There’s world-war-imagery (including Stalingrad and D-day) and a subtle notice that – when required – he can make a bolt for it quicker than Biggie’s murderer. »Number One«, Andy Cooper’s prelude to his first and fully self-made solo record by the name of »Room To Breathe – The Free LP« comes with high pitched samples of James Brown, big gestures and an even bigger mouth. Most importantly, it comes with high spirits, which is why you can hear the same kind of winking feel-good-flavor of his crew Ugly Duckling running through the whole solo release. It’s not that surprising, considering that he’s the man at the controllers in the Californian trio. That’s probably why »Room To Breathe« stays true to the title-giving credo of the fifth track, »Chasing The Funk«. However, the LP does not deteriorate to a mere reminiscence à la »Take it back to the old school«. It’s not a remember-the-good-ol’-days kind of thing. Basically, it’s all about casually keeping the ball. It’s about what Andy Cooper has discovered, about what he has tried and tested and where he has proven successful. Hence, the urge for making a solo record hasn’t derived from the need for an update but rather the need for consequent advancement. Since he started making music, he has always followed funky grooves and serious (but not deadly serious) raps. Hence, the LP of ten tracks sounds as if the Dust Brothers are having a BBQ with Bomb Squad during which Rakim is dropping in for some freestyling.