Friday, May 11
Florida Funk 1968-1975
"Formally, Florida Funk is a sequel to Texas Funk and Midwest Funk, Jazzman Records' other collections of R&B rarities from the late '60s and early '70s. Informally, it's part of a much longer list of recent regional funk reissues. There's Southern Funkin' on the Beat Goes Public label, Funky Funky Chicago and Funky Funky Detroit and Funky Funky Houston on Funky Delicacies, and the ever-growing Eccentric Soul series from the Numero Group. Good as this deeply obscure music can be, I'm almost as fascinated by the fanatics who assemble these collections, not just of funk but of soul, punk, psychedelia, Jesus rock, and other forms of 30-to-40-year-old Americana. These tiny record companies, many of them based abroad, are retracing the steps of the people who spearheaded the folk revival in the '50s and early '60s, searching out forgotten records, tracking down and interviewing the people who made them, and imagining a mythological American past. Part DJ Shadow and part Harry Smith, their efforts add up to an enormous Anthology of American Funk Music. There's a danger, in anthologies like these, that this mystique will overwhelm the actual music. Pop archaeologists have been known to prize a record's rarity more than its actual vitality, as though a privately pressed 45 of a freshman trying to sound like Sly Stone is more valuable than Stone's own recordings. Florida Funk avoids that trap: This CD might not be filled with musical innovations, but nearly all the tracks are enjoyable, and a few shine brighter than that. Extensive liner notes add valuable context, painting a portrait not just of the people who produced the music but of the place that produced the people. ..."
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