CD Reviews

Music on the Web (UK)

Webmaster: Len Mullenger

[ Jazz index ] [Nostalgia index]  [ Classical MusicWeb ] [ Gerard Hoffnung ]

Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf, Glyn Pursglove

Remixed AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Unmixed AmazonUK   AmazonUS










1. Dinah Washington: "Cry Me A River" (Truth & Soul Remix)

2. Nina Simone: "Gimme Some" (Mike Mangini Remix)
3. James Brown: "There Was A Time" (Kenny Dope Remix)

4. Marlena Shaw: "California Soul" (Diplo/Mad Decent Remix)

5. Nina Simone: "Take Care Of Business" (Pilooski Remix)
6. Astrud Gilberto: "Bim Bom" (Psapp Remix)

7. Anita O' Day: "Tenderly" (Mocky Remix)
8. Sarah Vaughan: "Tea For Two" (Chris Shaw Remix)

9. Patato & Totico: "Dilo Como Yo" (Antibalas Remix)

10. Willie Bobo: "Evil Ways" (Karriem Riggins Remix)

11. Roy Ayers: "Everybody Loves The Sunshine" (9th Wonder Remix)

12. Ella Fitzgerald: "I Get A Kick Out Of You" (Cinematic Orchestra Remix)


1. Dinah Washington: "Cry Me A River"

2. Nina Simone: "Gimme Some"
3. James Brown: "There Was A Time"
4. Marlena Shaw: "California Soul"
5. Nina Simone: "Take Care Of Business"
6. Astrud Gilberto: "Bim Bom"

7. Anita O' Day: "Tenderly"
8. Sarah Vaughan: "Tea For Two"
9. Patato & Totico: "Dilo Como Yo"
10. Willie Bobo: "Evil Ways"
11. Roy Ayers: "Everybody Loves The Sunshine"

12. Ella Fitzgerald: "I Get A Kick Out Of You"


For many years, record producers have used technology (that is, the technological devices available to them at the time) to change recordings - usually trying to change them for the better by improving sound quality, etc. However, since the 1960s, a new breed has arisen which messes about with recordings, usually to make them more suitable for the dance-floor. Such "remixers" (often called "DJs") alter recordings by removing parts of them; changing such things as tempo and pitch; and adding extra things - usually synthesised sounds. This process is often portrayed as creative but here's an example where the remixers are mere parasites making changes to recordings which are perfectly all right as they are. In the wise old phrase, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

Nonetheless the remixers here interfere with a dozen tracks (mostly vocal jazz) for the fourth edition in the "Verve Remixed" series. You can hear what the original tracks sounded like on Verve Unmixed 4. The album opens with Dinah Washington's very individualistic version of Cry Me a River: extremely different from the classic Julie London interpretation. The remix adds a weird noise at the start and over-emphasises the bass, but otherwise makes little change in the original. Nina Simone's Gimme Some has an added lumpy bass drum but, again, there is little sign of any creative change. And James Brown's There Was a Time is given an unnecessary boogaloo beat by the aptly-named Kenny Dope.

The next two tracks are subjected respectively to the addition of ethereal echo and unsubtly thumping rhythm. Astrid Gilberto's repetitive Bim Bom is rendered even more repetitive and loses most of the lyrics. Tenderly submerges Anita O'Day's glorious voice beneath a mass of extraneous material, while Sarah Vaughan's Tea For Two gets lots of added echo, for no good reason. Willie Bobo's Evil Ways is dislocated by some poorly synchronised extra rhythm imposed on an already rhythmic tune, and the following Roy Ayers track suffers a similar fate. Last - and almost certainly worst - the remixer replaces the excellent piano which accompanied Ella Fitzgerald's lovely original. Instead we get some unimaginative guitar and superfluous echo.

Again and again through Verve Remixed, I am moved to ask "Why? - wondering if there is any justification for this tinkering which makes no improvement to any of the original recordings. Instead, the remixes obscure most of the features which made the originals listenable. So my advice would be that, if you want to hear these tracks, get Verve Unmixed rather than its pretentious, over-produced brother. Even this has its drawbacks, as Verve Umixed contains only around 36 minutes of music.

Tony Augarde



Error processing SSI file

Return to Index

Reviews from previous months

You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers: