Remixed & Reimagined
During her long career, Nina Simone offered radical revisions of jazz standards, Beatles tunes, Broadway material, and anything else that struck her queenly fancy. Her richly-toned voice and stately piano work made anything she touched her own. It’s fitting, then, that a stellar coterie of DJs and producers should keep the process going by deconstructing some of Simone’s best work from the ‘60s and ‘70s. What could have been a desecration turns into a celebration thanks to the timelessness of the original recordings and the creativity of the studio wizards at work. The High Priestess of Soul’s trance-inducing grooves gain a jolt of energy from hot club remixes of “Go to Hell,” “Westwind,” and “Turn Me On.” Coldcut’s trippy take on “Save Me” emphasizes her bewitching aura, while Francois K’s percolating “Here Comes the Sun” taps into her serene side. The gospel and R&B-funk elements in Simone’s music offer particularly fertile material for these sonic mixologists. “Ain’t Got No - I Got Life” seethes with insistent brass, thanks to Groovefinder’s full-bodied embellishments. Even better is Jazzeem’s symphonic soul re-framing of “Funkier Than a Mosquito’s Tweeter.” With respect, Remixed & Reimagined adds new luster to this great artist’s legacy.