Various Artists

Verve Remixed, Vol. 3

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As with the two preceding Verve Remixed releases, the third installment of jazz classics from the Verve vaults -- remixed by modern electronic producers and mixers -- toes the line of consistency throughout its 13 tracks. Taking a decidedly different route than the first two installments, Verve rolled the dice and collaborated predominantly with artists known for their work in hip-hop and indie rock, thereby stretching their comfort zone beyond the predictable enclave of electronic dance producers influenced by jazz. The results pay off here and there: just listen to the Postal Service's remix of Nina Simone's "Little Girl Blue." At times, Simone's voice seems largely out of place with the Postal Service's vibrant, bouncy beats and happy synth lines, but the reverence shown to her original recording is obvious throughout the remix. The same can be said of the Brazilian Girls' reinterpretation of Blossom Dearie's "Just One of Those Things." Unfortunately, there are times when even the best of intentions fall short of the mark, with remixes not only failing to give the original an interesting or appealing new treatment but, as a result, doing the songs a great disservice to boot. The remixes by Adam Freeland and Sugar Daddy show an apparent disregard for the original compositions altogether, while techno guru Carl Craig, on the other hand, follows in Metro Area's footsteps (their cut from Verve Remixed, Vol. 2) and remixes Hugh Masekela's "The Boys Doin' It," but any parallel between the two remixers stop there. Craig's reinterpretation is decidedly darker, rigid, and more claustrophobic than the Brooklyn disco duo's. It's also a mild disappointment, as Craig's remix work has few rivals in the electronic world, and this one simply doesn't add up to some of the moments in his impressive canon. There are some excellent remixes here, however, from RJD2 and Danger Mouse -- and given this context, they are indeed noteworthy of praise, with excellent work as well on Lyrics Born's outstanding remix of Jimmy Smith's "Stay Loose."

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