16.10.08

i'm the baddest bitch



Since it was my birthday recently and I hadn't had the pleasure of purchasing records in a bit, a few days ago I headed over to Tweekin' (in the Lower Haight) to get my fix. And I got it-- not only did I grab some great dub techno and some new-ish, amazing stuff from the Circus Company label, I also got my paws on a copy of Norma Jean Bell's I'm the Baddest Bitch (In the Room), one of those sought-after house classics featuring Moodymann, aka Kenny Dixon Jr.

To give some history: Norma Jean (pictured above) was trained as a saxophonist and singer, and at one point was a member of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention. She began producing records outright along with Kenny Dixon in the early-to-mid 90s, and became known for a jazzy, Detroit-centric approach to house music. "I'm the Baddest Bitch (In the Room)" was her breakout single, and has become a classic of house music and a favorite of DJs all over.

It is easy to understand why the track and its remixes get so much love-- "Baddest Bitch" is one of the sexiest, catchiest and most well-constructed vocal house track ever put to record. The original's programming gives great nods to past electro and house influences, and the "Bitch Move" mix has an irresistible Garage-y hypnotism that is sure to work people into frenzies. The mix by Kenny Dixon himself is...well, quintessential Moodymann: it stretches the piece out, slows its pace, incorporates extensive saxaphone workouts, and is some smooth, get-down house. The final piece, which eschews the word "bitch," is an exercise in house producers doing downtempo, near-smooth-jazz music, but the track is much too cool and smoky to be placed in the elevator-music house ghetto. Throughout all these mixes, Norma Jean Bell's assertive alto soars in a way that puts other house divas to shame.

This might be one of the best house records you'll ever hear. So get to it:

Norma Jean Bell- I'm the Baddest Bitch (In the Room) (Original Mix)

Norma Jean Bell- I'm the Baddest Bitch (In the Room) (Bitch Move Mix)

Norma Jean Bell- I'm the Baddest Bitch (In the Room) (Moodymann Mix)

Norma Jean Bell- Cause You Belong to Me (Norma & Kenny Mix)

Tomorrow, something new!

4 comments:

stu said...

Thanks deep movements! such a tune, never heard of it until now. esp the moodymann mix.

Anonymous said...

ALL LINKS ARE DOWN, PLEASE REUPP

Kote said...

reup pleasee

trees said...

hey kote and all,

i'd prefer if you'd email me so i can send you links directly. thanks so much!

t