Prolific producer and DJ Jamal Moss puts out another record under his primary Hieroglyphic Being alias. He expanded his horizons with a collaborative album We Are Not the First in 2015, learning from and working directly with Marshall Allen and JITU Ahn-Sahm-Buhl. He follows it up with a record orbiting the same world: The Red Notes plugs in to the legend and legacy of Blue Note, in particular its hardest shredders Thelonius Monk and John Coltrane, marrying their innovations with Chicago house.
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Jamal Moss’ loving tribute to the musicians who pushed jazz through crucial moments in its long, wide history -- particularly the legends of Blue Note, but anyone from Thelonious Monk to the Weather Report to Jon Hassell -- will likely not sound the way you expect it to. A futurist fusion of his hometown’s acid electronics and a scope of jazz that broadens out from the city’s own Arkestra into any and all territories, ‘The Red Notes’ is a dance record that feels decidedly communal and celebratory, mixing playful hammond organs with the kind of squelchy, grooving sequencing that has long made Moss one of the best producers ever.
It’s such a good record, and its tributes to Monk and Coltrane and other Blue Note shredders feel more than merely honorary. Instead, his music wraps around the listener like endless sheets, his house music given grooving piano beds such as the one on “The Seduction Syndrome” that offset his regular programming. The lovely, warming chords of “Video Jazz” almost captivate the listener on a different but simultaneous plane from the workout his beat is giving them, acting on a brilliant subconscious level that makes me confused and joyous. Following his monolithic work and great triumph in We Are Not the First, made in collaboration with Marshall Allen, it's a treat to see Moss fitting himself on a family tree of innovators.
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- The Red Notes by Hieroglyphic Being
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