Deciphering the Message Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critic Reviews What's this?

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  • Summary: The latest full-length release for Chicago-based jazz drummer Makaya McCraven features remixes of Blue Note jazz songs with contributions from Matt Gold, Marquis Hill, De’Sean Jones, Jeff Parker, Junius Paul, Joel Ross, and Greg Ward.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Nov 18, 2021
    Yes, McCraven is tinkering with some beloved Blue Note classics, but the results are far more respectful than you might believe. To top it off, Deciphering the Message has enough replay value to introduce musicians like Parker and Ward to older fans and Dexter Gordon and Clifford Brown to the young and the eager.
  2. Nov 23, 2021
    His own hope for Deciphering the Message is to point new listeners toward the originals. As wonderful as that intention is, this album is a phenomenal listening experience in its own right.
  3. Mojo
    Nov 18, 2021
    Makaya McCraven's alchemical abilities and subliminal technical savvy offer both a sensitive update of the Blue Note label's depth-charged catalogue and a welcome pathfinder for the uninitiated. [Jan 2022, p.83]
  4. Nov 18, 2021
    The beauty is in the segues, the sequencing, the layering, and the spirit of the endeavor. It’s best to take it as a whole, rather than a sum of parts.
  5. Nov 24, 2021
    Deciphering the Message helps connect these dots. But it also plays like a fantasy come to life, a dream set at the Blue Note, with long-lost titans beaming in from the afterlife to sit in with the young blood, like proud parents watching their children surpass them.
  6. Uncut
    Nov 18, 2021
    McCraven's label debut deploys his own musicians with Horace Silver and the rest, giving a steamy hip-hop stutter to Blakey beats already halfway there, and letting the aching melody of Kenny Burrell's "Autumn In New York" simmer under new rhythmic cross-winds. [Dec 2021, p.31]
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