Ohio Players


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After taking a break from aggressive, sweaty funk on Mr. Mean, the Ohio Players made an artistically successful return to it with the neglected Jass-Ay-Lay-Dee. By 1978, their popularity had decreased considerably, and funk fans were much more interested in what newer arrivals like Cameo, Bootsy Collins, Slave and Rick James were up to. But the Players still had some life left in them, and energetic offerings like "Dance (If Ya Wanta)," "Sleepwalkin'" and the single "Funk-O-Knots" aren't anything to be ashamed of. This album may not be in a class with Skin Tight, Fire, or Honey, but it's certainly decent. Jass-Ay-Lay-Dee turned out to be the Players' last album for Mercury -- after that, they moved to Arista and recorded one more worthwhile album, 1979's Everybody Up. And when the early 1980s rolled around, a downsized version of the Players would end up on Boardwalk and record the worst albums of their career.

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