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Various Jamaica Funk–Original Funk & Soul 45s

  • Words: David Katz
  • Label: Soul Jazz
  • XLR8R Rating: 8/10

There is no denying the influence of funk on Jamaican music during the 1970s. Indeed, Bob Marley kicked off the decade mutating James Brown, while Sly Dunbar took his stage name in homage to Sly and the Family Stone. This excellent compilation gathers 18 uncommon tracks defined by hefty funk rhythms, with nary a weak one in sight: Cedric Brooks’ “Silent Force” and The Rebels’ “Rhodesia” are in a class of their own, while Jackie Paris’ “Make Me Smile,” The Heptones’ “Do Good to Each & Everyone,” and The Now Generation’s sensitive version of “People Make the World Go Round” are also outstanding. Despite a few noisy vinyl transfers, the set nicely captures the era’s island-wide pervasive funk vibe.

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