Photographer: Hans Klinkers.
Twenty years after BBE released its first compilation, Dr. Bob Jones' Stop and Listen, Vol. 1, the label continued rolling along with its umpteenth set of rare disco and funk, among many titles of similar and assorted flavors. Jones' set sported a cover that resembled that of Kenny Dorham's Afro-Cuban, and this one, compiled by Italian collectors and DJs Federico and Gino Grasso, is clearly patterned after We Got the Rhythm, the 1976 album by People's Choice. As of 2016, vinyl copies of that album continued to change hands for small sums. In contrast, original copies of the these Grasso selections were going for amounts well into triple digits. None of this stuff quite eclipses the best of the era. That said, it's easy to understand the appeal of, say, Stone Luv's trucking amalgamation of Brass Construction and Slave on "Roller Disco" or Black Sun's (aka Snob) sweet-grooving "Le Love," which could be placed beside Martin Circus' "Disco Circus" and the Wood, Brass & Steel version of "Always There" in a block of tracks featuring ecstatic scat vocals. Those who picked up the Z label's Overdose of the Holy Ghost anthology will get another copy of Sharon Johnson's "A Better Day," but the presence of the Gospel Seekers' "Never Gonna Give You Up" more than makes up for any duplication with its spirited likeness to GQ and Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. (Evidently released in 1985, it sounds like it could have been recorded a few years earlier.) Two cuts -- a Carolinian clavinet jam from Living Color and some post-Chic boogie from T.B. Funk -- are presented as new edits. The remainder was presumably left untouched. ~ Andy Kellman