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Jazzanova – Blue Note Trip

Blue Note Trip is more than a compilation, it is a mixtape. The experience created by the Jazzanova group—the DJ collective commissioned to put this project together—is both cool and serene. As this is a two disk collection, compiled from the vaults of the Blue Note catalogues, you get two different environs in which to wet your jazzy appetites; The club side, which is what makes up disk one, and the more relaxed, everyday chill vibe, which is what comprises disk two.


For disk one, entitled Lookin’ Back, the Jazzanova guys create their club feel with different rhythms and melodies surrounded not only by jazz staples, but also by mixing in more percussion based grooves inspired by African, Meringue, and Calypso music. Tracks that make up the impressive listing include Bobbi Humphrey’s “You Make Me Feel So Good,” Donald Byrd’s “Think Twice,” Horace Parlan’s “Congalegra,” and Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage.” Smoothly melding the different sensibilities in the recordings, Jazzanova allows the listener to experience what it might be like at an easy listening dance party of the roaring twenties, when big band music was all the rage and people didn’t just congregate together on the dance floor, but actually danced with each other. The rare and well-known gems create an atmosphere akin to one you might find on a Tuesday night at the clubbing experience known as So What?!, with Deejays K-Nee and Style-N-Fashion helming the boards. The disk revs it up with energetic swinging of the club scenario, and then transitions flawlessly to a more after-hours mack or make-out session. What’s even more pleasing is recognizing that ultra-rare break beat.

For disk two, Movin’ On, the idea behind the mix was to create a more laid-back, relaxed atmosphere. This they succeeded in, crafting behind such musical genius as Bobby Hutcherson’s moving “Love Song,” and Eddie Gale’s enchanting “Song of Will.” Keeping the proceedings afloat, you’re also treated to such lifting experiences as Gene Harris’ “Losalamitoslatinfunklovesong,” and Tina Brooks’ “Theme for Doris.” As Jazzanova had wanted to create more of a mood than anything, vocal tracks were kept to a minimum. However, the addition of The Horace Silver Quintet’s vocal version of “Senor Blues” was an inspired choice, fitting wonderfully into the “flow.” This is what those cool Mod parties of the mid-sixties must have sounded like, with their beatnik poetry sessions, turtle-neck sweaters and cools Beret’s.

Whether you are a seasoned jazz aficionado or a novice who is really turned off by “Contemporary Jazz Fusion,” this two-disk mixture is a Trip worth taking. Looking back or moving forward, the music resonates with a vibrancy that is hard to duplicate. Certainly, it is a heartfelt journey for the mixologists involved and the listener who comes on board.


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