Southern Funkin' : Louisiana Funk & Soul 1967-1979
Compiled by Dean Rudland
Out on BGP Records, July 2005


Now of course, we're biased, as we've just hosted the album launch, but this compilation is, as they say, the bomb.

From the opening blues swagger of Eddy "G" Giles' "Soul Feelin'", this colossal funk takes in legends including Camille Bob, Freddie Love and Dennis Landry, charting what was going on in Louisiana, apart from in the motherlode city of N'awlins. Cajun swamp pop rubs shoulders with Creole funk, gritty blues shouters and even a slice of prime sister funk, with the inclusion of Katie Webster's "Hell or High Water". And we also get some excellent later stuff too, with the sound a bit more polished around the edges - Dennis Landry's slick "Concentration", and the sweet hustle of Donnie Jacobs' "Proud Man"

As ever with BGP's fine compilations, you get a giddy feeling as you peer into the abyss of funk and soul records, and realise how little you know - and how much more you need.
Standout Track : Tabby Thomas - "One Day"


Don't Fight The Feeling : Aretha Franklin & King Curtis Live at Fillmore West
Out on Rhino Handmade, July 2005


Jesus H. Christ. 61 tracks, 4 CD's...and every note played or sung from the three night sell out shows at Fillmore. At last the outstanding King Curtis and Artha live albums are combined, coming together to show just how great these concerts really were. A crack session band including Billy Preston, Jerry Jemott ad of course, Bernard "Pretty" Purdie, a guest slot from Ray Charles...and aretha and her A&R man /Arranger, King Curtis on top form.

It's a bit of a curate's egg, as a package. You'd have to be a bit mental to want to hear three alternate takes of every track you've already got, but so good a concert deserves a bit of indulgence. Nice outtakes including "Call Me" & "Mixed Up Girl". Just tell me someone filmed it.

Standout Track : Aretha, Ray Charles & King Curtis - "Spirit In The Dark" ("I discovered Ray Charles !")


Hot Funky & Sweaty : The Sound of Heavy Soul & Funk Today
Compiled by Nick Cope
Out on Acid Jazz Records, July 2005


Quality. 14 hand-picked gems from the best funk and soul bands working today, doing covers of rare, and not so rare cuts. What could possibly go wrong ?

Not too much. Some outstanding stuff here, a hard, heavy and raw sound, including the garage funk of the Neopolitans' "Crosstown Traffic" and the Poets of Rhythm's thunderous "Funky Booty". There's the occasional lapse, where IMHO the original totally eclipses any version (Colour Climax's pointless take of Mandingo's "Black Rite", Big Daddy Moochin's superfluous take on Marie Queenie Lyons' "See & Don't See"), but then a) I adore the originals a little too much, and b) they probably sound fantastic live. It's hard to quibble with so solid a compilation that gets these bands out there, while simultaneously provoking interest in the OG's.

Prime nuggets from Nick Cope's legendary night.

Standout Track : Poets of Rhythm - "Funky Booty"


Creative Musicians 2 Compiled by Florian Keller
Out on Perfect Toy Records May 2005

creativemusicians2

After the spankingly fine Creative Musicians 1, Florian Keller returns with another great set of funk and silky soul. Faruk Green's excellent "Faith" hold the kind of rhodes/wahwah combo that you know you frankly can't get enough of, all over a very large break indeed. Josephine Jones' 200 classic Candy Man spikes sweet sisterfunk with lowdown horns. Ex-Poets of Rhythm's Bo Baral ignites Light my Fire with more than just a hint of garagetown fury, before we settle into the classic Ruff Francis' "Give Me Mercy" and David Robinson's hardy perennial "I'm A Carpenter". There's a couple of numbers a little too smooth for this reviewers' ears, but that certainly doesn't apply to the excellent Pamoja's "Ooh Baby"

Some real genius here - consistently classy , and beautifully packaged..
Standout Track : Josephine Jones - "Candy Man"


Movements Compiled by Tobias Kirmayer
Out on Perfect Toy Records January/ Febuary 2005
tobias-movements-cover

Perfect Toy luck in on the talent on their doorsteps...Tobias' lovingly compiled compilation deals in properly licensed floor fillers and has raised the bar for the clutch of european releases that normally wash up on our shores. This is big, wide varied fun - The inimitable "Wahoo Wahoo Wahoo"sets off the pace nicely with some Prestige-style grooves, laced with a big hook, before we slamdunk into The Soul Shakers mighty fine and mighty rare "You Ain't My Brother".

Personally I'd be happy with that. But there's another 12 tracks of solid funk to be had...not least of which is Robert Parker's 'The Hiccup". Full marks.

Standout Track : Wayne Carter - "Wahoo Wahoo Wahoo"
Check www.perfecttoy.de for more info,
or check Tobias' site www.tramprecords.de