02 September 2005

Verve Remixed 3

I've been a fan of this series of "remixed" jazz classics since the first one came out in 2002. The second installment was okay, but not as good as the first, IMO. I have to say, Vol. 3 rocks. (more inside)

I think the remixers are allowed to choose what tracks they want to work with from the Verve library, so it's naturally a little bit of a crapshoot each time. On Remixed 3 we get some songs that I loved in their original forms, and that translated well into a 2005 remix: I've always liked Sarah Vaughan's vocal version of "Peter Gunn," and some guy named Max Sedgeley does a cool, bouncy remix of it here. The Postal Service do a GREAT reworking of Nina Simone's "Little Girl Blue," and I like Danger Mouse's remix of "Baby, Did You Hear?" by Dinah Washington.

This disc has two Billie Holiday songs, and they're pretty good, but I think Billie is one of those artists who resists remixes and updates... she had two songs on the first installment of this series, as well, and I think in all four cases, the remixers' efforts pale in comparison to her amazing, amazing voice, and suffer by taking away some of her "visibility" in the song. A Billie Holiday song should ALWAYS be about her singing, first and foremost... her backing musicians in the 30's understood that, but so far her remixers in the 90s and 'naughties apparently have not.


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