Blue Note Records, the legendary American Jazz label, joined forces with Decca in 2020 to create Blue Note Re:Imagined. The project aims to bring modern interpretations to classic jazz tracks by curating a collection of Blue Note tracks reinterpreted by some of the finest new UK jazz, soul, and R&B artists.
It kicks off with Jorja Smith’s take on St Germain’s Rose Rouge and goes on to bless our ears with a compilation of tracks performed by Alfa Mist, Steam Down, Blue Lab Beats, and Yazmin Lacey to name a few. They all do the original luminaries, including Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Eddie Henderson, and Bobby Hutcherson, nothing short of justice. This medley of songs never fails to keep you wondering where it will take you next with a fusion of rhythms and lyrics taken from Blue Note’s back catalogue, spun through the minds of the UK’s current top-class players, and worked into the grooves of new vinyl with a refreshed sound. The tempo meanders whilst all-encompassing melodies glide you through, to finish on Emma-Jean Thackray’s dance-infused re-envision of “Speak No Evil / Night Dreamer” by Wayne Shorter.
This is not merely a tribute to a genre long gone from the charts, but yet another signifier of a resurgence in what continues to underpin modern music.