Various Artists

Masterpiece: The Ultimate Disco Funk Collection, Vol. 6

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A handful of well-known artists appear with middling-to-decent singles on Masterpiece, Vol. 6, including the Bar-Kays ("She Talks to Me with Her Body," number 13 R&B, 1983), Dynasty ("Check It Out," number 39 R&B, 1983), Roy Ayers ("Fast Money," did not and should not have charted, 1982), and Major Harris (the Butch Ingram-produced "Gotta Make Up Your Mind," should have charted, 1984). The obscure artists don't quite pick up all the slack, so the disc isn't one of the best of the series, but it's not like you would feel like a shameful completist by picking it up. Here, PTG blows the dust off another deep gem from the West End catalog -- Love Club's borderline freestyle "Hot Summer Nights," which peaked on the Billboard club chart at number 60 during the fall of 1983 and gets better with each play. Frankie Rodriguez handles a trio of the tracks, including Up Front's freestyle classic "Infatuation" and one-shot Kathy Buck's slow, sparse "Don't Beat Around the Bush," with gentle adjustments. (Rodriguez discreetly extends the latter's original mix by two minutes.) With Pamela Joy's "Think Fast," the disc's best is saved for last. It's a tightly arranged track with some great keyboard and guitar wriggles, as well as an unassumingly cool lead vocal, and it has gained some attention in recent years by being included on Joey Negro and Sean P's Destination: Boogie and Jon Savage's Dreams Come True.

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