Various Artists - Blue Note Re:imagined II (2xLP Vinyl)

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Legendary labels Decca Records and Blue Note have joined forces for Blue Note Re:imagined; a brand-new collection of classic Blue Note tracks, reworked and newly recorded by a selection of the UK scene’s most exciting young talents.

Blue Note Re:imagined returns this year with a new 16-track compilation featuring fresh takes on music from the illustrious Blue Note vaults recorded by a heavyweight line-up of the UK jazz, soul and R&B scene’s most hotly-tipped rising stars. Arriving off the back of the widespread international success of the first volume, which topped jazz charts around the globe, Blue Note Re:imagined II once again infuses the spirit of the new UK jazz generation into the legendary label’s iconic catalogue, balancing the genre’s tradition with its future and reflecting the melting pot of talent and diversity within the current scene.

“For more than eight decades the artists of Blue Note Records have continually pushed the envelope of contemporary music, and Blue Note Re:imagined II once again honors that legacy by letting the UK’s most creative young artists reinvent the treasures of the Blue Note catalog through their own lens.” – Blue Note President, Don Was


The inaugural Blue Note Re:imagined was as welcome as a compilation could be in the post-We Out Here age of well-foraged jazzlands; South London was a ground of such ceaselessly ostensive acclaim, new standards and improbable knockouts that it was only a matter of time until the music industry’s old guard chomped at the bit. But even the greatest cynic couldn’t deny that the label’s letterheads suited the likes of Shabaka Hutchings and Nubya Garcia – innovators whose compulsion and prolificacy spoke to a new age of artistry just as free jazz did at the birth of Impulse! Records. Re:imagined was more than a languid market grab or middle finger to Gilles Peterson’s bank account; it was a moment that the conversation became elevated from the insoluble tag of ‘up-and-coming’ to a sincere recognition of new modern jazz greatness. But good things end.

Other than a few standout moments on Re:imagined II, the genesis of the compilation’s franchising is an instant dilution of everything that worked before. The curation is stretched, the players less a part of a palpable and bubbling scene, the invisible hand of boardroom executives more discernible. Genuine musical intrigue and interpretation goes side-to-side with your local café’s afternoon playlist one too many times for Re:imagined II to hold weight. Take the unconditional highlight in Theon Cross’ tuba rendition of Thelonious Monk’s bebop standard ‘Epistrophy’: an eerie jurisdiction lugs through Monk’s atonal brassy knots whilst both author and improvisor can be distinguished with alacrity. But by this point, we’ve just had two twee covers of Norah Jones, and now it’s time for a cover of a cover of ‘Harvest Moon’.

By: Nick Tzara

A1 Yazz Ahmed– It
A2 Conor Albert– You Make Me Feel So Good
A3 Parthenope– Don't Know Why
A4 Swindle (2)– Miss Kane
B1 Nubiyan Twist– Through The Noise (Chant No.2)
B2 Ego Ella May– Morning Side Of Love
B3 Oscar Jerome & Oscar #Worldpeace– (Why You So) Green With Envy
B4 Daniel Casimir, Ria Moran– Lost
C1 Theon Cross– Epistrophy
C2 Maya Delilah– Harvest Moon
C3 Kay Young– Feel Like Making Love
C4 Venna & Marco– Where Are We Going?
D1 Reuben James– Infant Eyes
D2 Binker Golding– Fort Worth
D3 Cherise– Sunrise
D4 Franc Moody– Cristo Redentor

Label: UMC – 4564812
Format: 2 x Vinyl, LP, Compilation