ReMix:Final Fantasy VII "The Shinra Shuffle" 6:27

By The Runaway Five

Arranging the music of 2 songs...

"Fanfare", "Fight On!"

Primary Game: Final Fantasy VII (Sony , 1997, PS1), music by Nobuo Uematsu

Posted 2009-05-23, evaluated by the judges panel

Mmmm... pretty effin' amazing ReMix, here. Some of you may remember way, way back when we posted 'SuperBuckJazz,' or the first Neskvartetten ReMix - this mix, for me, has that same sort of excitement: ensemble jazz with amazing musicians performing awesome, creative VGM arrangements. Lately LSD has been carrying the torch with some brilliant material, but now they've got some company in the form of Canadian jazz ensemble The Runaway Five. You WANT to visit their website and MySpace for more great arrangements like this one, I guarantee it. They also performed at VGL, which would have been awesome to catch. Now, before I proceed with gushing praise, I do want to mention that the "About" section of their website says:

Jazz Arranged Video Game Music - "Like Nothing You've Ever Heard Before"

The juxtaposition there sorta implies that "jazz arranged video game music" is a fresh, new idea that's only recently come into existence, and that TR5 are pioneers in this arena. I think that's more than a little misleading, personally. There have been plenty of jazz VGM arrangements (fan-made and commercial) for many years now, and some of them have sounded not unlike this magnificent FF7 ReMix. In my opinion, to market great music, you don't need to make claims about being outrageously unique or doing something no one's done before... you just need to express that you're making some kickass stuff. So that's about the extent of my criticism, and you'll notice it didn't speak at all to their music, which is phenomenal. Submission comments for the mix actually focused on the who-did-what's and the where, so let's hear it:

  • Arranged by: Brendan Swanson (August 2008).
  • Performed by: The Runaway Five: Brendan McElroy (Bass), Brendan Swanson (Piano), Spencer Cheyne (Drums) (excluding The Runaway Five members; Alex Goodman (Guitar), Matt Maclean (Trumpet).
  • Also featuring special guests: Andre Wickenheiser (Trumpet), Brent Mah (Alto Sax), John Sweenie (Tenor Sax), Sarah Matheson (Baritone Sax), and Colin Story (Guitar).
  • Mixed and recorded live at The Beat Niq Jazz and Social Club (August 20th, 2008) by Spencer Cheyne at Crossover studios. Produced by Brendan McElroy."

That's a pretty full ensemble, but there are absolutely no weak links anywhere, so you're in for a real treat. Saxes of all shapes and sizes dominate, with a particularly mean barisax from Sarah Matheson to start the whole shebang off with a sleazy, noir swing. At 1'10" we get a higher sax solo over a walking bass, then some ensemble, a sweet short piano solo, then badass trumpet again over walking bass going up into higher registers. Perfect brush kit drumming the whole time, Colin's guitar and Brendan's piano both adding backing chords at just the right times, and yes - since this is all a live recording, remember - soloists often get their own applause. I've been to Blues Alley here in DC a few times in the last few years, and... this is what it feels like. This is the sound of live, A-grade jazz that people who specifically listen to jazz would pay to hear. Sometimes you've got gamers - often amazingly talented musicians, mind you - who put together VGM cover groups, and I think there might be a certain degree of slack we all cut each other, but you don't need to cut these guys (and gals) any slack at all: this is a live recording of an actual performance in an actual jazz club, and it sounds bloody awesome. Larry paneled this piece mainly so the judges could be blown away. Short but sweet comments are as follows, Larry first:

"Not much else to say other than "swingin'"! That, and Canadian bacon is delicious. DELICIOUS!"

I concur. Now Mattias:

"Oh. My. God.  YES, OH GOD YES."

...I'll have what he's having. Finally, at length, Jimmy:


Pretty much. Not hyperbole in the slightest, these guys are definitely worth getting excited about, and - while perhaps not revolutionary - represent an amazing & significant addition to the world of video game music AND jazz.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2023-10-09 20:12:58

This is making me want to recoat a magnetic drum for some reason

on 2020-12-16 18:31:10

One of the best jazz mixes on the site

on 2015-12-16 13:36:20

I would never imagine the classic fighting theme from FF7 to be treated in such way. Jazz is the music of my soul, and this song makes it happy. I'd really like to see this track performed live, haha :) Very tight performance, guys!

on 2013-09-26 14:02:30

How in the world did I miss this until now? Amazing stuff!

on 2009-11-16 15:48:29

For some i can't get this song out of my head! I listen to it like everyday. Nice job guys 9/10

on 2009-09-10 16:13:37

Being a big fan of Jazz music since watching "Swing Kids"...

I just Omnislashed in my pants.

Brilliantly done. That Baritone line is very cool, gets the whole groove going from the start. The ending (Victory) was a little over-repeated but still awesome.

I never, ever thought the source(s) would ever be interpreted in a jazzy manner but it was a very good performance.


Lovely Peach
on 2009-08-12 08:14:26

Oh this is a yummy mix. It makes you just want to get up and dance!

Oh, and the ending fanfare caught me completely by surprise. Very nice touch. ^^

on 2009-07-12 02:24:53

Thread necromancy is required for me to say that this is an absolutely gorgeous piece. I was grinning the whole way through! I love Jazz and Blues, but it's a rare commodity, especially with such talent. Kudos to the chef!

on 2009-06-17 17:02:41

Being a former trumpet player in a jazz band, I just Omnislashed in my pants.

Thanks for this one.

on 2009-06-16 13:54:50

I am absolutely enthralled by this mix - it reminds me of all of my (weak) attempts at ballroom dance, as the style harkens back to music of the early-mid 1900s. It's pulled off so well here that I really don't have much more to add except that I hope to see more from you guys, especially an album (or few).

Martin Penwald
on 2009-06-14 13:13:19

I love jazz remixes, and this one is among the best. I can't help but follow the beat with my fingers, tapping them to the rhythm.

I hope they submit more in the future.

on 2009-06-09 02:28:02

True some of it is sloppy but hey , ITS ALL JAZZ right ? I mean ha ha ?

This was a video game tune ?? Wow sounds like a good ol jazz song right out of the box


on 2009-06-04 12:42:45

Sweeeeeeet. 8)

I like the groove of this - and I never expected to hear this interpretation of this song ever. Very well done. I want to hear more from you guys - please post more of your stuff here.

Jared Hudson
on 2009-05-31 05:44:55

This remix brought a smile to my face. It's nice to see a piece in such a daring genre. Bravo for the arrangement, and the recording wasn't half bad either. :nicework:

on 2009-05-30 23:16:26

Nice groovy mix. Pretty cool stuff here

Sources Arranged (2 Songs)

Primary Game:
Final Fantasy VII (Sony , 1997, PS1)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu
"Fight On!"

Tags (7)

Production > Live Recording
Time > Duration: Long
Time > Tempo: Fast

File Information

6,283,604 bytes



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