Doc Martian's Lounge: Ultimate Cop Show Grooves

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ultimate Cop Show Grooves

El Barrio
The Ultimate Collection of Latin Boogaloo, Disco, Funk and Soul
Various Artists
FANIA Records

This here is some down and dirty shit. 4 CDs, awesome grooves, one CD each of Boogaloo, Disco, Funk and Soul. Think groovy 60s, funky 70s and disco like the stuff that got played in Carlito Brigante's upscale disco. You'll be gettin' down, doin' the shingaling, the boogaloo, the mambo, and the latin hustle with a huge grin on your face as you run and slide across your cop car lookin' like a badass 70s wide-collar disco plainclothes detective. You're gunna get down. I did and am right now. Sittin' here bobbin' my head to some great beats by Pete Bonet.

Folks like the Fania All Stars, Willie Colon, Ray Barreto, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmeri, Joe Cuba, The Latinaires and others cherry-picked from FANIA's vast catalog between 1967 and 1975. Lots of cowbell, plenty of handclaps, badass percussion, stone cold grooves. In fact, FANIA has tied as my favorite soul label. They even give Stax a run for their money. They SMOKE Motown, they whup Hi and Atlantic, grooviness on top of grooviness with like hundreds of albums in their catalog to draw from. Yer gunna let out a plaintive holler of immediate delight, plus you'll keep comin' back for more. this is the real deal. The stuff that just doesn't quit. The groove that gits you in your earhole and doesn't let go to save your life. Thank God. For I was runnin' low on my soul vibe lately, having wearied of my Stax collection after many many many repetitions. Boom. Get down! Even the disco sounds like one of those awesome PBS shows in the seventies where some guy with a roving camera roams through a Jazz Festival zooming in on guys with huge funkyass beards and highly patterned rayon shirts and unusual compact headwear, berets and buchari kippahs. If percussion is your thing, you're in the right place. Yer gunna love it.

The weakest point of the set? OK, some of it sounds derivative, like a groove swiped from James Brown who swiped it back with his Hell album. Or even straight-up copped riffs from Archie Bell and the Drells. But yah know, I can live with that. I mean soul and R&B has always had a little bit of piratical diffusion. Chuck Berry coppin' Louis Jordan riffs note-for-note. Slick lil' homages inside of Stax songs. Bass grooves that sound remarkably like something the Funk Brothers did. This is OK. It goes all the way back to Okeh and Vocalion. Several songs that sound like a jibarito-stuffed James Brown doin' covers of 'I Got The Feelin'. You gotta love it. I do at least. I'm a percussion freak. Love to hear those swirlin' eggy things, and those monkeyfucker drums from brazil, and the cowbell, good god, the cowbell moar! moar!

Pick this one up. If you can't get it on CD, get it on FANIA's digital platform in lossless wav. You won't regret it, all caveats aside, it is a bountiful, magic collection that'll leave you tappin' your feet, gettin' down with the power of the finest New York City had to offer back then. It's aged well. Currently my 3rd favorite Soul box set... after Stax 1959-1968 and Atlantic R&B 1947-1974. It even beats out the Stax 1968-1971 and Stax 1971-1975 box sets. That's seriously impressive. I'm impressed at least, and it takes a lot to do that.


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