Verve Remixed

Verve Remixed

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The progressive sounds of down-tempo music have long claimed a loungey kinship with the reachin' sounds of jazz, even if only through extensive sampling. Now jazz stalwart Verve Records has given a dozen dance music denizens the chance to prove their mettle with remixes of original jazz classics. The source material they've selected comes largely from Verve's top…  See more details below

Overview

The progressive sounds of down-tempo music have long claimed a loungey kinship with the reachin' sounds of jazz, even if only through extensive sampling. Now jazz stalwart Verve Records has given a dozen dance music denizens the chance to prove their mettle with remixes of original jazz classics. The source material they've selected comes largely from Verve's top ladies of song -- Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Nina Simone among them -- and the results are suitably classy. Thievery Corporation's reworking of Astrud Gilberto's "Who Needs Forever?" is smooth as silk, a hip-swaying bass line snaking its way through a breezy mesh of beats, Latin guitar leads, and Gilberto's airy coos. Elsewhere, British duo Rae & Christian punch up Dinah Washington's sassy "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby?" and Dorfmeister (of Viennese duo Kruder & Dorfmeister) works out any kinks in the grooves of Willie Bobo's sultry Latin workout "Spanish Grease." Both Tricky ("Strange Fruit") and Vienna's Dzihan & Kamien ("Don't Explain") fall under Billie Holiday's spell, the former twisting her signature tune into spooky, dissociated strains of sound in which guitar feedback butts heads with a bright horn section, the latter pair settling for a more beat-friendly, laid-back mood. Whichever path these knob-twiddlers take, the final destination is a smoky after-hours club where the neither the grooves nor the ice ever run out.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
More than ten years on from the first whisperings of a dance revolution, there are scores of solid producers in the scene, figures with all the talent, historical knowledge, and judgment necessary to rework most any tracks from the Verve archive. Surprisingly, Verve Remixed strays from the label's crossover-heavy '60s and '70s material (the records usually name-checked by dance producers), preferring instead to tackle serious classics from the canon of vocal jazz, focusing especially on female vocalists: Billie Holiday (two songs), Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Nina Simone, Carmen McRae, and Shirley Horn. As is nearly always the case with tributes or remix albums, the results are mixed; several productions triumph in either equalling or enhancing the intent of the original, but too often a complex arrangement of a pop standard is trampled by insistence on a constant groove, whether it's of downtempo or more clubby house origin. British garage producer MJ Cole provides a few good vibes underneath Carmen McRae's "How Long Has This Been Going On?," but, in so doing, utterly destroys the pace and rhythm of the original. dZihan & Kamien are given the unenviable task of redoing Billie Holiday's "Don't Explain," and seem utterly unable to find a middle ground between all or nothing (of course, there isn't much of a middle ground on most dancefloors). The most intriguing collaboration on paper, a take on Holiday's classic "Strange Fruit" by nightmarish trip-hop star Tricky, suffers from the same strange quality: it's a great production, but shows little understanding of the arranging skills necessary to frame a great singer. The best track here, Richard Dorfmeister's grooving house take on Willie Bobo's "Spanish Grease," proves the point perfectly; the original was a laid-back jam (not a standard), and the remix coaxes a superb house production out of it. Too many other contributions here are unable or unwilling to spend the hours necessary to craft traditional pop.
Entertainment Weekly
Ella, Sarah, Astrud, et al. show how much DJ-jazz vocal fusion can offer

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/30/2002
Label:
Umvd Labels
UPC:
0731458960621
catalogNumber:
589606
Rank:
234916

Related Subjects

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tony Scott   Track Performer
Nina Simone   Track Performer
Ella Fitzgerald   Track Performer
Astrud Gilberto   Track Performer
Shirley Horn   Track Performer
Dinah Washington   Track Performer
Billie Holiday   Track Performer
Willie Bobo   Track Performer
Marc Cary   Synthesizer,fender rhodes
Larry Gold   Cello
Adam Jones   Guitar
Perry Melius   Drums
Sarah Vaughan   Track Performer
Yossi Fine   Bass
Desmond Williams   Bass
Kaidi Tatham   Keyboards
Cameron Undy   Bass
Justin Chancellor   Bass Guitar
MJ Cole   Keyboards
Mark de Clive-Lowe   Keyboards
Otto Engelhard   Trombone

