Various Artists

Spirit of Funk, Vol. 2

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The second Spirit of Funk compilation is about as strong as the first, switching again between long-established classics and a few less likely inclusions. Though there are a few bum picks, it scores points for looking beyond the usual circuit of favorites and digging into jazzier (but no less funky) nuggets like Gary Bartz's "Music Is My Sanctuary," Johnny Hammond's "Shifting Gears," Gil Scott-Heron's "Lady Day and John Coltrane," and Lonnie Liston Smith & the Cosmic Echoes' "A Chance for Peace." Sly & the Family Stone's "If You Want Me to Stay," the O'Jays' "Give the People What They Want," Parliament's "Tear the Roof off the Sucker (Give Up the Funk)," and Funkadelic's "Freak of the Week" are also included, along with another couple handfuls of tracks that no funk fan should live without.

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