Various Artists

Out on a Funky Trip: Funk, Soul & Reggae From Randy's 1970-1975

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The Chin family have been one of the most successful in the Jamaican music scene. Their empire was established by the late Vincent "Randy" Chin, who built the business from his Randy's Record Shop into a grand enterprise that includes the famed studio of the same name and a host of successful labels and imprints (including the American VP label). Chin moved into production in the early '60s, his eldest son Clive followed in his footsteps a decade later, with other family members also intimately involved in the business. This compilation focuses on one segment of their output during the first half of the '70s, honing in exclusively on the Randy's label funk- and soul-styled singles. The accompanying booklet tells the story and contains a wealth of information on both the Chins' progression into the genre and the bands featured within this set.

Most notable was Skin, Flesh & Bones, the Randy's house band in the latter part of this period, and who shortly after evolved into the Revolutionaries. Here, they offer up some startling tough funky numbers, along with hints of their rockers style with which they made their name.

Lyn Taitt's two tracks have an even more authentic funk feel, not surprising as they were cut in the States with American musicians. Be sure to check out Taitt's amazing, psychedelic organ on the title track. Tommy McCook brings his flute to funk-jazz, while guitarist Eric Frater shines on a surfy styled number that is sublime, but doesn't really suit this compilation. Nor does King Cole's reggae-fied cover of "Knock Three Times." But those two tracks aside, the rest of the set fits the bill to a tee, with most leaning towards hefty, heavy slabs of militant funk in a party mood. As for soul, DJ Charlie Ace offers a splendid number in true American style on "Childhood Days," one of four superb previously unreleased tracks found within.

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