Verve Unmixed, Vol. 2 is a disc of originals to accompany the release of Verve Remixed, Vol. 2, a disc of post-rave dance reworkings from the catalog of post-bop's most important label. While such an undertaking shouldn't be considered "Verve's Greatest Hits," dance fans especially will find common ground with the remixers who chose the selections -- making it a solid point of entry for those beginning to pursue influences back to the '50s and '70s. It's understandable that groove music makes a larger impression here than improv; thus the CD includes the furious Dizzy Gillespie jam "Manteca" (one of his career highlights), the brassy bombast of Archie Shepp's "Blues for Brother George Jackson" (one artist on Mo' Wax, Attica Blues, is actually named after the LP it's taken from), and a pair of Latin music touchstones -- Cal Tjader's "Soul Sauce (Guachi Guaro)" and Willie Bobo's "Fried Neck Bones and Some Home Fries." Also making appearances are supper-club phenoms Oscar Brown, Jr. and Ramsey Lewis, vocal jazz iconoclasts Nina Simone and Betty Carter, and Brazilian Astrud Gilberto, whose imperfect voice lends a sublime melancholia to "Here's That Rainy Day."
AllMusic Review by John Bush