As I travelled home from work in a slightly grumpy mood as a result of this typically grey, windy and at times rainy London evening, all I could think about was delving into to a hot cup of tea [an accepted British stereotype] and devouring a full plate of Sierra Leonean Jollof Rice, which is pretty much a combination of events that would normally put me to sleep. Still in a grumpy mood, due to London’s non-existent Spring weather, I switched the kettle on and whilst I waited for the water to boil, I decided to make my way to my iMac where I could check what was new in the world of music and the blogosphere that surrounds it. Reading through my RSS feeds, one particular update made instantly made my (bad weather induced) grumpy mood go away… Shaolin Jazz – The 37th Chamber – The Full Project.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, its finally here. After well over four months of hard work on the project, art and music blogger Gerald Watson, DJ 2-Tone Jones (along with the artistic help of Michigan-based graphic designer Logan Walters) have liberated a blend tape I believe should sit amongst the best free releases of 2011.

The birth of the project occurred late last year when Gerald Watson accidentally came across the work ofLogan Walters, who redesigned iconic Wu-Tang album covers in the similar vein of classic Jazz album artwork originally created by Reid Miles and released by the iconic recording label Blue Note Records, a project Mr. Walters entitled the Wu-Note series. During an interview with the artist, for Gerald Watson’s blog, Logan Walters stated he’d “love to” design an official cover for a real Wu-Tang/Jazz blend tape. The blogger then sought out the help of longtime friend DJ/producer DJ 2-Tone Jones, who agreed to rework a selection of Wu Tang songs with jazz sample.

Below, Gerald Watson and DJ 2-Tone Jones discuss the origins along with the whys and hows of  the blend tape.

Video footage shot by Roddy Rod.

The thirteen track tape features classic Wu-Tang vocals, from songs such as “C.R.E.A.M.”, “The Pit”, (Ol’ Dirty Bastard‘s) “Got Your Money”, (Method Man and Redman‘s) “How High” to name but a few, over reworked timeless Jazz pieces, by the the like of Lonnis Liston Smith, Bobbi Humphery, Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock. [See full tracklist below]

An Album Cover Art Exploration Presents: Shaolin Jazz – The 37th Chamber | DOWNLOAD HERE

Tracklist…

1. The High Priestess of Chessboxin’  – Lansana’s Priestess by Donald Byrd
2. Scalp ‘em (NFN) – Kasalefkut-Hulu by Mulatu Astatke
3. Blue Hype – Blacks & Blues by Bobbi Humphrey
4. Baby I Got Yo’ Love – Love Beams by Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes
5. Mighty Method – Mighty Quinn by Ramsey Lewis
6. The Pit – The Sea Lion by Grover Washington Jr.
7. Killa Tape [interlude] – Equinox by John Coltrane
Astral C.R.E.A.M. (The Pharaoh-Jarel Beatdown Remix) – Astral Traveling by Pharaoh Sanders, along with Pharaoh’s Dream prod. by Jneiro Jarel (which is a reworking of the Pharaoh Sanders song)
8. The Brew Out – Uses elements from Bitches Brew by Miles Davis
9. Cutterz Fucka [interlude] – (C’mon an’) Play With Me by John Klemmer
10. Juggling Labels – John McLaughlin by Miles Davis
11. How Sly – Poinciana by Ahmad Jamal
12. Chameleon 500 – Chameleon by Herbie Hancock; along with Footprints by A Tribe Called Quest (which sampled from Think Twice by Donald Byrd), Searching – The Africa 70 Version prod. by Osunlade (which is a reworking of Searching by Roy Ayers), Hot Music prod. by Pal Joey (which sampled from Skain’s Domain by Wynton Marsalis) and elements of C’mon Baby prod. by Funkmaster Flex.
13. Cream Team’s Return – Slim’s Return prod. by Madlib (which is a reworking of The Look of Slim by Gene Harris and The Three Sounds)

[via Gerald Watson]