Various Artists

Jumpin': Original Full Length Classics from the Disco Underground [2010]

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Though the packaging does not indicate it, this is the “15th Anniversary Crystal Edition” of the Harmless label’s Jumpin’ compilations. The first volume was released in 1997, and the second came the following year. Both discs arrived with striking presentation. Unlike just about every other disco compilation released during the ‘90s, they treated the style with knowledge and love instead of kitsch and irony. No models sporting fake Afros, no Village People. With a couple exceptions -- the Salsoul Orchestra's “Runaway” and Inner Life's “Moment of My Life” (the latter of which appeared in a different version) -- this third Jumpin’ features no overlap with the 1997 and 1998 volumes, and 12” mixes are favored whenever possible. It’s quite heavy on ‘80s selections, several of which were produced by ‘80s club R&B giant Nick Martinelli for Philly World. These include Cashmere’s “Do It Any Way You Wanna” (highly melodic synth funk), Terri Wells' “I’ll Be Around” (a surprisingly effective cover of the Spinners original), and the two best songs off Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes' 1984 album (both of which offer an excellent balance between full-bodied productions and soul-rooted vocal showcases). Another figure who gets a lot of attention here is boogie master Leroy Burgess, who is behind -- and sometimes in front of -- Logg’s “I Know You Will,” Fonda Rae's “Over Like a Fat Rat,” Inner Life's “Moment of My Life,” and, of course, his own “Heartbreaker.” A fair number of these tracks were licensed for well-made compilations released throughout the 2000s, but there are some relative rarities, such as the Nobles' “Jealousy” and an assortment of tracks from the Total Experience catalog, including Switch’s “Keeping Secrets,” Pennye Ford's “Dangerous,” Yarbrough & Peoples' “Don’t Waste Your Time,” and the Gap Band's “Big Fun.”

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