Celebrating Jazzanova's DJ roots, "Mixing" closes the circle for Germany's nu-jazz ensemble. The group's first official mix CD is a cosmopolitan club brew of soul, disco, techno, pop, hip-hop and house, featuring an international cast of artists ranging from the famous to the obscure.
The remix of Jill Scott's "A Long Walk" serves as an enticing and teasing opener before Jazzanova begins to stack and segue an odd array of tracks. Some cuts are merely curious -- the electro wash created by Dimlite, for starters -- but in between these sometimes dulling interludes are several tracks that stand out, albeit for different reasons. Among the highlights are Phoojun's flute-limned trance dance "Rainbow," Sirius Mo's funky rhapsody "U-Again" and Carol Williams's disco reverberation "Can't Get Away (From Your Love)." The heavy and nearly ubiquitous bass pulse spills over into Attica Blues' yearning recitation "The Quest," and it later underpins a couple of cuts from Jazzanova itself, including a lushly harmonized version of the Patrice Rushen tune "Let Your Heart Be Free."
Similarly, the latter half of "Mixing" suffers from some droning lulls. But there's plenty of compensation to be found here and there, thanks to a remix of Bahamadia's hip-hop anthem 'Uknowhowwedo," Sidsel Endresen and Bugge Wesseltoft's minimalist pop charmer "Try" and Deyampert's "Held Him First," featuring the soulful Clover from Amraah 8.
-- Mike Joyce
Appearing Saturday at Club Five. * To hear a free Sound Bite from Jazzanova, call Post-Haste at 301-313-2200 and press 8109. (Prince William residents, call 703-690-4110.)