Impulsive! is anything but, slowly incubating a few years after Madlib's Shades of Blue plundered the Blue Note catalogue. While the Note trafficked in cool crooners and hard bop, Impulse's jazz was as fiery and dark as its orange-and-black color scheme suggested. RZA doesn't match the swagger of Charles Mingus's "II B.S." so much as smolder to reveal the bassist's moodiness, while Telefon Tel Aviv blurs Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments" into something refreshingly low-key. But most of the remixers, from Prefuse 73 to Gerardo Frisina, are more content to nod along to the originals than add anything of note to their versions — making this reviewer ponder whether a more accurate title for the disc would've been Passive!

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Andy Beta