Sunday, 27 December 2009

Various Artists - The Real Sound Of Chicago - 2010 - BBE

BBE are really firing on all cylinders at the moment with a solid issue of compilations for the disco dance connoisseur. This superb release highlights the fact that Chicago has always been a place that had talented musicians and artists, and that the City has been a hub for soul, funk, blues, and jazz for generations. The significance of this "Real Sound Of Chicago" double CD release is that many Chicago private disco record labels never made it out of Chicago itself, as it was back in the 1980s with Chicago House music. Indeed, many of the records included here on this compilation command high prices in the collectors market. Some Chicago artists never had the resources to have their music distributed properly on a global scale, and it's down to the good chaps at BBE to right this cardinal wrong. The contribution of Chicago to popular black American music has always been immense and this CD shows us why.

Premonition's "Love Is In The Pocket" is superb and although taken from the original - and I must add very rare - vinyl does not distract us from the magnificence of this track. More soulful and on a Chic / Change tip comes "Love So New"; a late '70s offering from Loveship with plenty of bassline and brass touches. This is worthy of a purchase for this alone. Fans of Gwen McCrae's Atlantic work will appreciate this. The superb early 80s flavour of Billy Hinton and her "A Challenge" is just what this doctor ordered, and the supreme 80s dancer "Don't Touch It" by Maxx Trax is, again, worthy of a purchase alone. This has a slight Salsoul 80s flavour and much is to be said of that. The slap bass takes me back to Slave and the whole flavour is mighty tasty indeed. Fans of the Mizell Brothers work with Blue Note in the mid '70s should find a great deal to absorb themselves in with the superb Martin L. Dumas and the magnificent "Attitude, Belief & Determination". This almost borders on Donald Byrd's early 80s Elektra work too and comes highly recommended. This double CD is due for release in January 2010 - only a week or so away. make this one of your first purchases of the new decade!

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

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