Verve Remixed 1 and 2

Just a quick music appreciation note. I've been selling off some old CDs on half.com and allowed myself a few indulgent new music purchases. My favorite new albums are Verve Remixed 1 and 2. In a very smart postmodern gesture, Verve, the label that includes in its backlist many of the Jazz greats — Nina Simone, Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday — opened its archives to some of the most talented DJs/remixers to produces new mixes of jazz standards. Among my favorites are the exceedingly haunting lynching song “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday remixed by Tricky, “Summertime” by Sarah Vaughn remixed by UFO, “Whatever Lola Wants” remixed by the Gotan Project, and “Here's that Rainy Day” remixed by Koop. Verve has also released unmixed versions of the originals on Verve Unmixed 1 and 2. I hope this starts a trend. It'd be cool to see what the kids could do with Blue Note, Motown Records, or Decca. It also reminds me what a shame it is that the recent extension of copyright has robbed many artists of the current generation of the opportunity to use the rich cultural archive of the twentieth century as building materials for their own new work.

Here's a review of Verve Remixed 2 from NPR's All Things Considered.

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