Various - blue note's sidetracks vol. 5 - out of the blue

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If you can’t beat them, join in and make money off them like they’ve made cash off you. That’s got to be the theory behind Droppin’ Science. Find the grooviest oft-borrowed masters like trumpeter Donald Byrd, organist Lonnie Smith and other Blue Note legends and get some payback from those who rip, rig and sample. Go one better and make it known throughout the CD’s liner notes just what and who did the stealing from Blue Note’s funky ’60s and ’70s.

First thing you find is that A Tribe Called Quest has the most swipes during the cool course of DS: Four exactly, starting with smooth soul-bop alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson’s percolating version of “It’s Your Thing” and ending (on this volume) with Smith’s shaken-and-stirred thumpity “Steering Wheel.” The CD acts as a great groove-digging collection, one that leaps grandly through the oddball hoops of David Axelrod’s “The Edge” of 1968, which Dr. Dre would come to use, as well as Grant Green’s alluringly lurid strings and flyaway funk of “Down Here on the Ground” from 1970, which Madonna would borrow two decades later. Taking back that which is familiar now and reconnecting it through its past makes Jack McDuff’s moaning ethereal drama of “Oblighetto” and slick space cadet operas from Donald Byrd and Ronnie Laws seem all the more modern.

Blue Note Plays the Beatles contains 11 previously released performances by jazz artists dipping into the Lennon / McCartney songbook. When deciding to cover such well-known songs, an artist has two possible ways of going about it: either re-create the track with no challenge to the original or attempt the complete opposite. Falling into the first category are "I've Just Seen a Face" by Holly Cole , "And I Love Her" by Kevin Hays , and "Come Together" by Dianne Reeves and Cassandra Wilson with Bob Belden . These are straightforward, enjoyable re-creations, but add nothing new to the originals. The second category is represented by the two strongest tracks on Blue Note Plays the Beatles : Bobby McFerrin 's overdubbed a cappella "Drive My Car" and Grant Green 's funk attack on "A Day in the Life." Both artists truly pay homage to the Beatles ' creativity by breathing new life into these universally acclaimed tracks. Grant Green especially transforms "A Day in the Life" into a funk groove that completely sidesteps the majestic, string-laden, hallucinogenic cacophony that was the hallmark of the song. Overall, Blue Note Plays the Beatles is similar to the best of the Fab Four 's original albums: wonderful middle-of-the-road material mixed with a few timeless oddities that should please both jazz heads and Beatles fans.

Various - Blue Note's Sidetracks Vol. 5 - Out Of The BlueVarious - Blue Note's Sidetracks Vol. 5 - Out Of The BlueVarious - Blue Note's Sidetracks Vol. 5 - Out Of The BlueVarious - Blue Note's Sidetracks Vol. 5 - Out Of The Blue