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Blue Note Revisited (2004)

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Eddie Gale

When a label decides to allow DJs to remix and add to older jazz recordings, one has to wonder if it's for real or just a gimmick. Does a fan of Wayne Shorter really want to hear a reworking of "Oriental Folk Song" by La Funk Mob? Or Horace Silver's "Won't You Open Up Your Senses" by 4hero? Perhaps it would be fun to do a track-by-track analysis if one had the time, dissecting what has been added, what has been taken away. One suspects, however, that these facelifts will appeal more to the DJ culture itself than fans of the original works. At least some of these tracks do resemble '70s funk-fusion, and the cover of Blue Note Revisited seems to invite the comparison. Eddie Henderson's "Kudo," reworked by Kyoto Jazz Massive, sounds a little like a collaboration (or collision) between Stevie Wonder and Steely Dan, whileDonald Byrd's "Lansanna's Priestess," remixed by DJ Spinna, sounds like average theme music to a mid-'70s budget film. Having said all of this, there are still pleasant surprises, including Vanessa Freeman's vocal on "Won't You Open Up Your Senses," but the overall results are hit and miss and, in the case ofWayne Shorter's "Footprints" dubbed by DJ Mehdi, misconceived. Fans of the DJ culture with an interest in jazz may nonetheless want to check Blue Note Revisited out.