Take 12 classic jazz sides, have them re-tweaked for today's dancefloors, and you have a set that brings jazz, the original dance music, back to the dancefloor.

Take 12 classic jazz sides, have them re-tweaked for today's dancefloors, and you have a set that brings jazz, the original dance music, back to the dancefloor. The songs have been largely stripped of their original instrumentation, marrying vocals by Carmen McRae, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald (and others) with new instrumental beds constructed by the likes of MJ Cole, Joe Claussell, and De-Phazz, respectively. Jazz purists will cry foul, but to be fair, this is geared toward the dance crowd, and while it's strange to hear Shirley Horn's velvety voice atop a lively techy track, it does work in its own way. The only gaff comes with Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit," a song whose harrowing account of a lynching makes it feel inappropriate in this setting, despite Tricky's dark-hued reconstruction. A companion disc, Verve Unmixed, features the original recordings at a $4.98 list price.—SG

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print