François K

Choice: A Collection of Classics

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London's Azuli label followed Frankie Knuckles' contribution to the Choice: A Collection of Classics series in 2002 with another fine double-disc set of varied obscurities and bona fide classics selected by dance music luminary François K. François assembles a fun jumble of tunes (unencumbered by boundaries) that spans chronologically from the early '70s through the early '90s and sequences it with finesse. The subtitle of the series is a little misleading -- not all of these tracks are classics, at least not in above-ground non-dance communities. Though the average consumer might be a little miffed about the fact that this set isn't packed solid with instant jaw-droppers, a steady quality that serves the flow is kept throughout. Chicago house gets a fair representation with Frankie Knuckles' lewd Jamie Principle vocal number "Baby Wants to Ride," Lil' Louis' "Do U Love Me," and Fingers Inc.'s "Never No More Lonely" leading the way. Shalamar's opening "Right in the Socket" and Sylvester's "Over and Over" highlight the disco herd. Floor-friendly cuts from jazz figures (Donald Byrd's "Love Has Come Around," Deodato's "Super Strut") and R&B greats (Teddy Pendergrass' "Only You," René & Angela's "I Love You More") also play a prominent role. The packaging doesn't explicitly state the fact that each song appears in full -- a fact that no doubt appeals to dance aficionados who'd love to have some of these songs in their full glory, with great sound to boot. Though it's a compilation and not a mix, the track-to-track flow is natural and makes it all function as an enjoyable listen from beginning to end.

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