Jazz Is Dead 10
As the final chapter in the initial run of Jazz Is Dead releases, Remixes JID010 continues the creative catharsis of an exhilarating new chapter in jazz music. Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad tapped nine iconic creators to reimagine their personal favorites from Jazz Is Dead’s catalogue to-date, who created striking new versions of songs by Marcos Valle, Roy Ayers, Gary Bartz, Azymuth, João Donato, Doug Carn, Brian Jackson and The Midnight Hour. Holding the line taut like a bass string, Younge & Muhammad only invited those special musical alchemists who have previously participated in Jazz Is Dead happenings, or those who are slated to share that stage soon: Cut Chemist, DJ Spinna, Georgie Anne Muldrow, Akili, Shigeto, Pink Siiffu, Dibiase, Natureboy Flako, and Kaidi Tathum. It’s a family affair.
The album blasts off with Kaidi Tathum’s reinvention of Marcos Valle’s wistful beachside stroll, transforming “Gotta Love Again” into a strutting, pulsating excursion equally at home in the club and headphones. Building off of Valle’s mellifluous vocalizations, Tathum harnesses the composition’s polyrhythms to build a soulful, jazz-house track that floats over ethereal synths and stutter-steps to a propulsive beat entirely unimaginable, yet true to the spirit of the optimistic and effortless original.
On his remix of Gary Bartz’s “Soulsea” Cut Chemist taps into the big-beat atmospherics of his old running partner, DJ Shadow, to craft a moody, echo-laden, percussive down-tempo saxophone meditation. Creating drama over bombastic beats, Cut Chemist layers Bartz’s searching sax refrains over sparse keyboard bars.
Brian Jackson’s mellow masterpiece dedicated to the recently departed jazz vocalist, “Nancy Wilson”, receives an epic overhaul by producer Shigeto with help from harpist Ahya Simone and DJ Dez Andres. More than tripling the original’s duration while adding layers of new sounds, Shigeto’s remix weaves in and out of movements that alternately showcase Jackson’s soulful flute work, Simone’s sparkling harp and Andres’ bubbling percussion. Imagine if Dorthy Ashby and Hermeto Pascoal dropped in on Miles’ In A Silent Way sessions...
It might have been a foregone conclusion that Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad would give their Jazz Is Dead series the remix treatment, but that doesn’t mean this is your average remix album. Just like Younge and Muhammad fused their aesthetic with the musical masters they invited to collaborate with for Jazz Is Dead, the DJs, producers and musicians tasked with remixing songs from the catalogue tapped into the same jazz ethos, resulting in imaginative and sometimes radically reimagined versions of the originals.