Various Artists: Droppin’ Science: Greatest Samples from the Blue Note LabMusic Reviews Various Artists
Untangled samples make for mellow delights
Ironically, it probably would’ve been too expensive for legendary jazz imprint Blue Note to license the hip-hop tracks that sampled from its catalog. Still, for 13-song collection Droppin’ Science, it would have been nice, instructive and musicological to have the label’s late-’60s/early-’70s jazz-funk mellowness adjacent to the equally vintage hip-hop it mutated into via De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest and others. Collected alone, one understands liner note writer ?uestlove’s classification of these un-samples as “the side of my pop’s record collection that I used to avoid like the plague,” especially given the music’s turbulent period of origin. Indeed, the proto-disco R&B (Ronnie Foster’s “Think Twice”) and flute-aided balladry (David McCallum’s “The Edge”) are rather smooth. But this music did the trick and found Blue Note a new audience—or at least a generation of listeners open-eared enough to literally make it their own.