1 CHARLEY PATTON SCREAMIN' & HOLLERIN' THE BLUES -- THE WORLDS OF CHARLEY PATTON (Revenant) Perhaps the most exhaustive box-set analysis of a single artist, Revenant's awesome seven-disc study of pre-war blues great Charley Patton doesn't stop at comprehensively documenting his influential work, but also covers the music of those in his sphere and tops it off with John Fahey's insightful 112-page biography. Very impressive.
2 EERO KOIVISTOINEN WAHOO! (Whatmusic.com) Two drummers, two bassists, two guitarists and one flame-throwing Finnish saxophone fiend -- you do the math.
3 AFRO-ROCK VOLUME 1 (Kona) Rarely heard Afro funk, pop and rock gems dug out of obscurity and extinction by obsessive archivist Duncan Brooker. Volume 2, please.
4 THE FUNKY 16 CORNERS (Stones Throw) A deep-diggin', ass-kickin' funk compilation that uses master tapes, includes band photos and bios and pays royalties to the artists. Revolutionary!
5 BETWEEN OR BEYOND THE IRON CURTAIN (Crippled Dick Hot Wax) A dazzling assortment of Eastern European jazz from the 70s that's a revelation from top to bottom.
6 JAMES CARR THE COMPLETE GOLDWAX SINGLES (Kent/Ace) These 28 tracks confirm that the late James Carr, even when singing throwaways for B-sides, was the greatest deep soul singer who ever lived.
7 SERGE GAINSBOURG GAINSBOURG PERCUSSIONS (Polygram) Funky Afro and Latin exotica by the French sultan of sleaze. Part of a comprehensive and overdue set of Serge reissues.
8 STUDIO ONE ROOTS (Soul Jazz) So how did Coxsone Dodd manage to attract so much great rasta talent to his Kingston studio? He alone allowed artists to smoke herb during sessions. Genius.
9 THE MIGHTY HANNIBAL HANNIBALISM! (Norton) Turbaned Atlanta R&B playa King Hannibal finally gets the career-spanning retrospective he deserves, complete with sidesplitting blow-by-blow liner note commentary.
10 SHUT IT! (Cinephile)What may appear to be a cheap soundtrack for a Brit cop-show knock-off of Starsky And Hutch is actually a stomping set of sound library joints from the masters Jack Arel, Johnny Hawksworth and Brian Bennett. Top!