Close your eyes and imagine: 4 Hero, Jazzanova, DJ Spinna, Osunlade, Kenny Dope, Kyoto Jazz Massive, Bugz in the Attic, Madlib--all in the same place, at the same time. Now imagine these same folks rummaging through the vaults of legendary jazz music label, Blue Note. Now imagine these same folks re-constructing Blue Note classics such as Bobby Hutchersons La Malanga, Donald Byrds Lansannas Priestess, and Horace Silvers Wont You Open up Your Senses? Now imagine their efforts compiled in one nicely priced LP or CD. . . Okay, open! Guess what, Blue Note Revisitedthe product of your vivid (and quite discerning imagination) sits right before your eyes, now available at a record store near you.
You all know how this works by now. Verve did it, twice before. Now Blue Note takes a stab, intelligently including some of the heavy-hitters that were looked over for the prior Verve projects. For this project, Blue Note hand-picked the artists listed above and others like, J Dilla, Herbert, DJ Cam, and DJ Mehdi, based upon these artists demonstrated deep roots in jazz music.
Ill give all the tracks a thumbs up for effort alone. The artists renditions create new bodies for these classic pieces of music, while retaining the full essence of each songs soul. DJ Spinnas take on Donald Byrds Lansannas Priestess (which I think Ive played at least once everyday for the past two months), and Jaydees version of Brother Jack McDuffs Oblighetto (sample spotters check A Tribe Called Quests Scenario) intertwine modern soul-influenced hip-hop and house, with the original tune. Of course Bugz in the Attics highly anticipated version of Gene Harris Losalamitoslatinfunklovesong is a real winner. This one begins deceptively close to the original, then spins off into broken-beated dancefloor insanity. Gorgeously done by Japans Kyoto Jazz Massive is Eddie Hendersons Kudu. Madlib having already shown his stuff to the Blue Note crew, steps up again spinning Bobbi Humphreys Young Warrior into new heights, weaving his trademark blunted-in-the-basement soundscape into a heavy jazzdance tune, with an absolutely stunning bassline.
Jazzanova went mad techy on Eddie Gales Song of Will, while Osunlade pulled in the island influences of his current resting spot Puerto Rico for Grant Greens A Time Remember. 4 Hero chose Horace Silvers Wont You Open up Your Senses (the original was featured on their Lifestyles compilation) and refashioned it into a cool classic-sounding version with live drums and keys.
Even with all this remixing and refashioning, Blue Note Revisited feels like a jazz collection. The overall tone is rich, classic, and honesteverything that a tribute to this extraordinary record label should be.