Various Artists

Mo' Cookin'

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San Francisco's Ubiquity Records followed up 1994's Home Cookin' with Mo' Cookin', the second in what would prove to be a popular series for the label. Familiar faces Rhythm Section and Spirit Level make return appearances alongside Ubiquity debuts from Sweet Potato, Push, and Dan "the Automator" Nakamura's Overlaps. Maintaining the format of its predecessor, many of the acts are paired with guest vocalists and instrumentalists. The most impressive of these is saxman Jacko Peake, who joins Rhythm Section on two tracks. As is the rule of thumb with such compilations, only a handful of cuts really should be expected to hit, leaving a strong enough impression to warrant repeated play, and Mo' Cookin' delivers its share of sizzlers. Slide Five's "Outerspace," Sweet Potato's "Crankshaft," and Rhythm Section's "Butter Rolls" are all prime examples of steaming rare groove. Working from a recipe of funky organics, the group interaction on these cuts speaks for itself. The bass and drum groove of Jon Christensen and Guy Gershoni on "Outerspace" is brought to a boil by an uncredited guest's tenor solo followed by a simmering display by the group's own Dave Warren. A supple, stuttering bass struts around the funky drumbeat on "Crankshaft," a brew seasoned with sparkling horns, dazzling electric piano, and spicy organ washes. "Butter Rolls" is a pressure cooker, propelled by raw drumming and slippery rhythm guitar. Following just below these tracks in their funky intensity are contributions from Overlaps ("Hard Boiled") and Push ("Escape"). While the balance of the tracks isn't quite as strong, they're served from the same kitchen, making Mo' Cookin' a satisfying compilation.

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