Pleasure

Dust Yourself Off/Accept No Substitutes

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At the more R&B-friendly vinyl conventions, one of the ways that funk addicts try to gauge who is truly hip is to find out how much he/she knows about Pleasure. Anyone with even a casual interest in '70s funk knows about Parliament/Funkadelic, Earth, Wind & Fire, Tower of Power, and the Ohio Players -- the people who are hip to Pleasure tend to be the sort of listeners who look beneath the surface and are downright obsessed with the funk and soul of that era. And for the serious funk connoisseur, the arrival of this reissue in 2002 was a blessed event. That year, Fantasy reissued Pleasure's first two albums (1975's Dust Yourself Off and 1976's Accept No Substitutes) back to back on this 76-minute CD. In the U.S., the original LP versions of those albums had been out of print for a long time, and it was great to see them back in print. Both albums were produced by Wayne Henderson, which makes perfect sense because -- like the members of Pleasure -- the former Crusaders trombonist holds both jazz and funk/soul in high regard. Both of these albums called for a producer who felt that way; although Pleasure didn't pretend to be Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, it did bring jazz elements to its funk/soul foundation. And the jazz influence is all over this CD; one hears jazz overtones on funk smokers like "Bouncy Lady" and "Pleasure for Your Pleasure," as well as on relaxed quiet storm fare such as "My Love" and "The Love of My Life." Although Fantasy's 1993 release The Greatest of Pleasure is the best place for novices to get started, this reissue is enthusiastically recommended to funk and soul addicts who want to hear more than just the basics.

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