JUNGLE FIRE - TROPICOSO
A heady sound from Jungle Fire – a group who seem to be equal parts 70s Afro Funk and Latin – with percussion that rivals the best of the latter, and horns and guitar that match the best of the former! The group's got a super-sharp approach, but one that's never slick or commercial either – just really well-crafted instrumentation in a mostly vocal-free setting – which allows for plenty of great moments from the individual members, especially some of the reed players! The group have kind of snuck into our world through a handful of 7" singles, but they've really got our attention with this full length set – a record that includes the tracks "Firewalker", "Tropicoso", "Culebro", "La Mano", "Village Hustle", "Chalupa", "Snake Pit", and "Comencemos". (Includes bonus download, too!) ~ Dusty Groove
DAVE & ANSEL COLLINS - DOUBLE UP!
Wonderful work from the team of Dave and Ansell Collins – a key act in helping Jamaican music transition from rocksteady to reggae at the start of the 70s – and a duo who had a surprising impact in the US, thanks to their funky style of work! Ansell handles all the keyboards – including acoustic piano produced with an echoey sound, and some great Hammond too – and Dave doesn't always sing so much as shout – in ways that are a bit like calls from a DJ in a set, but which also clearly have some James Brown inspiration too – but more in the way that James might shout and urge on his band. Their music here is heavy on soulful elements from America, but also has some plenty trippy early dub styles too – and tracks include "Sexy Dream", "Hot Sauce", "007", "Liquidator Shuffle", "Johnny Dollar", "Great Shocks Of Mighty", "Girl Of My Dreams", and "Mister Talkative". ~ Dusty Groove
ELIZABETH SHEPHERD - SIGNAL
Some of the greatest sounds we've heard from Elizabeth Shepherd in years – a record that really returns the singer to her funky roots and soulful styles! There's a stripped-down vibe to the record we really love – mostly just Fender Rhodes from Shepherd, alongside her vocals – mixed with relatively loose, spontaneous work from a small group of rhythm players – who, like Elizabeth, are all stepped strongly in jazz, but find a way of making the music come across at a more funk-based level! The lyrics are wonderful, as always – a bit less singer-songwriter than some recent years, in a good way – and titles include "Baby Steps", "I Gave", "Willow", "What's Happening", "The Signal", and "Lion's Den". ~ Dusty Groove