The reissue of Argentinian pianist Carlos Franzetti's sought-after Graffiti (Sonorama) album from 1977 was a thrilling sight in record stores last week - and not just because of the jazz-disco masterwork's super-dope sleeve design, which makes clever use of a Farrah Fawcett bedroom pin-up poster. Nope, what got me excited was the possibility that Dusseldorf's Sonorama label might have even more fabulous and obscure releases from the Guinness label archives on the way. No such luck.
Evidently, DJ Sellout found a copy of the Graffiti LP for pocket change at a flea market and played it for his pals at Sonorama, who saw dollar signs. They didn't know shit about the record or the Guinness label, but they tracked down Franzetti, who gave his blessing to the reissue along with a couple of previously unheard tracks that are actually better than anything on the original album. So don't count on Sonorama reissuing the Mad Cliff LP unless some German DJ scores a copy for 50 cents. www.sonorama.de.
For some unknown reason, Blue Note reissued just about every Andrew Hill recording in its vast vault holdings before getting around to the fabulous Compulsion album from 1965 - some of his finest work for the label - which they've finally just released as part of the RVG Edition series. Then again, it took them 12 years to release Dance With Death and 24 years to put out Passing Ships, so delayed Hill releases are nothing new. Sadly, the Compulsion disc includes no additional bonus material, but there's more than enough to cheer about in the four percussion-heavy workouts that feature sensational contributions from Freddie Hubbard, Arkestra ace John Gilmore, bassists Cecil McBee and Richard Davis and drummer Joe Chambers. Listen closely and you can hear the origins of the Strata-East sound. www.bluenote.com.
It was four years ago in this column that I first wrote about the fabulous Sound Stylistics Play Deep Funk recording for the Bruton sound library that was then just starting to circulate amongst well-connected funk DJs. At the time, a licensing deal for the non-commercial recording by the mysterious studio project hatched by members of the James Taylor Quartet (with Eddie Roberts, Noel McKoy and Snowboy) was rumoured to be in the works, but nothing materialized until Adrian Gibson's Freestyle label announced that the Sound Stylistics modern funk classic would soon appear. I'm happy to report that the full 17-track instro-blast is now available on disc in all its Hammond-hammering glory.
That's not all. Freestyle has just put out a new 7-inch by Miami soul great Robert Moore (see Cramp Your Style), and the Speedometer-backed Make It Alright is a stone killer. www.freestylerecords.co.uk.