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Some new releases I added include a band called Funkatized (whose title speaks for itself), the jazzy electronica of Kush, and a track from the re-release of Torso’s Naked Came the She Squid. I’ve put in over 50 other hand-picked selections in the last month. Check it out!

Billie Holiday Remixed Hits

Billie HolidayBillie 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. I couldn’t find any online but I’m playing selections from it on TomorrowJazz Radio. Remixed Hits is available now on Cleopatra or Hypnotic Records at a reasonable retail price.

Verve Remixed 3

Verve Remixed 3 came out yesterday. It sounds noticeably different from the first two. While the previous two had great diversity in the ways songs were remixed (often I would love or hate a remix), this one sounds more homogenized. There won?t be a major shock going from track to track. (which are almost all vocals). The majority of Verve Remixed 3 is electronic, literally – it sounds robotic. Given the catalog from which songs were obtained, it’s hard to believe that these songs could be so lacking in any jazziness. It’s missing flavor. There are some fun tracks like Sarah Vaughan’s “Fever” (remixed by Adam Freeland) and “Peter Gunn” (remixed by Max Sedgley). Overall, unlike the previous releases, none of the DJs made an initial impression on me.
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Bird Up!

We’ve heard jazz classics from the Verve and Blue Note catalogs remixed and reworked. Now it’s Bird’s turn. On October 21, Savoy Records will release Bird Up: The Charlie Parker Remix Project. Dan the Automator, Me’shell Ndegeocello, Hal Willner, Rob Swift, and Serj Tankian (from System of a Down) are among the artists transforming some of Parker’s music. You won’t believe Serj’s reconstruction of “Bird of Paradise (Gone)”. Willner, Mocean Worker, the Kronos Quartet, and Dr. John collaborate on “Salt Peanuts (The Mr. Peanut Chronicles)”. Hubert Laws contributes to two tracks, including “Conga Blues” which also features the diverse talents of Ravi Coltrane, Wild Children, and Kodo. There’s also a lot of names I haven’t seen before, but I’m anxious to hear them. You can hear lengthy versions of some tracks (including the aforementioned “Bird of Paradise (Gone)” at Savoy’s site. Looking forward to this…