Various Artists

Yoyo: 70's Jazz, Soul & Funk Rarities from the Old School

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Here's a strange one. Yoyo: 70's Jazz, Soul & Funk Rarities From the Old School is indeed a compilation of funky '70s rarities, but the artists here aren't so much obscure as out of their element. That must be where the mention of "jazz" enters the title. Don Covay certainly is considered a soul artist, as could be Gloria Lynne, but Lionel Hampton and Jimmy Reed?!?!?! Well, here they are, in all their funkified '70s "glory": slinky bass and wah-wah guitars all over the place. Actually, the Reed tunes aren't really bad as much as it is surprising that someone got him to do them. Hampton just wails on his vibes, almost oblivious to the generic funk backdrops. Screamin' Jay Hawkins gives a typically over-the-top vocal performance on "Africa Gone Funky," and the Covay tracks are fantastic. Stanley Turrentine gives the most perfunctory performance here, covering a couple of Stevie Wonder tunes. This is certainly not the lost treasure trove some may have envisioned by title alone, but it is good for a laugh or two as a head-scratcher.

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