Kind Of Blue: A Reggae Interpretation By Jeremy Taylor

Kind Of Blue

Back in 2009 the admirable Secret Stash Records (a cool label out of Minneapolis along the same lines as Numero Group) began working with the Jeremy Taylor estate, a music professor at NYU, to dust off this collection and breath new life into it via a blue vinyl-only release.

In the spring of 1981 a group of reggae studio musicians from Jamaica gathered in New York City under the direction of Jeremy Taylor, a music professor at NYU at that time. The result was this Reggae Interpretation of Kind of Blue.

Unfortunately, weeks after directing the sessions Taylor passed away in his Paris hotel room while on a speaking tour of Europe. A final mix of the album was never made and it was never released. Collectors have long spoken of this album and in the late 80s lo-fi cassette tapes of rough mixes circulated. No official release was ever issued until now.

The final release of the album has both final mixes on side-A and dub versions on side-B. A Reggae Interpretation Of Kind Of Blue is the result of their efforts. Here’s a sample for your listening pleasure:

So What

Manu Chao At Red Rocks

About a month ago I was giving my girlfriend a hard time about never taking me out on a date. Well it turns out that she actually took my pestering to heart. I’m surprised she bit, I was really just needling her, trying to get a rise out of her. (Wow there was a lot of slang in that last sentence) Because of my prodding, she surprised me by taking me to my first Red Rocks show of the summer.

Gogol Bordello opened up for Manu Chao (I love his crazy website). Both shows were really good. I really want to see Gogol Bordello at a smaller venue but I couldn’t imagine Manu Chao in a small setting, he feeds off the audience and the crowd feeds off of him in return. It just wouldn’t have been the same in an “intimate setting”. I hadn’t heard of Manu Chao until a couple of weeks before the show, so his whole thing was totally new to me. I was even more shocked to learn he is one of the worlds best selling artists.

Man, what energy! Him and his band ended up doing something like four encores, and the stage nearly got rushed during one of them. Manu sings in French, Spanish, Arabic, Galician, Portuguese, English, and Wolof, and he’s often mixing them in the same song. His sound is a strange crossbreed of reggae infused with UK punk (The Clash) with hints of salsa, raï, ska and good old rock and roll sprinkled throughout.

Unfortunately I missed a half of Gogol Bordello’s set while helping my brother finish a flask of Southern Discomfort in the parking lot before the show. Oh well. Next time.

If you’re interested in more cause=time has a great review of the show in addition to some bootleg mp3s. There is another (Romanian) review of the Red Rocks show on this blog. There are some great photos of the show to be found on Flickr too. Below you’ll find a couple Manu Chao songs to listen to (and download) if I have piqued your interest.

Manu Chao – Me Gustas Tu
Manu Chao – Welcome To Tijuana

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