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Cover Art

Various ( )

Billie Holiday: Remixed And Reimagined
Legacy ( http://www.legacyrecordings.com )

With so many remix albums floating around its hard to distinguish which one is actually harnessing the unique vocal styling’s of the artist and at the same time preserving the nature of the music along with recomposing the works that will endure the test of time much like the original.  Billie Holiday is by far one of the century’s greatest jazz vocalist alongside Ella Fitzgerald, Alberta Hunter and Ma (Gertrude Pridgett) Rainey.  The ensemble of remix artists chosen here are ones that reflect a cool nubreed of fusion jazz with downtemp beats and samples filled with groove happy movements and deep house for today’s cool daddy’s. Swingsett & Jazzeem lay out the beginnings for a chilled out down beat session. It was nice to hear a lot of the muted horns kept in I Hear Music redo along with the gentle flowing sax. One of the most enticing remixes on here is the Ladybug Mecca of (Digable Planets) origins. The sound is smothered with chuncky hip hop kicks and what would seem like a studio duet with Billie. Beautifully executed and manufactured. Nickodemus & Zeb is another great addition here. Their customized funky dance turntablism takes Trav'lin' All Alone and gives it praise with a broken down slick back room appeal to it. Good for smoking cigars and sipping scotch or slow dancing. For all those yearning for the trip hop melodies and the addition of electronic music Madison Park restructures I'm Gonna Lock My Heart with ease. Although it may sound more darker than the other tracks here it stirs a sense of happiness knowing that all the pieces meld well together. Changing the pace once again Sunday People take You're So Desirable and master a sporadic swing style groove tempo. This song is worth getting up and strutting your stuff on the dancefloor enticing your loved one to perhaps do more than just that after the song is done playing. The final three turn up the tempo and drop the funky kicks with a house movement. Count De Money, Tony Humphries and Charles Feelgood all carry their own style of 4/4 beats but you can count on a summery danceable number with Count De Money. Legendary producer and DJ Tony Humphries drops an orchestrated piano and chord arrangement with a hauntingly reverbed vocal from Billie constructing a club essential track for all DJs. Charles Feelgood leaves us all on a good note with another danceable number for the folks who need a bit more jump in their step. The first breakdown kicks in an original bar building up back into the club-esque club rhythm.  If you enjoyed the spiritual enhancement from this recreation you will also enjoy the Nina Simone - Remixed & Reimagined as well.

By Marc 'Oxide' LaCasse
Jun 12, 2008

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