Verve Remixed: Christmas

Performers Various Artists

Verve | October 7, 2008 | Compact Disc

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What makes a classic Christmas song work is that, even as we change and the world changes, it stays the same, popping up each year during the holiday season steady and sure, providing a kind of thread to holidays past, an example of perceived nostalgia at its most powerful. Messing with that emotional nostalgia is a tricky thing, which is why this set of holiday classics remixed by various producers and DJs walks a thin line between delightful surprise and what-were-they-thinking disaster. When things work here, they work surprisingly well, bringing a fresh sonic perspective to songs that might seem immutable. Ella Fitzgerald's "What Are You Doing New Years Eve" becomes a joyous cacophony in its Mangini vs. Pallin mix, while a pair of Nina Simone gems, "I Am Blessed," remixed by Wax Tailor, and "Chilly Winds," remixed by Fink, collect a haunting atmospheric power in their new versions, although it is still Simone's singing that carries things. On the other hand, the Brazilian Girls remix of Dinah Washington's version of "Silent Night" fails to take into account the song itself, which is, after all, about a kind of joyous silence, and amped up like this, it just sounds wrong. Yesking's remix of Billie Holiday's "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" suffers a similar fate. It's initially interesting to hear Holiday's voice set against a reggae rhythm, but by the end of the song, it's just plain odd and disorienting to hear her presented this way. Sometimes classics are classics because that's what they are. Changing them just weakens the foundation. Still, there are some fun mixes here, and if none of them are likely to replace their original versions (which are available in a separate Verve release, by the way, and it's interesting to compare the two discs), there is still plenty of joy and good cheer in most of them. ~ Steve Leggett
Verve Records had several producers and DJs remix a set of classic holiday songs from the label's impressive back catalog and the result was the album called Verve Remixed Christmas, and this set serves as a companion to that volume, containing the untouched mixes of the songs in their original versions. Remixed or no, there are some pleasant treats here, including Jimmy Smith's funky big-band soul-jazz approach to "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," Nina Simone's stunningly intimate phrasing on "I Am Blessed," and Louis Armstrong's classic "What a Wonderful World" (is this really a Christmas song? No matter, it's great.) One could argue that none of these sides really needed to be remixed, and the proof of that is certainly here, but listening to this set in conjunction with the remixed versions is a lot of fun, and quite fascinating at points. ~ Steve Leggett

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: October 7, 2008

Genre: Electronica

Style: Holiday

Number of Discs: 1

Studio/Mixed/Live: Studio

Label Name: Verve

UPC: 602517819665

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– More About This Product –

Verve Remixed: Christmas

Performers Various Artists

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: October 7, 2008

Genre: Electronica

Style: Holiday

Number of Discs: 1

Studio/Mixed/Live: Studio

Label Name: Verve

UPC: 602517819665


Title Track Time
1.Good Morning Blues [The Real Tuesday Weld Clerkenwell Remix] - Count Basie --
2.'Zat You, Santa Claus? [The Heavy Remix] - Louis Armstrong --
3.What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? [Mangini vs. Pallin Remix] - Ella Fitzgerald --
4.I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm [Yesking Remix] - Billie Holiday --
5.What A Wonderful World [The Orb Remix] - Louis Armstrong --
6.Winter Wonderland [Christian Prommer Remix] - Shirley Horn --
7.God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen [Oh No Remix] - Jimmy Smith --
8.I Am Blessed [Wax Tailor Remix] - Nina Simone --
9.Silent Night [Brazilian Girls Remix] - Dinah Washington --
10.Christmas Song [Sonny J Remix], The - Mel Torme --
11.Chilly Winds Don't Blow [Fink Remix] - Nina Simone --

Editorial Notes

What makes a classic Christmas song work is that, even as we change and the world changes, it stays the same, popping up each year during the holiday season steady and sure, providing a kind of thread to holidays past, an example of perceived nostalgia at its most powerful. Messing with that emotional nostalgia is a tricky thing, which is why this set of holiday classics remixed by various producers and DJs walks a thin line between delightful surprise and what-were-they-thinking disaster. When things work here, they work surprisingly well, bringing a fresh sonic perspective to songs that might seem immutable. Ella Fitzgerald's "What Are You Doing New Years Eve" becomes a joyous cacophony in its Mangini vs. Pallin mix, while a pair of Nina Simone gems, "I Am Blessed," remixed by Wax Tailor, and "Chilly Winds," remixed by Fink, collect a haunting atmospheric power in their new versions, although it is still Simone's singing that carries things. On the other hand, the Brazilian Girls remix of Dinah Washington's version of "Silent Night" fails to take into account the song itself, which is, after all, about a kind of joyous silence, and amped up like this, it just sounds wrong. Yesking's remix of Billie Holiday's "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" suffers a similar fate. It's initially interesting to hear Holiday's voice set against a reggae rhythm, but by the end of the song, it's just plain odd and disorienting to hear her presented this way. Sometimes classics are classics because that's what they are. Changing them just weakens the foundation. Still, there are some fun mixes here, and if none of them are likely to replace their original versions (which are available in a separate Verve release, by the way, and it's interesting to compare the two discs), there is still plenty of joy and good cheer in most of them. ~ Steve Leggett
Verve Records had several producers and DJs remix a set of classic holiday songs from the label's impressive back catalog and the result was the album called Verve Remixed Christmas, and this set serves as a companion to that volume, containing the untouched mixes of the songs in their original versions. Remixed or no, there are some pleasant treats here, including Jimmy Smith's funky big-band soul-jazz approach to "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," Nina Simone's stunningly intimate phrasing on "I Am Blessed," and Louis Armstrong's classic "What a Wonderful World" (is this really a Christmas song? No matter, it's great.) One could argue that none of these sides really needed to be remixed, and the proof of that is certainly here, but listening to this set in conjunction with the remixed versions is a lot of fun, and quite fascinating at points. ~ Steve Leggett
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