Funky reggae party
Of course, there was much more bumpin' reggae-funk goodness hidden in the Trojan vaults than could fit on the Funky Kingston compilation, so the Soul Power: Funky Kingston 2 (Trojan/Sanctuary) compilation was bound to appear sooner or later. The disc opens with the pounding Make It Reggae, Shark Wilson 's JA-style answer to James Brown's Make It Funky, and goes on to treat us to a load of vintage stunners (1968-74) from forgotten artists such as Annetta Jackson , Horace Faith , Mike Dorane , Bunny Scott , Zap Pow and the crazy cool Matumbi , who ingeniously transform Kool and the Gang's Funky Stuff into Reggae Stuff. Props to the hombre with the balls to release the JBs-style jam Do It under the name "James Brown ."
One of the benefits of the Sony BMG merger is that the reissue expertise of Columbia 's Legacy division is now being applied to the Arista/BMG catalogue, which includes the Profile label and the recordings of Run-DMC. So instead of the usual slapdash treatment typically given to re-releases of hiphop classics, Run DMC's four influential albums - 1984's groundbreaking self-titled debut, 85's King Of Rock, 86's Raising Hell and 88's Tougher Than Leather - have been repackaged as limited-run digipacks with crisp remastered sound, informative liner notes and four or more non-throwaway bonus tracks apiece (happily, their holiday classic, Christmas In Hollis, appears on Tougher Than Leather). It's a vast improvement on Arista's half-arsed rollout from 99, which you'll soon find filling used bins.
Unless you're a jet-setting celebrity DJ like Nicola Conte , spending $500 on an original SweDisc copy of the Lars Lystedt Sextet 's Jazz Under The Midnight Sun probably won't be feasible. But fortunately for the rest of us, the fine folks at Tokyo's Céleste label (www.clst.jp) have reissued this swank Swedish modern jazz session from 64 led by trombonist Lystedt and notably featuring dynamic pianist Berndt Egerbladh , who composed all the music. Jazz dance selecters will be happy to note that among the five bonus tracks is an alternate version of The Runner suitable for club use. Incidently, Céleste has also just reissued the Max Greger Big Band 's Maximum album with the cracking Bossa Fluta. Nice.
Make it Mizell
It was shocking to see an advance 12-inch for Blue Note 's new Mizell Brothers production retrospective - called simply Mizell - with a wicked unreleased version of Gary Bartz 's Funked Up and an equally killer alternate take on Donald Byrd 's Think Twice on the flip. The real surprise is that the sample-savvy Mizell Brothers comp was put together by Eli Wolf , Blue Note's A&R guy for Norah Jones and Amos Lee! But then again, Wolf did co-produce the Blue Note Revisited remix album and helped assemble Untinted: Sources Of Madlib's Shades Of Blue, so clearly he's aware of contemporary club culture. In any case, the Mizell CD is awesome, so cop it quick.