Various Artists

Putumayo Presents: Rhythm & Blues

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As with most Putumayo compilations, this collection of a dozen R&B recordings is well thought-out if still somewhat random in its choices. Both classic performers (Irma Thomas, the Emotions, Lavelle White) and relatively newer names (Ruthie Foster, James Hunter, Catherine Russell) populate the collection, but it all has a vintage patina to it. Sam Moore (of Sam & Dave) teams up with Keb' Mo' and Angie Stone on an acoustic, gospel-tinged, but rocking "Wang Dang Doodle," and the always excellent Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings' "100 Days, 100 Nights" exhibits the drama and soul of a classic Tina Turner vamp. The Quantic Soul Orchestra featuring Kabir bring a reggae-esque rhythm to their "Who Knows" and the recently deceased Snooks Eaglin reminds that New Orleans is where so much of history's greatest soul music was made. This wouldn't be the first R&B compilation you'd want to own, but it's a solid enough set to add to an already well-stocked shelf.

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