Begun in 1961 by Al Santiago, who wanted to record some descargas with New York's Latin jazz elite modelled after the Panart label's killer Cuban Jam Sessions, the Alegre All-Stars sessions proved to be a bigger hit with musicians than with the record-buying public. But today, those freewheeling early-60s recordings led by Charlie Palmieri with Johnny Pacheco , Kako , Joe Quijano , Rudy Calzado , Orlando Marin , Willie Torres and many more scene celebs of the day are prized by collectors for their delightfully loose vibe and spontaneous kicks. You'll get a good idea what all the fuss is about from the fab 14-track Best Of The Alegre All-Stars released by Spain's Vampi Soul label. Minimal liner notes, but the performances are pure magic.
Prog rock rethink
While innumerable crimes of self-indulgence have been committed in the name of progressive rock, there was some exciting experimentation during the 70s dark age. On the splendid Prog Is Not A Four Letter Word (Delay 68) comp, Andy Votel does an ace job of steering clear of all the symphonic pomp and watchers-in-towers commonly associated with the genre to zero in on the lesser-known funky and psych-bent blasts from South Korean fuzz-friendly brother trio San Ul Lim , Hungary's hairy Czerwone Gitary , Turkish proto b-boy Baris Manco , Czech jazzbo Martin Kratochvil and his Jazz Q posse, among other strangely ahead-of-their-time outsiders. It's a tightly programmed Hobbit-free collection astutely geared to contemporary tastes. Source material for the hiphop tracks of tomorrow.
P&P's other side
The New York-based team of Peter Brown and Patrick Adams were behind some of the most exciting indie disco records of the late 70s, and thanks to vinyl-collecting DJs like Kenny Dope (who just put out the Kenny Dope Vs. P&P mix through Traffic ), their forward-looking creations are reaching a much wider audience.
Thankfully, Traffic's vault dig didn't end with the disco stuff - their new P&P Funk compilation is an end-to-end burner. Just check the righteously raunchy business the duo produced for Ella Hamilton , King David , Scott Davis and Otis Turner . You'll be surprised by how effectively Dennis Mobley turns out Stevie Wonder 's Superstition, the Foster Jackson Group 's Feel The Spirit is completely off the chain, and Brown's obscenely good two-part instro experiment Hooker warrants an "explicit content" sticker in itself.