Self-titled and appropriately hued, Bay Blue is 35-year-old sample artist Matt Chang's attempt to reconcile his hip-hop provenance with a much more encompassing grasp of 20th-century American music. From ancient ASR-10 springs jazz quartets, uptown blues duos, New Orleans big bands and other ensembles, what emerges is a landscape of bright tones and quick cuts, a triumph of sampling both painstaking and humanizing. "I wanted to compose songs rather than just make beats," he says, "so in straining for a substitute for the emcee, it felt natural to study jazz musicians and the way instruments can become vocalizations. As a part of that process, many of these songs in a very organic way took on the form of jazz numbers, with frequent tempo changes (sometimes obvious and sometimes barely noticeable), subtle and shifting drums, minimal effects, and something like the thrill of improvisation.
Don't Clap On the One and the Three
Bumpin' In a Quiet Way
To the Cornerstore
Take It Back Time
Nostalgia In Dogtown
Postcard From New Orleans
Only a Sin If You Lose
Ulises Takes the Silent Cinema By Storm
(Hey Hey) Fried Fish, Birds Blue
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