Billie Holiday is receiving a good amount of press as she would have celebrated her 90th birthday this month. Among other things, she’s on the cover of the May issue of JazzTimes and an acclaimed 2-CD+DVD retrospective has been released. Nnenna Freelon is releasing a tribute to Lady Day this fall, which I’m looking forward to.
Another release I was eager for was Remixed Hits, which features 12 tracks of Holiday’s popular recordings remixed by three established DJs. You’ll hear two different remixes of “Strange Fruit” and “God Bless the Child.” One of the versions of the latter closes the disc and I can pretty safely say you’ve never heard the song like this before. Many of the mixes are soulless, canned productions that lack any type of innovation or attention to the source material. However, you’ll actually hear some jazziness on the Lucky mix of “Loverman.” If you’re a fan of electronic music, you’ll want to sample this. If you’re a jazz fan, your curiosity might be aroused so check out some samples. Remixed Hits is available now on Cleopatra or Hypnotic Records at a reasonable retail price.