Singer Maya Delilah chose the Neil Young classic “Harvest Moon”, later successfully romanticized by the great Cassandra Wilson on her Blue Note album “New Moon Daughter”, and transforms it into a thumping groover, still maintaining the melancholy of the original. It is one of the highlights of Blue Note’s second “Re:imagined” compilation series which features British jazz and neo-soul artists covering tracks from the huge Blue Note vaults.
Singer Kay Young tackles the Marlena Shaw anthem “Feel Like Making Love” with a modern and fresh-sounding beat with her style reminiscent of Ledisi. Complete with strings, the tune lives on bravely and with finesse. The album opens with a fiercely executed “It” by trumpeter Yazz Ahmed, a swirling, poetically chaotic romp. I really enjoy Conor Albert‘s version of Bobbi Humphrey’s “You Make Me Feel So Good” (from “Fancy Dancer”, 1975) with its spacey and lofty arrangement and cool vocals.
Singer Parthenope Wald-Harding from Leeds comes over with a pretty straight-ahead version of Norah Jones’ hit “Don’t Know Why”, including a neat sax solo and complimentary male harmony vocals towards the end. Funny to hear this with a Brit accent. “Miss Kane” from Donald Byrd’s classic “Street Lady” (1973) album, the Mizell brothers production prowess still shadows over this new version by Swindle, with all its drama and glory. 12-piece fusion groove jazz outfit Nubiyan Twist revisits the urgency and beauty of the Donald Byrd classic “Chant”, another highlight of this pretty entertaining set. South London-based songwriter and singer Ego Ella May comes up with a dreamy, exotic and stunning version of Chico Hamilton’s “Morning Side Of Love” (from the 1975 LP “Peregrinations”). Very cool stuff.
There is still lots more to explore on this 16-track comp, even though I’m not happy with all of the tracks, like the Oscar Jerome rap on “Green With Envy”, but still, some of the material here is extremely well-versed and super fresh at the same time, like the tuba rock of the Monk standard “Epistrophy” by Theon Cross or bassist Daniel Casimir working his behind off on “Lost”. We love the Mizell tune “Where Are We Going?”, off of Donald Byrd’s 1973 “Black Byrd” LP, beautifully executed here by Venna & Marco, in a Marvin Gaye 2022 style. The Nu Funk troupe Franc Moody close the set with another Byrd masterpiece: “Cristo Redentor” crosses the line between the majestic and the spiritual, between the early 60s Gospel stance of the original and the here and now funk throbs of this UK fusion sound.
Out on vinyl too!