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  • Shades of Blue
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Shades of Blue

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Audio CD, June 24, 2003
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Madlib, aka Beat Konducta (born Madlib the Bad Kid 1922-1993) was an American comedian best known for his starring role on the television sitcom Quasimoto and Son. He was 3/4 African-American and 1/4 Blazed.

Beat Konducta was born in Oakland and raised in Oxnard, During World War II, Beat Konducta used illegal means to avoid the draft and engaged in various criminal activities. Moving to ... Read more in Amazon's Madlib Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 24, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • ASIN: B00009OOI6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,254 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Introduction
2. Slim's Return
3. Distant Land (Hip Hop Drum Mix)
4. Mystic Bounce
5. Stormy
6. Blue Note Interlude
7. Please Set Me At Ease
8. Funky Blue Note
9. Alfred Lion Interlude
10. Steppin' Into Tomorrow
11. Andrew Hill Break
12. Montara
13. Song For My Father
14. Footprints - Yesterdays New Quintet
15. Peace/Dolphin Dance
16. Outro

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The hip-hop producer extraordinaire tackles Blue Note's soul-jazz catalog on his latest project, given free reign to rummage around the fabled label's vaults. On one level, the project makes perfect sense given Madlib's Yesterday's New Quintet work--he clearly has an ear for the Blue Note jazz aesthetic. The remixes and reinventions here are mostly pleasant and even surprising at times--get down with "Mystic Bounce," a flip on Ronnie Foster's "Mystic Brew." Yet, some of these tracks seem a little too casual and undercooked, making Shades of Blue feel a bit too much like just another Madlib side project. In fact, Blue Note had already done a better job with this very same concept on their largely forgotten 1996 New Groove compilation, where artists such as Large Professor and the Roots took their stabs at the label's catalog. --Oliver Wang

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 30 customer reviews
This is probably one of the best "hip-hop" albums out there.
His music is very different from traditional "jazz," and even deviates somewhat from Blue Note's traditional sign-ups.
R. Dube
The best hip hop/jazz album since Blowout Comb from Digable Planets.
Arni Freyr Stefansson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By B on July 15, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Jazz labels recently realized that most people under 30 hip enough to appreciate jazz were not listening to it, but listening jazz being reinterpreted by enlightened underground DJs and producers instead. They said, "hey, if these guys were working for us instead of pirating all our classics, it would be a win win situation." And theoretically, they were right. Blue Note has been doing novelty pieces with hip hop producers for over half a decade, and Verve has done their Remixed thing on more of a dance/electronica tip. I think Blue Note's stuff has been a little stronger than it's been given credit for, but still not that great.
Enter Madlib. He has a pretty good following for someone with so many alter egos and spotty if incredibly promising work. He uses old jazz samples better than most, so Blue Note pays him to do a whole album by himself. Some of the tunes he chooses are predictable; Mystic Brew, Montara, Song For My Father, and Footprints are very nice tunes, but overdone. Some of my favorites are Please Set Me at Ease, Stepping into Tomorrow, and Peace/Dolphin Dance Madlib's reworking is according to his established but always hip trademark; there's nothing here YNQ fans won't expect, maybe a little less than they will expect. Even though the atmosphere of the album is thick and effective, the whole thing feels a little half baked. Like he knew he was good and just didn't put his everything into it, or maybe he tried really hard and just wasn't feeling things. In any case, at least he doesn't play keyboards too much like on Stevie (which is worse than this), and when he does on Dolphin Dance, it sounds good.
If you don't already have Angles Without Edges, slap yourself and buy a copy. If you cant get enough of the mad blunted sound, then buy this.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "balloonholocaustt" on June 27, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Everyone familiar with Madlib's work will probably be approaching this album with Yesterday's New Quintet on their minds. And that's natural, as it's the only other widely distributed jazz-takes-the-center-stage long player that Madlib's put out, i.e. it's the one that most of the people are most familiar with. The jazz influence is obvious in a lot of his work, but on these records jazz is the dominant theme.
As compared to YNQ, the hip-hop element seems more apparent here, which may make it more accessible to anyone that YNQ didn't quite click with, should such people exist. Still, Madlib's solo efforts have always struck me as being more for the heads---musician's musician type stuff, and though a lot of people have given him the time and attention he deserves, I still feel Madlib might take getting used to for some folks. On this record About half of the songs are "remixes" of old blue note recordings while the other half are "remakes," performed by Madlib, his alter egos, and various other personnel. Still the jazz/beats thing, but now there's cuts and rhymes coming into it (not too heavily, but they're there).
Though it makes for a more obvious wedding between hip-hop and jazz, the great thing for me is that Madlib's music doesn't turn into some silly hybrid. This isn't an electronic musician doing his best to approximate a certain sound that he has come to associate with the idea of "jazz," and it's not just a saxophone loop and a beat, either. the fact that he understands and feels this music comes through---the music develops and changes, flows in and out of itself and maintains this for the length. It doesn't get pretentious.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Frank A. Brenner on January 5, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Madlib has a nasty, scratchy, loose feel to his production. A producer that enjoys the space between each element used. There is space between his dry snares, cymbal washes, cow bwlls, and kitchen sink atmospherics. I love his work, but this release is not all its made out to be. A friend of mine who produces cuts said that he would have spent about 5 years in the blue note vault with an MPC and a before even a peep was put on wax. It seems that the project was rushed in an attempt to make a profit off of the cred. lib has among people in the record buying world. A world that has never been smaller. The best cuts are already solid blue note classics Re: "mystic bounce" -( already man handled on an old ass tribe cut), "stepping into tomorrow" - and "slims return"- (which Chief X cel used on an early Blackalicious side). The sinkers on this piece are the tracks Madlib plays keys on. I will never know what possessed him to play a keyboard on top of Hancocks "Dolphin Dance", but its kind of like drawing on a Reid Miles cover. Bad news son. So someone tell Lib to lay off the rhodes, and stick to making esoteric bangers. Peace.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By alleyeswideopen on April 28, 2006
Format: Audio CD
now i can't imagine why anyone would give this less then 4 stars, i gave it five. Now some people who badmouthed this album are obviously not madlib fans cause this album is incredible. Now if you want the origanal blue Note rocordings then go find them(untinted) but this is Madlib's interpratation and just like YNQ stevie album it's a dope hip hop recreation of classic tracks. hands down a must have for madlib fans
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