Even if Universal Music doesn't have a single person on staff with the deep catalogue knowledge and market awareness to know which out-of-print albums might actually sell today, they're sharp enough to realize that the folks at online retailer Dusty Groove probably do. So they've partnered up for the Dusty Groove sub-label to reissue sought-after recordings that will be familiar to breakspotters and rare groove hounds.
While the first batch offers no surprises, it's good to see the recirculation of hard-to-catch classics like Pete Jolly 's impressively adventurous Seasons set, which benefits from Paul Humphrey 's percussive kick; the smokin' self-titled Latin jazz debut of La Clave , featuring Lalo Schifrin ; Melvin Jackson 's thumping Funky Skull; Jorge Ben 's samba-soul heater Força Bruta; the Chakachas ' hard-pounding Jungle Fever; and Dorothy Ashby 's sweet harpedelic getdown The Rubaiyat Of Dorothy Ashby.
Just be advised that Ashby's virtuosic moves may make all your Joanna Newsom discs seem superfluous. www.dustygroove.com .
Unburdened by the licensing concerns most reissue operations have to deal with in order to assemble multi-label compilations, Italy's Boss-A-Tone label has rifled out several interesting collections of choice Euro goodies from the late 60s and early 70s golden era, like Stasera Shake! Vol. 1 and 2 , which focus on dance-floor-ready freakbeat, Love Strings And... Bossa! , which deals with the gentle side of vintage Italo-bossa, and Mondo Girls , covering femme beat and yé-yé jams.
The best of the bunch so far is La Discoteque Psychedelique , boasting "22 European Folky, Funky & PopSike Tunes." True to the sleeve claim, there's a prog-positive load of trippy head-nodders by Messe Blanche , Pawnshop , Kati Kovacs , Roundhouse , Birth Control , Nuova Idea , Mad Curry , Manolo y Ramon , Erik Vincent , Corvina , the Ghost , Tony Hendrik , Scrugg , Dany Martin and others that'd cost a fortune to pick up individually.
The disc's production values (stellar sound restoration by Dave Masoch ) and accompanying booklet (with colour sleeve art repros and informative notes) are exceptionally good for a comp of this nature, which makes for an impressive package. Let's just hope the artists get their due.
Many artists put together limited-run odds 'n' sods collections to sell on tour to help pay for gas, food and lodging, but unless you happen to attend one of their shows, it can be difficult for hometown fans to score a copy. Local singer/songwriter/producer Sandro Perri (of Polmo Polpo and Glissandro 70 notoriety) recently compiled eight tracks of Honey Pot studio outtakes, live recordings with pals and other screwy bits for the European Tour 2007 CD-R, issued in a numbered edition of 200 copies that might have vanished without a word if a few hadn't turned up at Soundscapes (572 College).
It's definitely a hodgepodge, and the recording quality varies between songs, but the CD-R is worth checking out for the hauntingly plinked-out cover of Fleetwood Mac's Dreams, featuring John Jowett on euphonium, the eerie original version of the song Double Suicide and a snazzy number called The Drums, both slated to appear on Perri's new Tiny Mirrors album out October 9. www.cstrecords.com/bands_polmopolpo.html .