Tropicalia lost & found
By the time the Paulo Bagunça ea Tropa Maldita album hit the streets of Brazil in 1974, the short-lived Tropicalia movement was already a distant memory, which may help explain why the original Continental label issue sold squat at the time and has remained a cult curiosity to this day. The recent CD reissue put out by Argentina's Discos Mariposa suggests that Bagunça and company may not have been behind the times, but perhaps about 30 years ahead. Their inventive, percussion-heavy orchestrations - apparently inspired as much by Os Mutantes as by Jorge Ben - sound astonishingly fresh and vital from a 2006 perspective. A nice one to catch.
Boffo Bedtime Story
As can be heard on Unidisc 's no-frills reissues of Dr. Music 's three GRT albums from the early 70s, keyboardist Doug Riley 's jazz/R&B orchestra typically stayed in the R&B pocket, although their third and finally effort, 74's Bedtime Story, veered drastically from the usual game plan. The fact that the title track is a cover of the Herbie Hancock tune Tell Me A Bedtime Story signals that this is not Dr. Music business as usual; Riley's superb cast of players - including Don Thompson on electric (!) bass, drummer Claude Ranger , trumpeter Bruce Cassidy and saxophonists Keith Jollimore and Steve Kennedy - get the green light to stretch out, and out they go. Don't be put off by the hobbity song titles and trippy cover art. This is a dope-ass Canuck jazz-rock getdown of the first order.
Getting the "Q"
The sight of a big "Q" on the otherwise nondescript sleeve of a German record might not mean much to most people, but crate-pillaging beatheadz who are up on their German library shit will know that the Q is the trademark of head-nodding Deutsch break quality. The Brigade Mondaine label's somewhat misleadingly named Girls On The Rocks comp brings together 22 funky jams from the Quadriga and Brillant-Musik archives originally recorded by Heinz Kiessling , Pete Jacques and the Rainbow Orchestra between 1969 and 1977. If you don't already know moody, string-enhanced thrillers like Drift and serious groovers like Orbiter, grab this collection as quick as you can - your sampler will thank you.
All right, I'll admit I'm a sucker for a hip-shakin' cop show theme, and the Cops, Robbers And Spies (Soul Mission) collection of questionable legitimacy comes piled high with choice selections from the 60s and 70s such as Louis Jordan 's unlikely rip through the Bullitt theme, Russ Faith 's spooky Black Zoo, the Ventures ' crunching Swingin' Creeper and Jimmy Gordon 's freakishly fuzzed-out Buzzzzzz. Ace.