Miles Davis in 8-bit!

Some would say ?don?t mess with the classics?, others, particularly those born in the 80s with a love of jazz would say ?if you don?t you wouldn?t get this!?

Love it or hate it, no one can deny the popularity world-wide of jazz music. There?s something about it that oozes cool no matter if it?s modern masterpieces or a classic collection. But recently, Andy Baio of Waxy.org put a whole new spin on the jazz genre, particularly the music of Miles Davis and his 1960s album, Some Kind of Blue.

Baio took the musicians jammin? jazz and turned it into an 8-bit masterpiece. In case you don?t know what that means, think of the music you heard coming from videogames in the 1980s, particularly the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sega Master System.

Baio used it as a proof-of-concept of sorts for the crowd-sourced funding site Kickstarter, where he is CTO. Kickstarter lets users post proposals for a wide variety of different artistic projects and creative ventures and solicit funding donations to get the project going. When Baio posted the concept for the all-chiptune Kind of Blue, his fund-raising goal of $2,000 (for licensing the covers, paying the artists and producing a limited run of CDs) was collected in just four hours.

Kind of Blue‚Äôs five tracks are tackled by five different chiptune artists, and while all have that same dusty 8-bit vibe, each has its own style. I personally like the more literal takes, where the careening solos of Davis, Coltrane, Adderley et al are mapped out in 8-bit chunks as faithfully as possible. “So What” by Ast0r, the lead-off track, does this nicely.

Others take more liberties, with space-y bursts of Super Mario magic mushroom arpeggios subbing in for horn fills, and wild NES-drum breakdowns. Listen closely and a ton of familiar Mario tropes will pop in-like Mario‚Äôs subterranean theme closing out an epic jam on “All Blues.”

In short, it’s well worth the $5 download, and a great way to celebrate a great album’s 50th anniversary.

You can hear a preview of Baio?s work here: www.kindofbloop.com. The album is called Kind of Bloop, in an ironic reference to the 80s bit era and Davis? Kind of Blue album and is available to purchase at Amazon.com. For those who want the real deal, the album is available at iTunes.

For our money, they go quite well together!

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