Various Artists

Make Music: Folk Funk Flavours & Ambient Soul

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The very essence of Sunday morning listening, Make Music: Folk Funk Flavours & Ambient Soul is a superbly nuanced collection of spacious, mellow soul cuts from the early '70s -- the set's subtitle speaks volumes about the scope and effect of the grooves therein. Unified by their acoustic guitars, gently bubbling basslines, and sweetly funky rhythms, the songs document a more intimate and empathetic side of Black Power-era soul, far more personal than political but no less impassioned -- as compiler John Stapleton writes in his excellent liner notes, the music evokes contemporary acts like Zero 7 and 4hero, reflecting an "increasing interest in and return to the song...re-exploring the same roots of folk, blues and country, and quieter ways to make music." Excellent stuff throughout, with highlights including Minnie Riperton's ravishing "Les Fleurs," Bill Withers' "You," and Al Wilson's "The Dolphins."

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