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Customer Review

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Music is great, but..., September 17, 2009
This review is from: What It Is! Funky Soul And Rare Grooves (1967-1977) (Audio CD)
First of all, quick warning: Do NOT download it... get the boxed set with the trimmings.
Its a RHINO BOXED SET and the packaging is half the fun.
Second: I have mixed opinions on this...
Its a 91 track compilation of the rare funk from the Atlantic, Atco, and Warner Bros archives...
Some groups you've never heard of, some tracks you've definitely heard before...
Though the tracks in themselves are definitely deep and cover the gamut from "soul Jazz" to "R&B" and
"heavy funk", the distribution of the tracks sometimes makes the album sound monotonous and draggy... it isn't, but when you don't distribute your playlist for a variety in tempos, theme, mood and dynamics, that's what you get... As a result, I think it diminishes the greatness of the tracks... almost to the point that I'd actually have been much more satisfied with individual CDs, but the material spread out non-chronologically for variety (Is this just me?) This said... if you're a hard core funkateer, its hard not to really appreciate this, however, this wouldn't be my first choice
if you're just getting into rare funk 45's... (See some of my other reviews for suggestions... say Florida Funk: 1968-1975, Carolina Funk: First In Funk, Texas Thunder Soul 1968-1974 and stuff like that.)

Another strange thing about this CD is the ULTRA RARE is mixed with the... well, not so ULTRA RARE, which is a bit strange... (This adds even more to the set's disjointed quality.) Because its quasi-chronological, sometimes the logic isn't so clear... In other words, if I was a DJ and this was a radio station, not so sure I'd really be doing the music justice... even some creative mastering could have remedied this.

All in all though, think of this as a well organized suitcase full of 45s... using the wonders of your computer, you might have to reorganize the play lists... but the individual tracks in themselves are great... and you'll also hear a few rare groups that you've heard me rave about in other reviews: Black Heat, What's Up Front That Counts, Hammer's TUANE is even on it... my first organ teacher SHIRLEY SCOTT even steals the show with MESSY BESSIE... and for Hard Bop style Soul Jazz check out Grasella Oliphant and even an ultra groovy version of SHADOW OF YOUR SMILE by Brother Jack McDuff.

All in all, if you have the money to splurge, get it... but if you want stuff that's more selective rather than a mere dumping of the vaults, hold off.

RHINO, if you're reading this: re-organize the disks by theme !
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Location: Tokyo, Japan

Top Reviewer Ranking: 8,338