Liner Note Authors: Dean Rudland; Philippe Rault.
Ace revives their SuperFunk series in 2015 with Soul Emissaries. The title alone is a tipoff that this collection has a bit of a heavier soul bent than its predecessors, and that's quite appealing. These rarities, dating as early as 1971 and as late as 1984, aren't focused on the groove but they are rhythm-heavy, offering an addictive blend of song-oriented, danceable funk. Often, this does mean that Soul Emissaries edges toward proto-disco, a hybrid that's fetching, but there's a variety of different styles here: a down-and-dirty variation on the Jody on "Jodine," the reggae of "Funky Kingston," an elastic reinvention of the Beatles' "We Can Work It Out" from Raymond Parker, and a bit of neon Rick James sleaze on William Bostic's "What You Do to Me." All these styles are held together by that focus on the song and those deep, infectious rhythms that turn this into a never-ending party. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine