Dyles Mavis
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Dyles Mavis

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
Band R&B Hip Hop




"Jammed Up and Jelly Tight Review (Jason Randall Smith)"

Artist: Dyles Mavis
Album: Jammed Up & Jelly Tight
Reviewed by Jason Randall Smith

It’s been almost a decade since the members of Dyles Mavis began to write their first songs together while attending the University of California, Riverside. Known as Jus-tus’ back then, Sean McBride, Eric Tucker, and Jared Baisley have maneuvered their way through various musical avenues, picking up the influences of hip-hop, R&B, jazz and soul within their travels. Jammed Up & Jelly Tight represents the culmination of these various genres fighting for their attention. It should be noted that this doesn’t lead to an ADD-styled bounce from one musical form to the next, but rather a well-honed and seasoned sound that captures the best aspects of each genre, carefully blending them into soulful compositions.
Since the trio’s title plays around with a particular jazz icon’s name, it’s not surprising that this album is immersed in a cool mood right from the first cut. “Butterflies” is a sonically seductive opener that introduces the listener to the many talents of each member. With top-notch musicianship, reflective rhymes, and lush vocal harmonies, the bar is set extremely high for the songs that follow, but the group never fails to bring quality material to the table. While “Butterflies” examines a relationship cooling down and nearing its potential demise, “Full Time Love” revels in the joy of the chase. The rolling piano hook sounds like springtime as drum programming clicks away in the background and keyboard stabs sparkle in the mix.
Among the ten songs featured on this album, there are a few that hint at the pop potential for this group, the type that seem primed for heavy rotation. “She’s Cold” bears that distinction, an up-tempo R&B cut with punchy horn riffs and catchy background vocals surrounding the chorus. “Sunshine” veers in another direction, unveiling a feel-good pop structure accented by handclaps and a “ba bop ba ba” sing-along phrase you can’t help but get caught up in. “Never Stop Loving You” heads straight for the clubs with a muffled bass line, synthesized chords, and frozen snare pads. Given that these guys can really sing, the prerequisite use of Auto-Tune on this cut is quite peculiar. One listen to the smooth atmosphere of “Microphone” and it’s more than obvious that their collective vocal cords don’t need any digital assistance.
If Dyles Mavis really wanted to secure their chances of superstardom, all they would have to do is churn out more songs like “Rocketman.” Its verses feature hip-hop poetics over poignant pianos while the memorable chorus increases in volume and intensity, accompanied by a blistering guitar solo. It’s the type of song that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Kanye West or Lupe Fiasco album. Of course, if Dyles Mavis did decide to go that route, we might miss out on songs like “Constellations.” This is spacious soul beamed down from another galaxy, perfectly anchored by warbling bass tones and shuffling percussion.
Jammed Up & Jelly Tight closes out in fun fashion with “Glasses,” a cut especially for those who “got the hots for the bookworms.” Over playful piano triplets and punchy horns, Dyles Mavis bounces back and forth between witty raps and pitch-perfect crooning. The sunny disposition of the closing track mirrors the feeling of the album as a whole. Kudos must go to producers Laythan Armor and Haskel Jackson, who always manage to find the right balance for this group’s influences behind the mixing boards. Between those gentlemen in the booth and a wealth of session musician help, this talented trio has a great support system in their corner. Combining jazz sophistication with hip-hop swagger and the romanticism of R&B, Dyles Mavis has tapped into a crossover sound that will appeal to music lovers worldwide.

Reviewed by Jason Randall Smith
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
- Jason Randall Smith

"Jammed Up and Jelly Tight Review (Dan MacIntosh)"

Artist: Dyles Mavis
Single: Jammed Up & Jelly Tight
Review By: Dan MacIntosh

The first hint that Dyles Mavis is serious about music is found in its name. In case you didn’t notice, this moniker is a play on the name of jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. The rap/R&B trio is comprised of Sean (Smoov) McBride, Eric (Smokey) Tucker and Jared Baisley, all of whom met as freshmen at University of California, Riverside. The act’s album, Jammed Up & Jelly Tight, is also a throwback reference to an old song. Clearly, this group knows its music history.

The combo, which began with the name Jus-tus and has even dabbled in film work by helping score the film Traces of Tragedy, shows an affinity for the jazz music its pun-y name references with the pretty “Butterflies.” This lightly funky song incorporates plenty of jazz piano, and just a touch of jazz trumpet. Lyrically, the track also reveals sophistication, as it speaks to that point in a relationship where one partner no longer feels those nervous butterflies when the other is around. In addition to its natural musical elements, this recording features vocal harmonies worthy of the great vocal group Take 6, as well as a gentle rapped section. From start to finish, this song’s a winner.

Another album highlight is “Microphone.” On the quiet song that brings to mind Earth Wind & Fire’s heyday, Dyles Mavis sing about a girl that reminds them of their microphone. Just like a microphone, which stays close and picks up every sung and said word, this loyal woman is always right there.

“Sunshine” is yet another song that shows off how Dyles Mavis can stretch out, much like a jazz combo. Just listen to the extended acoustic piano part at the end of the song. It’s fairly obvious that this was something that happened spontaneously in the studio, and was kept for fun. Ah, but thank goodness they kept it on the record! It’s a really nice, acoustic interlude, if you will, that just makes the album shine even brighter.

A song like “Surreal” is something one could reasonably expect to hear on smooth jazz stations. It has a quiet keyboard-based melody, with a ‘quiet storm’ backing vocal. Its lead vocal is hushed, yet desperate. The song’s melody creates a mood, ripe with sexual tension.

Dyles Mavis shows its rap side during “Glasses,” which features a lighthearted beat and a rap that comes off more like a conversation than any display of verbal dexterity.

One titled “Never Stop Loving You” may be the closest thing this album has to a contemporary R&B song. It sports studio enhanced vocals, a distinctly polished rhythm track with the beat way up front in the mix and group melodic backing vocals, rather than the sort of close harmonies found in many other places on the project. Although this track will, perhaps, give the act a shot at radio airplay, it’s not the best example of what these artists can do. Maybe this is just a personal preference thing here, but the music is much more enjoyable whenever there are throwback elements or traditional jazz and R&B touches.

Ironically, there is nothing on this release that will remind you even slightly of the song “Jammed Up, Jelly Tight.” But that doesn’t really matter. What matters most is that Dyles Mavis is a talented trio; one with the potential to appeal to audiences, both young and old. Pop music can be so trendy. In fact, its very name amply implies ‘of the moment.’ However, when you discover an act that can span the past and the present so seamlessly, as Dyles Mavis often does, it’s truly a beautiful thing. This is a group with a really big up side, so don’t ever let them out of your sight.

Review By Dan MacIntosh
Rating: 4 Stars (out of 5)
- Dan MacIntosh

"Jammed Up and Jelly Tight Review (Alex Henderson)"

Artist: Dyles Mavis
Title: Jammed Up and Jelly Tight
Review by Alex Henderson

Miles Davis was a highly influential figure in jazz; the late trumpeter had as great an impact on bop, cool jazz and post-bop as he did on fusion. So when a group’s name is a play on Davis’ name, one tends to assume that some type of jazz is involved. But the music that the vocal trio Dyles Mavis offers on Jammed Up and Jelly Tight is not jazz per se. Rather, Dyles Mavis’ music is neo-soul with jazz overtones and a strong hip-hop influence; stylistically, this group has more in common with Erykah Badu and Jill Scott than it does with Miles Davis. Anyone who expects Jammed Up and Jelly Tight to sound like The Birth of the Cool, Kind of Blue, ESP or Bitches Brew will be disappointed. But from a modern R&B perspective, this album has a lot going for it. Like the album’s clever, catchy and memorable title, the group’s sound and style, epitomizes “cool”.

Like Badu, Scott, D’Angelo, Mary J. Blige, Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys, Jaguar Wright and other neo-soul artists, Dyles Mavis have one foot in the past and the other foot in the present. Dyles Mavis’ neo-soul isn’t an exact replica of the old-school soul of the 1970s, but they get a great deal of creative inspiration from that era. And many of the grooves on Jammed Up and Jelly Tight recall the soul and funk that singer/vibraphonist Roy Ayers offered in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Ayers started out as a straight-ahead jazz instrumentalist, but in the late 1970s and early 1980s (when he enjoyed his greatest commercial success), Ayers’ focus was vocal-oriented soul and funk with jazz overtones. And Dyles Mavis bring that type of approach to “Full-Time Love,” “Butterflies,” “Surreal,” the dreamy “Constellations” and other songs on this release. But unlike Ayers’ late 1970s and early 1980s hits, Dyles Mavis’ material is full of rapping. Melodically and harmonically, Dyles Mavis have a lot in common with the recordings that Ayers was putting out 33, 34 and 35 years ago, but the hip-hop element is definitely something that separates Jammed Up and Jelly Tight from the recordings that Ayers gave us during his You Send Me/Fever/Let’s Do It/No Stranger to Love period.

Another old school 1970s influence that Dyles Mavis bring to the table is Stevie Wonder. The Southern Californians make some Wonder-ish moves on “Microphone” and “Rocketman” (not to be confused with Elton Johnson’s 1970s hit). But again, the hip-hop element prevents them from sounding like they are actually emulating Wonder’s 1970s recordings. And it should be noted that the rapping one hears on this album doesn’t bring to mind the thuggish outlook of gangsta rap or the cartoonish hedonism of crunk; instead, their rapping has more in common with the artsy alternative rap of Common, Kuf Knotz, De La Soul, Digable Planets, the Roots and the Pharcyde (minus the humorous eccentricities that some of those artists are known for).

One of the most intriguing songs on this album is “Glasses,” which finds Dyles Mavis expressing their attraction to women who wear glasses. A wide variety of female attire has been celebrated in R&B and hip-hop over the years, ranging from miniskirts to daisy dukes to sundresses to tight jeans. But the way that Dyles Mavis send a shout out to women who wear glasses is certainly different.

The good-natured “Sunshine,” is the album’s least hip-hop-minded track. Most of the tunes on Jammed Up and Jelly Tight blend singing and rapping in a characteristically neo-soul fashion, but “Sunshine” favors singing all the way and is less jazz-influenced than most of the other tunes.

Most of the time, Dyles Mavis avoid sounding generic. The exception is “Never Stop Loving You,” which comes across as formulaic alongside the free-spirited soulfulness of “Glasses,” “Butterflies,” “Microphone” or “Full- Time Love.” Most of the time, however, Jammed Up and Jelly Tight is a memorable outing from Dyles - Alex Henderson


Sunday Afternoon
Jammed Up & Jelly Tight

Full-Time Love (ft. Young Chris Tho)
She's Cold
Sunshine (long version on CD only)
(Neva) Stop Loving You



In 2004, as freshmen at the University of California, Riverside, Sean (Smoov) McBride of Los Angeles, Eric (Smokey) Tucker of San Diego, and Jared (JayB) Baisley of San Francisco, began to write songs amongst themselves. Soon their music caught the ear of a local producer who felt that the young men had something more to offer. It was not long before this group of college buddies began to call themselves “Jus-tus’”. After a number of studio sessions and the recruitment of an up and coming management team, Jus-tus’ released their first self-titled album in the Fall of 2005. In the years that followed, the three slowly matured and shied away from the conventional sounds of the day and began to focus on a melodic and orchestral feel. This experimentation led the trio to work with Warner Brothers Entertainment in the scoring and production of the feature film “Traces of Tragedy” in 2007. After a brief hiatus, the group felt led to once again explore a new direction. This time, the trio would extend their arms to the musical stylings of a full band; embracing the control and wonder of live musicianship. During the latter part of 2009, Jus-tus' signed their first production deal in collaboration with Interscope Records.

2012 is destined to be the breakout year. The band, under new management, changed their name to "Dyles Mavis". Their sophomore EP album, “Sunday Afternoons,” has already been well-received and dubbed an “instant classic”. Songs such as “Constellation” and “Full-Time Love,” solidify this talented bunch as a force to be reckoned with.

Now, with more enthusiasm than ever, and with the contributions of a creative team that consist of producers Laythan Armour of Leigharm Productions (Grammy Nominee) and Haskel Jackson of Genesoul Productions (4 time Grammy Nominee), and musicians Myron McKinley (Music Director of Earth, Wind & Fire), Alan Blake (Music Director of the Brooklyn Nets) and Greg Porée (guitarist of "Dancing with the Stars), Dyles Mavis is ready to take on the world, one ear at a time.

Jason Alexander (Seinfeld) has committed to directing our next music video for the song "Glasses". We are currently in per-production. It will be shot the first week of July, 2012.