Seasoned Miami record biz hustler Henry Stone was never one to turn up his nose at a cheap novelty cash-in, so when keyboardist Arnold Albury and his pals in Funky Nassau came up with a Latin-flavoured variation of a King Curtis hit, Bahama Soul Stew, he happily put it out on the Drive label. It never hit back in 72, but who knew that more than 30 years later, it would resurface as a funk scene floor filler? Now that Tobias Kirmayer has reissued the killer 7-inch on his Tramp label, you can get it for about $290 less than what you'd pay for the original.
Addis swings again
Turned on to the metric modulation glories of golden age Ethiopian groove by a chance encounter with a Mahmoud Ahmed reissue, Boston-based saxophonist Russ Gershon created his own Ethiopian Suite for his Either/Orchestra . Last year, Gershon was invited to bring the Either/Orchestra to Addis Ababa to play the third Ethiopian Music Festival, and thankfully, their incredible performance was recorded for release as part of Buda Musique 's fantastic Ethiopiques Series. The best bits of the two-disc Live In Addis are the cameos by Ethio-jazz legends - namely searing saxophonist Gétatchèw Mèkurya , singer Bahta Gèbrè-Heywèt and the great Mulatu Astotqé - which suggests a Buena Vista-style reunion session might be in order.
Long before Cam'ron and Juelz Santana discovered the financial benefits of getting crunk, the Diplomats were a mid-60s R&B combo from DC specializing in group harmonies that most funk collectors would have overlooked but for the fact that they later evolved into the mighty breakbeat machine known as the Skull Snaps . The first sign of the Diplomats' future funk greatness was the widely overlooked She's The One, on the B-side of a forgettable deep soul harmony single Sure As The Stars Shine, which has just been reissued on the Soul Line label. It's an oddball mix of Tempts-style vocal interplay over some badass beats you really need to hear to believe. It works.
With all the song-poem reissues that have appeared over the years, you'd think that every decent track recorded by Rodd Keith , the Mozart of MSR, would've been uncovered by now. Evidently not. The Minneapolis-based Roaratorio label (www.roaratorio.com) has put out 26 more of Keith's befuddling delights on the Saucers In The Sky compilation, which range from the charmingly goofy to the laugh-out-loud hilarious. Along with the twisted Lettuce And Lace and the demented anti-drug warning Don't Be A Dope, there are also couple of surprisingly great unreleased gems. Ace!