Listening to Shades of Blue, you can imagine the alarming, growing grin on the face of Madlib as he rummages through the entire Blue Note catalog. His deep love for jazz can be heard in every track during his loose narrative on one of jazz’s most prolific labels.

This isn’t purely a remix album, where a DJ drowns out jazz grooves with a monotonous breakbeat. Otis Jackson Jr., AKA Madlib, plays all the instruments and does all the arrangements, truly reinterpreting his Blue Note favourites, including Wayne Shorter and Donald Byrd. The result is a heady and delirious mixture of jazz and hip hop that celebrates the aesthetics of the two.

Shades of Blue pervades your consciousness and expands within neural pathways to create one of the year’s most groovy aural experiences.

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