“When we first started working on the Verve Remixed
project four years ago, we were excited at the chance to have some of our favorite DJs and producers apply their unique musical ideas to the classic, timeless jazz in the Verve vaults,” co-producers Dahlia Ambach Caplin and Jason Olaine wrote in the liner notes to Remixed2
. “Our hope was that Verve Remixed
would help many new fans discover or rediscover some of the greatest jazz artists of all time while allowing many longtime jazz heads to hear the inherent connections between jazz and electronic music.”
Remixed2 presents the same track order as Unmixed2 but in new versions remodeled and reconstructed by floor-cutting, cutting-edge remixers and producers. Tracks that rocked on Unmixed2 mainly sound improved on Remixed2 : Mr. Scruff more than doubles the playing time of “Do What You Wanna,” chopping in extra funk with a boogaloo drum beatdown and additional guitars; in “Soul Sauce,” Fila Brazillia scratches starts and stops in Latin time and cushions the production in a soft space-age glide; and Dan the Automator (beatmaster for the hip cartoon rock ensemble Gorillaz and also more notoriously known as Dr. Octagon) punches up the percussion and beats in his urban dancefloor guerilla update of “Fried Neckbones.”
Reinterpretation particularly benefits tracks by Archie Shepp and Hugh Masakela. “Blues for Brother George Jackson” appeared as a bittersweet large ensemble blues on Shepp’s Attica Blues in turbulent 1972, months after the New York prison uprising; Mondo Grosso (real name: Shinichi Osawa) cuts and pastes Shepp’s melody and horn section statements into new multicolored musical streamers then strings them along a thumping house beat, creating modern dance music from modern jazz. South African trumpet player Hugh Masakela recorded “Mama” in 1975 Nigeria as a mixture of Afro-pop and American funk, R&B, even early disco. This Birthday Dub by Metro Area (Morgan Geist and Darshan Jesrani) remixes “Mama” into even more cross-pollinations, including modern house and dub music. This sparkling new music defies categorization.
The Funky Lowlives’ Remix of “Manteca” percolates with hot rhythm and percussion, its pulse quickened by Brad Waissman’s additional double-bass, and, like Gillespie’s original on Unmixed2, shines among the other choice material on Remixed2.
Personnel: The Funky Lowlives; Felix Da Housecat; Gotan Project; Matthew Herbert; Miguel Migs; Mondo Grosso; Layo & Bushwacka; Mr. Scruff; Fila Brazillia; Dan the Automator; DJ Spinna; Metro Area; Koop; Jaffa