Just the other day while I was kicking it old-school-style with some shell-toe holdouts, the Money Boss Players came up in conversation, but no one seemed to know what happened to those South Bronx badasses. Well, core Players Eddie Cheeba and Trey Bag have turned up as Boss Money , and they've got a new album called Consignment ( www.bitemdownent.com) that boasts collabos with Sadat X and Mos Def , and their bangin' track Blam Blam For Nottingham is a head-nodding highlight of DJ Premier's latest mixtape, Re-Program (Year Round).
No less of a neck-snapper on Premier's CD is Ghostface Killah 's Outta Town Shit, which follows Prodigy 's blaxploitation-theme-backed New York Shit, leading into Where Are They Now? by Nas , a track that serves as a fitting requiem for James Brown.
But it's Skillz who provides the real entertainment value here with his annual hiphop year-in-review, 2006 Rap Up, in which he rhymes, "Dick Cheney got crazy with the 12-gauge / and everybody and their mama got a MySpace page" and "K-Fed, your rap career is through. / Ron Artest nearly sold more records than you." Ouch. www.yearroundrecords. com.
Brazilian freak folk?
When it comes to hot music trends, Brazil has always been at least a decade ahead of the rest of the world. So it should come as no surprise that Joyce and her then-husband Nelson Angelo released the freak-folk masterwork Nelson Angelo E Joyce way back in 1972, recently reissued by Argentina's Discos Mariposa .
As a founding member of Milton Nascimento's Clube da Esquina crew and respected sideman of Edu Lobo, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Elis Regina, Luiz Bonfá and many other Brazilian legends, self-taught composer/arranger Angelo used the one-off studio project with soaring-voiced partner Joyce -- and a stellar supporting cast including Helcio Milito , Wagner Tiso , Toninho Horta , Beto Guedes , L Borges and Tenório Jr. -- to show off the full range of his small-combo orchestration ingenuity.
Even though only two tracks out of 13 exceed three minutes, each is an elegantly economic marvel of rhythm and harmony filled with unexpected tweaks and turns. Serious sweetness.
There's been no shortage of compilations covering the lively Florida funk scene of the 60s and 70s, but for some strange reason the amazing and highly collectible recordings of Miami's Saadia label have been largely overlooked or intentionally left off CD comps until now.
Somewhat regrettably, Gerald Short 's Jazzman label beat everyone else to it with Good Things: The Story Of Saadia Records , which collects 10 of the better hard funk and deep soul sides by Brother Williams , Little Beaver , Robert Moore and Pearl Dowell and should actually be subtitled Half Of The Saadia Records Story.
The amazing Saadia joints by Thunder, Lightning & Rain , Joey Gilmore and Sam Baker have inexplicably been left off. It wasn't for time considerations, since the disc clocks in at just over 28 minutes, leaving more than enough room for every track Saadia released. We'll have to wait for a deeper digging operation to do the job right. Until then, Good Things will have to suffice. www.jazzmanrecords.co.uk.