For those of you who enjoyed the Abstract Orchestra’s previous project of Dilla joints ( Dilla Lp and “New Day feat. Illa J), here’s another that will just blow your mind as well. Their latest project, Madvillian Vol. 1 is a another all bangers no mash record, the music of Madlib and MF Doom collaboration Madvillian, re imagined and interpreted by a classical jazz big band of saxophones, trombones, trumpets, featuring a crème de la crème of North of England’s jazz musicians. Players who have made music and played with talents such as Jamiroquai, Corinne Bailey Rae, Mark Ronson, Martha Reeves, John Legend & the Roots, Roots Manuva and Amy Winehouse, among others. Serious players doing serious things. Recorded live in studio with minimal overdubs, and led by saxophonist Rob Mitchell, the album’s exploration touches and expands on the original record, which was influenced by television and film scores and sampled everyone from Dr. Lonnie Smith to Quincy Jones.
Arranging and scoring up MADVILLAIN Vol 1. Has allowed me to explore these sounds that I’ve always loved, yet keeping a strong hip-hop identity as the core of its sound.
The record is nine tracks long, and features a variety of tracks from Madvillian including “All Caps”, “Accordian”, “Curls”, “Bistro”, “Raid”, “Great Day”, as well as two Madmixes. Overall, it’s done tastefully and respectfully. The arrangements by Mitchell, who goes into territories like Quincy Jones and Lalo Schifrin with cinematic fury that’s not too over the top, rather just right. This is a record that someone who never heard of Madvillian could appreciate. Light and airy, it breathes fresh air into already dope tracks. The improvisation and reinterpretation big band wise is just as good, if not better than their Dilla record. We’ve known of the talents of this band for some time, and when they release a project like this, we’re jumping for joy because this is what music is really all about: touching people and making a difference. This music does just that. Listen to the first single “Fancy Clown” below: