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Impulsive! - Revolutionary Jazz Reworked

4.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Outstanding songs from one of the most prestigious catalogs remixed for the first time! Featuring remixes by Sa-Ra, RZA, Mark De Clive-Lowe, Prefuse 73, Gerardo Frisina, DJ Dolores, Chief Xcel (Of Blackalicious), Boozoo Bajou, Kid Koala, Telefon Tel-Aviv and Ravi Coltrane. Impluse. 2005.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Impulse
  • ASIN: B000ASATPS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #338,160 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. W. Hall on January 25, 2008
Format: Audio CD
The best way I've found to review albums which purport to re-do classic material is to compare song-for-song the old with the new. The question isn't whether one is better than the other, but rather, whether the new adds anything to the old. Essentially, is it a positive addition to the legacy of the material it reinterprets?

For this project, Verve opened the vaults and the catalog of Impulse records to a handful of today's top producers and DJs. Those chosen few got to poke around and pick a song to remix. But what did they do with the source material?

Sa-Ra Creative Partners intensify the already frenetic pace of "A Helluva Town". The addition of a dynamic drum `n' bass percussion line deepens the groove and creates higher peaks and lower valleys than are found in George Russell's original.

To my mind, RZA takes on the biggest challenge by facing off with the formidable and already well-known swing of Charles Mingus' "II B.S." RZA's recent focus on movie scoring is apparent as he slows the initial tempo and proceeds to build the audio equivalent of a brilliant chase scene. To use the same metaphor on each version, Mingus' scene would feature a normal street for just a moment before the entire chase cuts around the corner already at full speed. RZA implies the same chase, but begins at an earlier point with a lone protagonist first noticing there might be someone following him.

Mark de Clive-Lowe makes his mark on "El Toro" by essentially editing out Gabor Szabo's guitar and focusing instead on the rock solid bass line and Charles Lloyd's flute. By doing so, he completely does away with the spaghetti western feel that Szabo lends to the original.
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This is a great recording and I am really glad I made the effort to purchase it. If your a purist or a leveler, this may not be for you. However, if your a shaper this compilation is an excellent rendering of the originals and a fun way to hear the classics in a new light. Tracks 1 & 5 are jamming-
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Format: Audio CD
This CD might disappoint those who have the Verve Unmixed series since those CD's are more pop/accessible and they make for a cool, hip party CD - old favorites that everyone already knows merely updated to the 21st century.

This is not really that kind of a party CD unless most of your parties are of the revolutionary kind :-)

These tracks are less pop/standard jazz that was already revolutionary and a bit belligerent in its day - though of course - cool and hip it its own right ... now updated to the 21st century with trip hop beats, they still stand the test of time. The tracks are all interesting, intriguing and still sound un-compromised and unbending to the whims of music fashion.

This CD is not for everyone but if you like your jazz with an unvarnished edge, and updated with splashes of trip hop and acid jazz - then you're in for a treat.

About the only disappointment is the low number of tracks.
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Format: Audio CD
Someone's gonna have to break this down for Wynton: It's fun, Mate! Oh yeah, remember that?! Anyway, the DJs and producers here take tracks you're likely to know, if you have an avocation for jazz, and give them, if you will, a different spin. And it's infectiously a hoot! Of course, Dizzy Gillespie would have revelled in the joyful tricks effected on his track, but you can't help but see the wry smile on all of these musicians, including Mingus, on the way these tracks have found another life. Like turning a diamond just so so atht it's facets cast a new brilliance. It all winds up with a reverent and inspirational reading of a poem by John Coltrane, set to music by his son. It's just perfect!

Keep this up and Impulse might just breathe life back into Jazz a second time. It reminds me of the old Teilhard de Chardin quote: "When man learns to harness the power of love, he will have discovered fire for the second time." Coltrane's poem is all about the peace such discovery brings the heart. Git it in your soul, as Mingus would have told you. You, too, Wynton.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This compilation of Jazz greats remixed starts off with a kick thanks to Sa-Ra's "Go!" Remix of George Russel's iconic "A Helluva Town," which is always a joy to listen to. The producers then introduce RZA to subdue you and yet pique your curiosity. After something of a introspective lull in the albums progression you find your attention brought full circle by Gerardo Frisina's remix of Dizzy Gillespie's "Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac," which manages to stay true to form but still with new life to it. There are some other pleasant surprises in there too which I wont go into too much detail about, but the compilation does end on a soft and somber note that overall -as an album- leaves the listener very satisfied and is a good introduction for new Jazz listeners, as well as vets who might otherwise think of remixes as sacrilegious.

Enjoy!
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