In the late ’60s and early ’70s, an immensely talented crop of jazz musicians were determined to marry the jazz and soul that they’d grown up with and loved. Herbie Hancock, Bobbi Humphrey, and Lou Donaldson (just to name a few) created a hybrid, “fusion” jazz, that was thrilling, funky, and great dance material. Huge hits like “Mr. Magic,” “Running Away,” and Herbie’s “Watermelon Man” clogged dance floors across the U.S. with enthralled dancers. However, with the demise of disco and the commercial success of fusion, many jazz musicians sold their souls for the fast buck that the new genre provided. Soon, the dance and spirit were drained from fusion, and the nation has been suffering with the Chuck Mangiones, Kenny Gs, and Najees for decades now.
However, in an “everything-old-is-new-again” trend, folks around the world are trying to bring the soul and funk back into our dance music. And Cookin’s Soul Addiction does just that. This is beyond cool — charting new grooves into the dance terrain with their atavistic approaches. Jazzy with heavy British grooves, this compilation is a serious treat. Though there are times when some of the songs border on the funktose-intolerant, sterile fusion that’s contaminating “smooth jazz” radio stations, most of the disc properly catches the Donald Byrd, Ramsey Lewis, etc., spirit. Les Voleurs’ “Cabin Fever,” Solaris’ “Afro Funk,” and Blend’s “Love Script,” with their big-drum jamming, make this disc well worth it. But, there are eight more gems of varying clarity that make Soul Addiction worth further inspection. Check it out.
Cookin’ Records: http://glo.co.uk