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!


stu said...

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

Anonymous said...


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!