Tuesday, June 06, 2017



Joey Negro's got a decades-long love of disco – one that began at a time when so many other artists were going for colder, easier ways of serving up a groove – and Joey was a rare talent who could really take things back to the glory days of the clubs! That talent has only gotten greater and greater over the years – through projects done under Negro's own name, his work with the Sunburst Band, and even his unstoppable efforts to work as a dancefloor historian through his Z Records label! All that energy, and more, seems to come to play here – on a set that soars to the skies with the very first note – reminding us that, alongside Bluey from Incognito, Joey's one of the few cats who can get a classic sound completely right, right from the start – but also have a way of sending the music forward for a new generation too! The album's a dream right from the start – with great work from Kaidi Tatham on keyboards on some tracks – and an array of great guest singers young and old, who include Angela Johnson, Donna Gardier, Lifford, Alex Mills, Diane Charlemagne, Melba Moore, and Linda Clifford. Titles include "Must Be The Music (orig disco version)", "Everything", "Into The Blue", "Overnight Sensation", "Won't Let Go", "Anyway", "Prove That You're Feeling Me", "It's More Fun To Compute", "In Search Of The Dream", and "Stomp Your Feet". (Limited edition – with bonus 12" that includes "Message In Our Music (Joey Negro rmx)" by The O'Jays and "Spanish Hustle (Joey Negro rmx)" by Fatback Band.) ~ Dusty Groove


A trio of albums from Junie Morrison, plus bonus tracks too – all to document the genius of the guy who really helped the Ohio Players find their groove! First up is When We Do – the solo debut of Junie – a crazy little album recorded for Westbound in the time after he split company with The Ohio Players – and a set that's definitely got the weirdly wonderful mix of music that group was known for in their pre-Mercury years! Junie effortlessly moves between a number of styles, all with a great degree of wit – still keeping things funky in all the best ways, but also really experimenting with larger sounds and unusual arrangements – which come into play here in a really wonderful way! The album's an overlooked funk treasure from the 70s – far too sophisticated for its own time – and titles include "Walt's Third Trip", "Tight Rope", "Johnny Carson Samba", "Anna", "Loving Arms", "Married Him", and "The Place". Freeze is a wonderful set from Junie – a record that has all the offbeat funk he was crafting with the Ohio Players during their Westbound years – and the same sort of heady sound that would make Morrison a perfect match with the P-Funk empire! The record contains the legendary track "Granny's Funky Rolls Royce", which features a meeting between the Funky Granny (a near folklorish character from the early 70s, who'd appeared on records by Kool & The Gang and Ohio Players) and an alien, who tells urges to "buy this record, buy this record, buy this record" in a very silly voice! The funky comedy of this track is nicely matched by a range of other odd numbers and straighter soul cuts – and titles include "Freeze", "Super J", "Musical Son", "Junie II", "World of Woe", and "Cookies Will Get You". Suzie Super Groupie is a funky tribute to all the "Super Groupies" who were helping out the 70s music scene – maybe the closest thing that Junie Morrisson every came to a tribute album – and a set that's got all the same wonderful complexity of his other solo albums on Westbound! As with those records, there's a pre-Prince approach to funk that draws heavily from Ohio Players and P-Funk elements – but which really gets a sharper, more sinister focus with Junie in the lead – at a level of soulful stardom that could have made him another Bootsy Collins, if folks were ever smart enough to figure out what he was doing at the time! Titles include the funky classic "Suzie Thundertussy" – plus "Super Groupie", "Surrender", "Junie III", "What Am I Gonna Do", "Stone Face Joe", "Suzie", and "If You Love Him". Set also features rare Junie cuts – including "Junie's Ultimate Departure", "Walt's Second Trip", "Tight Rope (single)", "Loving Arms (mono)", "If You Love Him (single)", "Super J (single)", and "Granny's Funky Rolls Royce (mono)".  ~ Dusty Groove


A treasure trove of soul from the legendary LA indie label Dore Records – home to some of the finest 60s sides on the west coast – a top-shelf lineup that's never been represented this well! Dore had a few key groups at the time – a young Whispers, and the excellent Superbs – but also cut work by some other great artists too – all with a level of care and class to match the best soul sides coming from New York or Detroit at the time! The Dore approach manages to have a sparkle without losing any sort of edge – careful production and instrumentation, but a real respect for the voices in the lead, too. This means that the label can come up with an upbeat groove that rivals the Detroit sound on the dancefloor – yet also really let the singers and groups do their thing, too. LP-only collection features 14 tracks in all – most rare singles from the label – and titles include "Gone With The Wind" by Rita & The Tiaras, "I'm Givin You Notice Baby" by The Fidels, "What Did You Gain By That" by Kenard, "Your Ship Of Fools" by Ray Marchand, "My Lonely Feeling" by Milton James, "I Only Cry Once A Day Now" by The Puffs, "Nitty Gritty City" by The Swans, "Why Does It Feel So Right" by Shades Of Jade, "Keep On Movin" by Little Johnny Hamilton, "Gettin Back Into Circulation" by The Entertainers IV, and "I Wanna Do It With You Baby" by The Superbs. ~ Dusty Groove

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