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Dimitri Tiomkin   Composer
Nina Simone   Composer
Quincy Jones   Composer
Louis Jordan   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Galt MacDermot   Composer
Masters at Work   Remixing
United Future Organization   Remixing
Steven Barkan   Engineer
Billie Holiday   Composer
Leslie Bricusse   Composer
Jeff Chestek   Engineer
William Correa   Composer
Rick Essig   Mastering
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Lorenz Hart   Composer
Arthur Herzog   Composer
Melvin Lastie   Composer
Perry Melius   drum programming
Anthony Newley   Composer
Jason Olaine   Producer,Liner Notes
Horst Schnebel   Remastering
Tricky   Producer,Remixing,drum programming
Ned Washington   Composer
Richard Dorfmeister   Producer,Remixing
Thievery Corporation   Remixing
Kenny Dope   Producer
Hollis King   Art Direction
King Britt   Remixing
Rae & Christian   Producer,Remixing
"Little" Louie Vega   Producer
Bill Austin   Composer
George Bass   Composer
Steve Christian   Engineer
MJ Cole   Remixing
Pentagon   Programming
De-Phazz   Remixing
dZihan & Kamien   Producer,Remixing
Mark de Clive-Lowe   Programming,Producer,Remixing
UFO!   Remixing
Pit Baumgartner   Remixing
Michael Kreiner   Producer,Remixing
Lewis Allan   Composer
Joaquin "Joe" Claussell   Remixing

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Customer Reviews

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Verve Remixed 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This record is amazing. After hearing it on WFUV's The Whole World program I marked the release date on my calender and bought it first thing this morning. What a great take on some classic material. I'm not a huge jazz person, but I knew some of these tracks and they are so good. This is the first ''electronica'' record I ever bought. I like some DJ music and I like some jazz music so this felt like a fresh take on both. I highly recommend it. Best $17 bucks I've spent in awhile!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mixing, stirring and shaking some memorable classic Jazz tunes with computer loops is very easy nowadays - and that's how the album sounds. It's even so easy that chords of original songs are ''omitted'' for the sake of.....what? Producer convenience? ''Originality''? Sounds rather like musical incompetence to me. The overall feel of this album is washroom background- or very-late-night-and completely-stoned lounge muzak. There is nothing surprising on this record, it's monotonous with a narrow-minded focus on loops, sound effect / - scapes and - of course - beats. Yet this record will probably rake in thousands for the producers, be ''hip & trendy'' until the next re-remix or DJ'd-version of it comes along, and all is well in the mass commercial music world. As far as I'm concerned, this album is a lesson in Marketing but not Music.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Amusing that this album should be cursorily dismissed as 'hip and trendy' by some critics. But let's remember the remix is not a new phenomenon. It's been around since the dawn of the popular song. Wandering minstrels endlessly 'remixed' the ballads of their ancestors. ''But dang it, these faceless heathen DJs have taken our classic jazz tunes and fed them into a computer (yep, those newfangled things with buttons) and turned them into monotonous muzak'', I hear you say. Well, do I detect a hint of patronising pique from the purists? Excellent! It's just like the Bebop Wars, Elvis's first TV appearance, Dylan Going Electric -- choose your generational coup d'etat! But irrespective of your age, haven't you ever, just once in your life, wanted to take Gershwin's 'Summertime' and give it a kick in the butt (and I'm not talking a slight chord change here and there!) The UFO Remix does just that, and breathes life into a hoary old chestnut. It's seductive and haunting, audacious yet respectful. OK not every track on this CD works, but what the heck? Is it a bad thing for Verve to re-market their golden vaults in such a way? If I too can be patronising for a moment, maybe just maybe the kids will hear this and get interested in the original versions. Buy it and listen with unjaundiced ears!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not everything works, but this is quite simply a well done spin. Honestly, neither jazz nor techno is ''my thing'', but this is a highly diggable album with tracks i'm pleased to have stuck in my head all day long. Nothing is quite as exciting as taking something classic and making it fresh. Take an old recipe, add the freshest ingredients, some foreign elements...
Guest More than 1 year ago
Songs of the same genre are played 24/7 at a site called lounge radio. Thats how I found out about this album to begin with.