Various Verve Remixed

Jazz has always been a vital source of inspiration for DJs in the ill-dubbed "new jazz" genre of music. Asking some of the top producers of jazz fusion to sift through the archives of Verve is an old hat, for many of the tracks that Verve Remixed holds sounds quite similar to the re-worker's original material. Most of the cuts on this compilation seems to reflect the sound of the remixer at hand, with Thievery Corporation taking Carmen McRae's vocals and dousing them with slinky club beats, and Rae & Christian adding a thick layer of funk to Dinah Washington. Some of the more adventurous and beautiful tracks belong to Dzihan and Kamien's manipulation of Billie Holiday's "Don't Explain," which initially contains a very minimal and chilled beat before loops of Holiday's distinct voice drops over ever-increasing tribal rhythms. Another standout effort is UFO's dreamy and hypnotic cut-up of Sarah Vaughn's "Summertime," which takes a more hip-hop approach to jazz. More adventurous tracks like this would have given Verve Remixed a less predictable outcome, but that's not to say that the finished result isn't fantastic as it stands. With the exception of an awkward Tricky and Tool collaboration - adding sonic guitars to another Holiday track with dull results - the entire compilation stands above most "chill-out" offerings on record store shelves these days. Now, if only talent like Charlie Parker and Oscar Peterson was tapped as well as the sirens of Verve. (Verve)