Makaya McCraven - Deciphering The Message


Blue Note



Product No.:
ABLU 44730
UPC: 602438144730
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Vinyl Record


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New 2021 remix album from Makaya McCraven

Drummer, producer and beat scientist Makaya McCraven digs through the Blue Note vaults with this new remix project that puts a modern bounce on jazz classics by Art Blakey, Horace Silver, and more. McCraven's mastery of the loop is akin to hip-hop's most celebrated beatmakers such as J Dilla & Madlib, both of whom have also remixed Blue Note tracks, but McCraven's unique approach also incorporates new recorded elements including his own drums, Joel Ross' vibraphone, Jeff Parker's guitar, and more.

For Deciphering The Message, McCraven wanted to maintain the integrity of Blue Note's original music, but with a modern bounce, appealing to those who might only know the label from their grandparents' old vinyl collection.

Yet these artists weren't always legends; on purpose, McCraven catches them on their way up. "I wanted to focus on a little bit of the older catalog and a certain era," he says. "From the beginning, I was inspired by this idea of these young musicians going through the bands, almost like a rite of passage." In those days, it was common to hear these artists play similar melodies in different groups across various records and put their own spin on the genre's standards. McCraven wanted to explore the concept of sampling within the scope of traditional jazz. "To me, it's all part of a broader thread," he says. "I picked tracks that were speaking to me, but it all came together in that way."

Although Deciphering The Message collects songs from several years of Blue Note history, it plays like a continuous set taking place in one show at one venue. "Pee Wee" Marquette, Birdland Jazz Club's master of ceremonies from 1949 to 1965, narrates this album, and his inclusion places the LP somewhere on the timeline between jazz music's transition from bebop to hard bop. There's a prevalent cool to this album, which won't surprise anyone who's followed McCraven's work to this point.


1. A Slice Of The Top (AKA "Sliced Off The Top") [from A Slice Of The Top by Hank Mobley]
2. Sunset (AKA "Son Set") [from Whistle Stop by Kenny Dorham]
3. When Your Lover Has Gone (AKA "When You've Left Your Lover") [from A Night In Tunisia by Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers]
4. Ecaroh (AKA "Revlis") [from Horace Silver Trio by Horace Silver]
5. Tranquillity (AKA "Corner Of The World") [from Components by Bobby Hutcherson]
6. Wail Bait (AKA "Wait Bail") [from The Memorial Album by Clifford Brown]
7. Coppin' The Haven (AKA "At The Haven Coppin'") [from One Flight Up by Dexter Gordon]
8. Frank's Tune (AKA "De'Jeff's Tune") [from Easterly Winds by Jack Wilson]
9. Autumn In New York (AKA "Spring In Chicago") [from Blue Lights, Vol.1 by Kenny Burrell]
10. Monaco (AKA "Monte Negro") [from 'Round About Midnight At The Cafe Bohemia by Kenny Dorham]
11. Mr. Jin (AKA "Mr. Gin") [from Indestructible by Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers]
12. C.F.D. (AKA "D.F.C.") [from Something Personal by Jack Wilson]
13. Black Rhythm Happening [from Black Rhythm Happening by Eddie Gale]

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