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Various - Verve Remixed
Jazz has often been called the original dance music, so it's logical that one of the genre's legendary labels, Verve, should dip into its vaults and commission new mixes for contemporary dancefloors.  Verve has chosen dance music's elite for these dramatic restructurings, which are good but unlikely to make listeners seek out the originals.

The tracklisting is dominated by female singers such as Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Carmen McRae. On first listen, the album is a jarring experience; suffice it to say that none of them had to contend with tempos this fast or electronic backings. But the remixers (a list including MJ Cole, Mark de Clive-Lowe and Thievery Corporation) acquit themselves well, treating each song with the proper respect.

Nina Simone appears twice, and perhaps the threat of receiving one of her legendary spells inspired her remixers, Joe Claussell and Masters at Work, to turn in the best selections. MAW's "See Line Woman" is very similar to the version Kerri Chandler released several years ago, but "Feelin' Good" is transformed into a mellow masterpiece by Clausell. Expect to hear this at Body and Soul.  Other highlights are Rae and Christian's rub of Dinah Washington's "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My baby" and Willie Bobo's "Spanish Grease," already a hit in mature clubs.

Why they chose to include "Strange Fruit" for inclusion here is beyond me.  No offense to Tricky, but there is no way to make a song about lynching suitable for dancing. Skip that cut and you have a surprisingly effective release that breaks down the barrier between jazz and electronic music.

Copyright 2002 AllThingsDeep.com.  All rights reserved.

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Released 2002 on Verve

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Selected Tracks:

Nina Simone - See Line Woman (Masters At Work mix)
Willie Bobo - Spanish Grease (Dorfmeister mix)
Tony Scott - Hare Krishna (King Britt mix)
Billie Holiday - Don't Explain (dZihan and Kamien mix)

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