Various Artists

The Funk Jazz Brothers

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A compilation like this one is where Blue Note Records in the European Union has it all over us Americanskis. This 19-track double disc goes deep into the label's classics to pull out gem after gem of classic no-holds-barred quintessential soul-jazz and early jazz-funk. Lou Donaldson's "Hot Dog," Gene Harris' smokin' "Put on Train," and Reuben Wilson's "Love Bug" -- which have been sampled on countless hip-hop records -- are among the slew of well-known cuts here. But for every one of these there is a hidden nugget of pure funky gold, including cuts like Bobby Hutcherson's popping reads of Sly Stone's "Family Affair" and Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues," Candido's "I'm on My Way," and Grant Green's "I Don't Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing." The sequencing is dead-on, where the groove moves from intense heat to simmering nocturnal love burn and then party-down rowdy and back again. Simply put, this is one of those comps where there isn't a weak moment in the bunch throughout its nearly two hours. Check the disc one opener, Brother Jack McDuff's "Butter for You Popcorn," with a full-blown horn section on top of nasty electric guitar and drums, and you know you've arrived in the right spot. Add to this a fine price tag for a two-disc import, and there is absolutely no excuse not to snap this baby up as soon as you see it anywhere.

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