Various Artists: Droppin' Science: Greatest Samples from the Blue Note Lab

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Various Artists: <em>Droppin' Science: Greatest Samples from the Blue Note Lab</em>

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.