Mad Hip Hop/Jazz mash-up,
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This review is from: Slim's Return (MP3 Download)
Some additional material recorded at the same sessions as Madlib's "Shades Of Blue" album - the one in which he was given license to do his thing with the entire Blue Note back catalogue. The result of that was an infectious and organic-sounding jazz meets hip-hop mash-up with the cream of '60s and '70s American jazz colliding with Madlib's reliably jaw-dropping beats. These four tracks (three of them just a touch over three minutes long - ignore Amazon's timings) were originally only released as a bonus 12" single.
Track 1, "Slim's Return" is classic, moody Blue Note - slow and dubby, with killer vibes/piano and double bass riff. For the re-rub of Donald Byrd's "Stepping Into Tommorow", the beat is stripped down to a simple 808 shuffle with that gigantically fat Mizell bassline brought to the front and mixed up with the mad organ solo and studio chants. Pure genius! Track 3 starts as a heavy hip-hop jam and morphs into a raw re-interpretation of the Horace Silver tune "Dimples", featuring more stripped down beats and chiming electric piano. "Young Warrior", the final and longest track, is pure soul-jazz plus beats, starting slow and funky and then heading off at warp speed into a crazy fusion jam.
When it comes to popular music, I 'spose the word genius is over-used but what Madlib does in the studio with a bunch of samples and a few musicians is a wondrous, genuinely creative thing. Not only has he managed to breathe new life in to some of these dusty old jazz classics but also into the whole hip hop'n'jazz genre as well.