(It's Not The Express) It's The J.B.'s Monaurail (8:16)
Here We Come, Here We Go, Here We Are (4:30)
All Aboard The Soul Funky Train (4:33)
Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself & You Be Yours (9:46)
Taurus, Aires & Leo (6:36)
Things & Do (5:18)
Review: Destination 1975: funk is leaning back limbo style to let disco flourish and the fourth LP from James Brown's clam-tight backing troupe is a fine example of just how the two styles flexed. Still heavy with the tight jams, big breaks and firing horn blow-outs but laced with a little disco shine and orchestration in places, it's a fine snapshot of the 70s headiest musical crossroads. The slippery guitars and slinky bass on "Taurus, Aires & Leo", the far-away jazzy textures of "Transmograpfication" and their own fly response to BT Express "The JB's Monaurail" are just some of the many highlights on this fusion-focused album.
Fred Wesley & The JB's - "I'm Paying Taxes, What Am I Buying" (9:48)
Fred Wesley & The JB's - "Blow Your Head" (4:45)
Review: The James Brown's Funky People series first appeared back in the 1980s, and gathered together tracks by artists associated with the Godfather of Soul, many of which he wrote and produced himself. This second edition - here reissued on vinyl for the first time since 1988 - contains a wealth of high quality funk and soul material. While some are naturally very well known - Bobby Byrd's "I Know You Got Soul" being the best-loved of the lot - what sets the album apart is the sublime tracks by Marva Whitney, Lyn Collins, Myra Barnes and Hank Ballard & The Midnight Lovers. Throw in some storming covers of Brown classics from Fred Wesley & The J.Bs and you have an essential collection of tried-and-tested dancefloor dynamite.
Review: Originally released way back in 1970 on the legendary Fania label, Wanted By The FBI For The Big Break - La Gran Fura remains one of legendary Latin artist Willie Colon's finest moments. Featuring his trombone playing and vocals prominently throughout, the album draws on various contemporaneous Latin styles - cha-cha-cha, salsa, Bolero, Rachero, and so on - to present a set that's as vibrant and ear-pleasing as it is on-point. There are subtle nods towards American funk and soul throughout, as well as a fine mixture of both dancefloor heaters, torch songs and more laidback moments. This edition, beautifully packaged and presented by The Get Down label, also marks the album's first appearance on vinyl since 1980.
Review: Get on Down conclude the series of deluxe 7" reissues from the vaults of Mr James Brown on their People Records sub label with a real gem from the Godfather Of Soul himself! A highlight of the Hot Pants LP, "Escapism" also holds historical importance as the record that launched Brown's People Records label in 1971 (from which Get on Down took the name for their own sublabel). The three part track will be instantly familiar with any JB scholars out there with the excitable funk frontman doing his trademark grunts and call and response patter over a parping sax and taut breakbeat.
Review: Timmy Thomas, sometimes known as The Magician, frequently regarded as one of the most sampled men beyond the Brown franchise, he's been referenced by everyone from Drake to Dilla to MC Hammer. Here we find two of his most well known cuts, both taken from his 1972 album, Why Can't We Live Together. There's a wry cosmic sheen weaving and shimmering in the background of the soaking wet Afrofunk groove of "Africano" while the keys of "Why Can't We Live Together" instantly hit with a soul you've heard, felt and loved in so many contexts. Certified classic.
Lady Bug (John Morales & Frank Of Sunshine Sound mix) (9:54)
Lady Bug (Larry Levan mix) (6:42)
Review: With its eccentric, helium-fuelled vocals, insatiable bassline, bold pianos and swirling strings, Bumblebee Unlimited's "Lady Bug" remains one of Patrick Adams and Greg Carmichael's greatest productions. This special reissue ignores the duo's original 1978 mixes, instead showcasing the '79 reworks released on RCA. On the A-side you'll find John Morales and Frank "Sunshine Sound" Trimarco's peerless, 10-minute "Disco Mix"- a rework that successfully showcases each individual musical element contained within Adams and Carmichael's similarly epic original production. On the flip, you'll find the lesser-celebrated but equally memorable Larry Levan remix, in which the legendary Paradise Garage resident wisely put more emphasis on the heavyweight bassline and relentless disco drums.