Those music freaks over at the Numero Group have done it again. Many are aware of their completely brilliant Eccentric Soul series that highlights the work from many small labels across the country during the '60s and '70s. From Deep City in Miami, to Big Mack in Detroit, to Capsoul and Prix in Columbus, Ohio, to Bandit and Twinight in Chicago, the groooves are killer, the notes are copious, and the music itself righteously rescued form obscurity. They do lots more: from gospel comps to a pair of amazing volumes of soul, funk, and reggae in the Caribbean, in their Cult Cargo series. Another wild collection, called Home Schooled: The ABC's of Kid Soul, highlights soul and funk singles made by kids from seven to 15 recorded between 1969-1975, from the Midwest (including Indianapolis, where the Jacksons started) to the East Coast. Here's a sample by Patriza & Jimmy called "Trust Your Child, Pt. 1," from 1974.
Numero has now gone a step further with Asterisk, another label that reissues single albums in high quality, LP-like paper sleeves with great liner notes. They are by high-quality acts so obscure, that virtually only friends and families remember them. The most recent addition to Asterisk is the self-titled stone killer from Boscoe. This sextet from the South Side of Chicago was part of a turn-of-the-decade scene that included the Pharaohs, Philip Cohran & the Artistic Heritage Ensemble, and the about-to-soar Earth, Wind & Fire. Boscoe's lone album came from their own Kingdom of Chad imprint in 1973. It is a wicked, addictive brew of deep, politically and socially conscious soul, funk, jazz, poetry, and rock; it could have come from Detroit's Westbound label in the '60s but accurately reflects the spirit of the creative communities in the Windy City of the early '70s. Only 500 copies of the album were pressed; it has been whispered about by collectors and beat heads as an almost holy and perhaps mythical artifact. Thanks to a collector in Japan -- with full cooperation by group members -- Boscoe is now available on CD and soon to be on LP as well. Check this sample of "He Keeps You" a listen; it's proof that this underground legend is fact, not fable.