix" and "Soul Mix"). Everything on Questions is guaranteed to get folks at your next party winding their waists and spilling their drinks. Highly recommended.” - www.allmusic.com

“…slinky, keyboard-driven arrangements anchored in soulful jazz and Latin rhythms. Timeless.”

“This is an album that sweats cool” www.nypost.com

"A very mature album of contemporary jazz-influenced urban sounds. With its beautiful fusion of Latin, R&B, acid jazz, African beats, hip-hop and funk, 'Questions' is an eclectic mix of culture, genres and attitudes. The sweet and mellow sounds of sax, trumpet and piano weave their way through the background, wrapping themselves around fantastic uplifting lyrics that meander through global, social and personal issues."
Priscilla Owusu www.knowtheledge.net November 2004

"Us3 have two new vocalists with super sexy stylish Mpho laying exquisite jazz-funk vocals and Brooklyn born and bred Reggi Wyns flexing his jazzy Tribe style raps. They're both excellent providing lyrics that are conscious, deep and they compliment the music very well. It's all about positivity, peace and soul that makes this album uplifting and really smooth."
Tareck Ghoneim www.contactmusic.com October 2004

"Ooooooh, how cool is this music? It defines 'cool'. Combining elements of smooth jazz, sexy soul and hip-hop beats with benevolent bebop and many other, worldly styles. This is music that can easily gain respect on both the streets and the world circuit. Wilkinson and the gang should feel proud of what they have accomplished, because in all honesty it is a very good record. Music to make love to on a sunny Sunday afternoon."
Daniel Bristow www.roomthirteen.com September 2004

"Geoff Wilkinson has put together an album which is heavily influenced by his passion for latin music and nu soul. Well produced, excellent musicianship, especially trumpet, funky and jazzy, nicely crafted"

"heavily jazz-influenced with a big R&B vibe - soulful and groovy with horns and sassy rapping. Love it."
Cathy Levy - Upside Magazine - September 2004

"a snoozy boozy woozy treat!"
Pete Cashmore - NME - 25 September 2004

"Us3 have never been so darn funky"
Jack Foley www.indielondon.co.uk September 2004

"An Ordinary Day In An Unusual Place"

An Ordinary Day in an Unusual Place may have a tough act to follow in Us3's massive 1993 hit Hand on the Torch, but Geoff Wilkinson's two new vocal recruits add at least one new dimension to the group's music. An Ordinary Day also places additional emphasis on real-time playing, relying less on the samples which powered Us3's earlier work. At the beginning there are fun tracks exploring personal politics, before the scope gradually widens to tackle grim social issues. The fun section strikes hard with "Get Out", Alison Crockett emoting on the Shirley Bassey scale, swiftly chased by "You Can't Hold Me Down", where fellow New Yorker Michelob raps lubriciously over inspired Indo-Latino fusion. Crockett's back again for the equally arresting "Let My Dreams Come True", banging piano chords leading a horn-exploding salsa sprint. Michelob takes a minimalist rap lope with "India" and "Dead End Street", really devouring the rhyming meat by the time he gets to "World No More". Meanwhile, Crockett makes "Sittin' on My Park Bench" sound like Prince's "Sign O' the Times", then criss-crosses lines over a lunging bass on "Pay Attention", which is surely a contender for single release.
Martin Longley Amazon.co.uk

This 2001 release features shorter samples, stronger tunes & a greater emphasis on songwriting. London based producer Geoff Wilkinson, the driving force behind Us3, has delivered his most exciting & significant project yet.

