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Various Artists: Modernists: A Decade of Rhythm and Soul Dedication [Slipcase]

Track List

>Soul Jerk It, Baby - Jeb Stuart (mono)
>Dog (Ain't a Man's Best Friend) - Lewis Clark (mono)
>Harlem Shuffle - Robert Moore (mono)
>Good Humor Man - Clifford Curry (mono)
>Cat Dance - The In Crowd (mono)
>Jet Set - Mel Williams (mono)
>Hold Your Dog - Oliver Morgan (mono)
>Dynamite - Little Eva (previously unreleased)
>Stone Fox - The Pac-Keys (mono)
>I Got Loaded - Little Bob (mono)
>Shirley - John Fred & the Playboys (mono)
>(You Should Have Been A) Doctor - Bessie Banks (mono)
>Boston Monkey - The Hustlers (mono)
>Turn Around and Go - Lee Bernard (mono)
>Got a Good Thing Going On - Clarence Daniels/Obie Jessie (previously unreleased)
>Long Ways to Go - Timmy Wilson (previously unreleased, mono)
>Shaggy Dog - Danny & the Velaires (mono)
>Bugaloo Pete - Lester Young & The California Playboys (mono)
>Crow Baby Crow - Leroy Harris (mono)
>Monkey Man - Gene Burks (mono)
>Tingling - Eddy Giles (mono)
>She's Got Soul - Bill Locke (mono)
>Charles' Shing-A-Ling - Charles Hodges (mono)
>After Hours - Paul & Rick (mono)

Album Notes

Liner Note Authors: Dean Rudland; Ady Croasdell.

Photographers: Gilles Pétard; Chris Brown ; John Dixon; Tony Rounce.

It's a wonder that the title "Modernists" hasn't already been used for a collection of mod-related music, but Ace's 2015 set, Modernists: A Decade of Rhythm & Soul Dedication, lives up to this worthy name. The compilers, who are the team behind Mod Jazz, favor high-energy, snazzy soul and R&B that Mods would've favored back in the mid-'60s. In essence, this means the 24 tracks are often not that dissimilar to Northern Soul -- much of it echoes Motown and Chicago soul, all stylish and upbeat -- but there's a distinct emphasis on hard-charging rhythms and a bit of grit. That doesn't mean there isn't space for John Fred & His Playboy Band riding a Big Easy shuffle on "Shirley," or a dose of tight Memphis groove (Oliver Morgan's "Hold Your Dog," which makes its debt to Rufus Thomas quite plain), but this is generally high-energy good-time music, a party record crafted out of rare elements that never feel obscure. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine


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