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Who needs purists?
on 3 August 2005
Jazz purists will hate this, as a couple of reviews have already demonstrated on this page. But jazz purists are the same people who deny that Miles ever experimented with fusion or released any albums during his last twenty years on the planet.
There are many other bland remix strolls through not just the Blue Note but also Verve back catalogues. If you want to enjoy jazz, but can't find it in your soul to do so (or need a tepid House beat accompaniment so that it doesn't seem too "different" from modern music), you can turn to those. If you think jazz is an antique collectable produced only prior to 1970 and reproduced imperfectly since, well... guess you can always dust off a few cherished records from your mausoleum.
Madlib is a much finer exponent of the spirits of jazz than most modern jazzists, and this album is a further testament to that fact. Those who like should also check his remix of Bobbi Humphrey's 'Young Warrior' on the Blue Note Revisited album - possibly better than anything on 'Shades of Blue'.
But it's all relative, and Madlib is a true modern genius. Whether he's hip-hoppin', be-boppin' or just straight doin' his do.
This album actually set me off on certain artists I hadn't listened to before. Bobby Hutcherson and Horace Silver, in particular. And it gots to be good news that young heads can expand their jazz vocabulary beyond 'Kind of Blue', knowing how much it informs the hip-hop and soul that gets us going.