Classic Masters


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Classic Masters Review

by William Ruhlmann

The recording career of the '70s/'80s disco/funk band T-Connection was evenly divided between the TK subsidiary Dash Records (its catalog now controlled by Rhino, which is owned by the major label Warner) and Capitol Records (owned by the major label EMI); the group recorded four albums and scored four R&B singles chart entries for each company. 1995's The Best of T-Connection compiled the Dash material and 1997's The Best of T-Connection: Everything's Still Cool compiled the Capitol material, but until now no compilation has combined the two catalogs. For their midline-priced, digitally remastered Classic Masters collection, Capitol has licensed three of the Dash tracks, making this the best best-of yet released on T-Connection. It still isn't perfect, however. The ratio of three Dash recordings to nine Capitol ones is just about the opposite of what you'd want, given that the Dash period was more successful, artistically and commercially, for the group. Two of the Dash R&B chart entries, "At Midnight" and "Saturday Night," are missing. Compiler Cheryl Pawelski, who has handled the entire Classic Masters series for Capitol, takes a methodical approach, presenting the material in chronological order and favoring singles. Where a group doesn't have enough chart singles to fill up the requisite 12 tracks, she opts for singles that didn't make the charts. In the case of T-Connection, that means five non-charting Capitol singles, some of them from albums that didn't chart, either. T-Connection evolved from a disco band with an island inflection to an anonymous funk group grinding out forgettable, bass-heavy groove tunes, and there are too many of those here.

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