I was amazed at how a man can update his quasi-Tribe Called Quest sound of the '90s so seamlessly is beyond me. Wilkinson does it with ease.
Louise Brown "The Charlatan"

Cool breaks and fusion-dabbled rapping.
Prague Tribune

The adventurous groove has evolved in a more streamlined form of truncated samples woven into infectious songs. Great CD.
Graham Radley "Net Rhythms"

A creative and intelligent mixture of soul, salsa, hip-hop and jazz. The sound of this unclassifiable group is always hot, efficient and eclectic.
Montreux Jazz

"Broadway & 52nd"

Jazz comes up from the basement with sensuous sampled loops from the Blue Note archives, and in through the side door with heated solos between the raps.
Entertainment Weekly 18.4.97

The groove is non-stop.... Once again producer/mixer Geoff Wilkinson dips into the Blue Note vault to borrow beat samples, rappers KCB and Shabaam Sahdeeq wax eloquent with news from the street and a rotating crew of musicians fills the gaps with strong improvisational flights.
Down Beat Jan 97

This time around, producer Geoff Wilkinson digs deeper into the Blue Note catalog to come up with some obscure jazz samples combined with live musicians and the poetic lyrics of newcomers KCB and Shabaam Sahdeeq.
Rap Pages August 97

Like the dance bands of the Big Band Era, Us3 shows that it's possible to create a form that both delights and challenges. It also proves beyond any doubt that like jazz and blues (other African-American art forms once dismissed as gutter music) before it, rap can hold it's own in a high-brow environment. KCB and Sahdeeq give vocal performances that are sophisticated and classy while still conveying an energetic urgency. Perhaps most of all, "Broadway & 52nd" is evidence that jazz continues to evolve, to adapt - to live.
Jim Trageser 'American Reporter' 12.4.97

"Hand On The Torch"

"Us3 have made vinyl history with the addictive "Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)", the first hip-hop record to be released by the internationally-respected jazz label Blue Note."
Amy Raphael "The Face" December 1992

"It's so refreshing to hear music that goes beyond the normal 'safe' boundaries"
Sarah HB "Blues & Soul" 22.6.93

"This is hep-cattin', horn-tootin', daddy-o-grandness!"
Calvin Bush "Melody Maker" 24.7.93

"A distinctive and superb hybrid"
Music Week 17.7.93

"It just doesn't get cooler than this!"
Gavin Report 8.10.93

"If acts like Us3 are any indication, true jazz rap fusion may finally be at hand"
Baltimore Sun 10.12.93

"As distinctive as a thumb print, as unmistakable as a Miles Davis solo, Us3 combines jazz and hip-hop like no other group Us3 is a breed apart"
Boston Globe 17.12.93

"Finally a true hip-hop jazz album - they never forgot the importance of improvisation"
USA Today 27.12.93

"Rap's New Jazz Messengers - Us3 takes fusion further than some have ever dreamed"
Time Magazine 24.1.94

"Us3 remind us that what made jazz in the 50s and 60s so singular was not just the horn riffing but the syncopation, the tempo, the accenting, the odd time signatures - the crazy rhythms"
Vibe January 94

"The best extended marriage of jazz and rap to date"
Wall Street Journal 2.3.94

"Bird woulda dug this shit!"
Austin Chronicle 4.3.94

"We have seen the future and it is Us3"
Paper April 94

"This sort of thing has given jazz back to the street"
The Independent on Sunday 27.11.94


Hand On The Torch 20th Anniversary Double CD Hand On The Torch 20th Anniversary Double CD
© Us3 2013
The Third Way (Hand On The Torch Vol II) The Third Way (Hand On The Torch Vol II)
© Us3 2013

(includes postage & packing worldwide)

Lie, Cheat & Steal Lie, Cheat & Steal
© Us3 2011

(includes postage & packing worldwide)

stop. think. run stop. think. run
© Us3 2009

(includes postage & packing worldwide)

say what
Say What!?
© Us3 2007

(includes postage & packing worldwide)

© Us3 2006

(includes postage & packing worldwide)

© Us3 2004

(includes postage & packing worldwide)

an ordinary day in an unusual place An Ordinary Day
in an Unusual Place
Universal © 2001
broadway and 52nd Broadway & 52nd
Blue Note © 1997
hand on the torch Hand On The Torch
Blue Note © 1993