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Mixing the music

October 18, 2003

DON HECKMAN'S use of the analogy of cutting and pasting Picasso's "Guernica" to describe his distaste for the remixing of classic jazz recordings is faulty ("Classics Redone," Oct. 15). The original recordings are not destroyed. They still exist and are readily available.

I'm no jazz aficionado, but aren't lots of these records covers (i.e., interpretations or improvisations) of other people's songs anyway? Maybe the remixes will encourage people to discover the original music and create new fans.

In the meantime, if Heckman doesn't like it, he can continue listening to his 78s.

Pablo Prietto

Los Angeles


I regret to hear that Bird is being "remixed." I'm certain that my good friend the late Dick Gibson, innovator of the jazz party concept, would look askance at this remixing phenomenon. Gibson insisted that recordings of his "Greats of Jazz" be unedited and undoctored in any way -- avowing that "this is how the music really sounded on the night it was played -- exciting, imaginative, powerful, raw and tender."

That's the way I want to remember Charlie Parker: warts and all -- the real Bird -- the one I heard back in Kansas City, Mo., in 1936. I'm truly glad that my 45 rpm recording of Parker's "April in Paris" wasn't remixed.

William H. Smith

Palm Desert

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