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Various Artists: Verve Remixed 3

All the arguments against jazz-remix projects are loud and clear on this dismal third edition of interpretations from the Verve catalog. It’s shame, because there are a fair amount of jazz-savvy DJs and producers who could offer more loving and inventive sonic resculpting than what’s present here.

After Masters at Work’s splendid treatment of “See Line Woman” on the first edition of Verve/Remixed, Nina Simone has become the series’ go-to diva. Here she shows up twice, but in far less glamorous makeovers: “Little Girl Blue” bounces to a ditzy, new-wave beat, courtesy of the Postal Service, which transforms her warm, earthy voice into something resembling an androgynous android. The Album Leaf’s treatment of “Lilac Wine” is a bit more sensitive to the warm nuances of Simone’s singing, but the rickety beats, dismal bleeps and squiggly effects offer nothing but annoyance.

Other Verve divas-Sarah Vaughan, Shirley Horn, Billie Holiday, etc-are aboard as well, and like Simone they are treated to boneheaded sonic ambiances, ranging from Sugardaddies’ Euro-trash remix of Horn’s “Come Dance with Me,” which makes Giorgio Moroder sound like Gil Evans, to RSL’s campy, tropicalia take on Anita O’Day’s “Sing, Sing, Sing.”

Lacking even one ounce of soul, this batch seems soley designed for selling cars and coffee. Skip the remix disc and go straight for the superior Unmixed 3.

Originally Published