Verve has released the second in what I hope will be many more volumes of its Remixed series. Verve//Remixed 2 effectively modernizes music from the Verve catalog that may already be labeled as timeless.
As on the first volume, Verve has some of the most notable DJs on the scene contributing. Grammy-nominated Felix da Housecat was named Best DJ by URB and Spin. Felix offers one of two remixed songs on this collection by the recently deceased Nina Simone – the Heavenly House mix of “Sinnerman”. Funky Lowlives kick another notch up on a live performance of Dizzy Gillespie’s famous “Manteca”.
You’ve never heard an Ella Fitzgerald song like the cool and danceable Miguel Migs Petalpusher Remix of “Slap That Bass”. Mr. Scruff delivers an organic and very soulful remix of Ramsey Lewis’s “Do What You Wanna”. It’s properly titled the Soul Party mix and it guarantees a good time. Fila Brazillia ramps up Cal Tjader’s familiar “Soul Sauce”. Swedish duo Koop offers a sunny, light, and lovely version of Astrud Gilberto’s “Here’s That Rainy Day”.
There are also remixes of songs originally recorded by Hugh Masekela, Betty Carter, Archie Shepp, Willie Bobo, Sarah Vaughn, and Oscar Brown, Jr.
Verve Remixed 2 offers a solid selection of different types of mixes. There are remixes that can be easily identified as the artist’s music (such as Herbert’s rendition of Oscar Brown, Jr.’s “Brother Where Are You?” There are also remixes where I thought the music was a completely new 21st century recording (Mondo Grosso’s get-your-butt-on-the-dance-floor Next Wave Mix of Archie Shepp’s “Blues For Brother George Jackson”). The variety makes the recording a good listen.