Taking a cue from their successful Verve Remixed series, the folks behind the legendary jazz label open the catalogue of their sub-label for 10 producers to modernize classics. While Verve was always a bit more "mainstream" -- if you can ever claim that of anything outside of light jazz -- Impulse! released an array of dizzying, poetic and experimental records. Hence, as you can imagine, remixers took many liberties on this edition. Wu-Tang Clan leader RZA had a lot of fun with Charles Mingus' "II B.S.," dubbing out the horn sections and adding a '70s sexy guitar riff aside the bassist's trademark notes. Blackalicious' Chief Xcel adds a bit of Aretha Franklin soul to Archie Shepp's "Attica Soul." Overall, Impulsive! relies more on head trips than dance grooves; however, Gerardo Frisina's percussive-driven "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and DJ Dolores' brilliant, Latin-tinged take on "Spanish Rice" both translate on the dance floor. Not as impressive as the Verve mutations, but if they keep opening doors, we'll step inside for a listen.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.