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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More riches from the Bay Area Music City label courtesy of BGP........, 19 Sep 2011
TCH (Cambs, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Street Sounds From The Bay Area: Music City Funk & Soul Grooves 1971-75 (Audio CD)
It amazes me that BGP can release this superb compilation together with Dorondo's "Listen To My Song" CD at the same time as letting the distinctly sub-par "SuperFunk's Mission Impossible" out of the hutch. The less said about the truly lamentable "SuperFunk's Mission Impossible" the better but I suspect it'll mark the end of that largely excellent series of compilations. To happier matters; this compilation of largely funk orientated tracks from the '71-'75 time period recorded at the famed Music City record label based in the Bay Area of California (across the bay from San Francisco) is simply excellent. This was a great time for Bay Area music having been spurred on by the colossal late 60's / early 70's success of Sly & The Family Stone (with Tower of Power about to really get going as well). The album itself is enjoyably eclectic covering jazzy funk, wah-wah funk, string-laced funk, flute funk, political funk and even one or two funk-ballads which brings a welcome dose of variety so things don't get too monotonous. One thing it doesn't have is 'funky soul' which has become the mainstay of funk compilations these days even though a little of that stuff goes a long, long way and frankly I heard enough 'funky soul' for a lifetime or two since "samey" doesn't begin to describe it! Admittedly a good number of the tracks are instrumentals but their variety of sounds means that it all remains exceedingly listenable and very little outstays its welcome and the vocal tracks (about half the compilation) are universally strong with sadly one unexpected exception; the much heralded Darondo whose 1st take of "Gimme Some" is marred by some tacky ill-thought out lyrics (which he sensibly removed on the subsequent version).

Like the brilliant Memphis 70 compilation perhaps BGP would be better following this 'local scene' route with a greater variety of musical styles (much like Numero's "Eccentric Soul" series) rather than concentrating on 'pure-funk' compilations now that material of consistent quality is no longer around to fill them out with truly satisfying tracks (something the liner notes of this CD actually alludes to).
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