When bebop hit the scene, critics and other unhepcats maligned the movement as inarticulate noise with little artistic merit. So it's only fitting that another clan of outsiders, dance-music DJs, should re-interpret the now-classic sounds of Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, and Shirley Horne. Granted this project could have turned ugly (think Keoki throwing his ego all over Ella Fitzgerald), but Verve carefully handpicked a crew of well-rounded producers who kept the original essence of each track while bringing a fresh perspective to a catalog full of style and soul. Whether it's Joe Claussell laying a deep and funky bassline for Simone to purr "Feelin' Good" over or Thievery Corporation making the already dreamy "Who Needs Forever" by Astrud Gilberto even more ethereal, each song comes through with nary a misplaced scratch. Hearing Rae & Christian blast a pumping horn refrain through Dinah Washington's "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby" makes one wonder why it took so long to pair DJs with jazz legends. The track remains a demand for love to come clean but now has a hip-shaking beat that takes the edge off and swings even more, daddy-o. Also among the dance highlights is "See-Line Woman," the Simone classic Masters at Work made into a club hit several years back. With layers of percussion kicking and clapping throughout, the stark tale of a prostitute's act gets an upbeat... More >>>