Blue Note
Jazz, Soul Jazz, Jazz-Funk

Album Review

This is a very attractively priced sampler by Blue Note, issued in the early '90s on CD highlighting their deep and funky soul-jazz titles for the beat heads and emergent hip-hop nation that was sampling in earnest at the time. (Little did the label know that collectors and DJs wanted wax, not shiny little plastic.) In any case, this attractively priced sampler of BN acts from the '60s and '70s is all killer, no filler; it's heavy on funk and soul. Sure it's got the big B sharp players from the era, like Groove Holmes ("Down Home Funk"), Jack McDuff (the amazing "Hunk O Funk"), Big John Patton (with a killer cover of the Meters' "Cissy Strut"), Reuben Wilson ("Bambu") and Ronnie Foster ("Don't Know My Love"), but there's way more. Lou Donaldson and Grant Green make up the royalty for this period (the producers still hadn't realized just how happening Donald Byrd was to the emerging hip-hop generation so he's not here) and they are well represented by a few cuts each -- Donaldson's read on James Brown's "Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)," is a monster; and Green's take on "Cantaloupe Woman" is simply bad ass. But there is some added class to this mix with Candido's smoking drum funk in "Tic Tac Toe," and Blue Mitchell's set-opening "Who Dun It." But the big surprise comes at the very end when Bobby Hutcherson clocks it all out with his uber funky soulful read of Sly Stone's "Family Affair," setting the vibe just right as a cap. A couple of these Blue Note soul-jazz comps would fuel any bash, and would provide an
awesome Friday night jump to Sunday afternoon cruise control and leave the listener without a care in the world.
Thom Jurek, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Who Dun It?
  2. Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)
  3. Cissy Strut
  4. Ease Back
  5. Hunk O' Funk
  6. Tic Tac Toe
  7. Down Home Funk
  8. Cantaloupe Woman
  9. I Don't Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing
  10. Don't Knock My Love
  11. If There's Hell Below (We're All Going to Go)
  12. Bambu
  13. Family Affair