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Various Artists Verve Remixed 3

Less uneven than the previous two volumes in the series, VR3 hits several high notes, as Bent tackles Billie Holliday, Lyrics Born re-rubs the late Jimmy Smith, RJD2 manhandles Astrid Gilberto, and Max Sedgely updates Sarah Vaughan. Lots of breaks and beats galore, not to mention already-classic vocal performances. Yet for all the recontextualizing, hi-tech futurism, and contemporary cool posturing at work, VR3 ultimately succeeds on the strengths of the original songs. No amount of bells and whistles can out-swing Anita O‘Day‘s relentlessly cheery "Sing, Sing, Sing"-and few modern-day divas can match her phrasing. Luckily, the RSL remix doesn‘t downplay the song‘s retro qualities, but goes with the flow quite nicely.

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