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Various - 12" Jazz Funk Classics
Sequel apparently has a loose definition of "classic."  Spyro Gyra?  Mystic Merlin?  Come on, people.   Rarity does not always equal quality. 

To their credit, they have assembled 23 fairly obscure cuts that will appeal to the trainspotter or obsessive rare groove fan.   With a slant towards early 80s fusion, it seems the objective here was to put out a compilation on the cheap, hoping the music makes up for the shoddy packaging and lack of liner notes. 

There are a couple of reasons to recommend this disc. Revisiting forgotten cuts like Rodney Franklin's "The Groove," Level 42's "Love Meeting Love" or "Black is the Color" by Wilbert Longmire is a reminder that there is an endless amount of good music out there that gets lost in the shuffle, even within the rare groove arena.  You also get some obligatory hits from Roy Ayers, Gil Scott Heron and Average White Band.

The wierdness starts when second-tier selections by Richard Tee ("First Love") and John Handy ("Hard Work") start dominating the tracklisting.   These are not jazz-funk as much as early examples of smooth jazz.  And the showings by Bob James ("Sign of the Times") and Herbie Hancock ("Saturday Night") definitely aren't their best moments.  Whoever compiled this made some curious choices, making this a hit-or-miss affair.

Copyright 2001 B.Graff.  All rights reserved.

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Released 1998 on Sequel

Selected Tracks:

Pleasure - Glide
Average White Band - Pick Up the Pieces

Wilbert Longmire - Black Is the Colour
Banda Black Rio - Ms. Cheryl
LA Boppers - Watchin' Life
Richard Tee - First Love

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