Various artists album review
Studio One Funk
Soul Jazz Records-Munich
March 4 - 2005

Tracking list

  1. Cedric Im Brooks - Shaft
  2. Alton Ellis - African Descendants
  3. Pablove Black - Sidewalk Doctor
  4. Lloyd Williams - Reggae Feet
  5. Jackie Mittoo - Hang 'Em High
  6. Cedric Im Brooks - Idleberg
  7. Prince Francis - Beat Down Babylon
  8. Lee Arab - Now
  9. Soul Brothers - 007
  10. Prince Moonie - See A Man's Face
  11. Sound Dimension - Love Jah
  12. Leroy Sibbles - Do Your Thing
  13. The Sharks - Music Answer
  14. Underground Vegetables - Melting Pot
  15. Devon Russell - You Found Heaven
  16. Vin Gordon - Steady Beat
  17. Alton Ellis - It's A Shame
  18. Roy Richards - Another Thing
  19. Delroy Wilson - Funky Broadway
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 5

London based Soul Jazz Records comes up with another compilation set that includes tracks from the vaults of Studio One. "Studio One Funk" more or less shows how American Funk influenced Jamaican artists as heavily as Soul music had been an influence in the Rocksteady era and Rhythm and Blues in the Ska period. Ever since the birth of funk in America, the sound has been an ever present part of Studio One music. Whether it's in the deep roots of Alton Ellis' African Descendents, the electronic wizardy of The Sharks' Music Answer or Cedric Im Brooks' rendition of Shaft, Studio One musicians knew how to get on the good foot. However, the fact is that much of what is here would be unlikely to be considered funk as most of us understand it, just great music, reggae or otherwise. This selection is a combination of originals, US covers and well known versions of existing Studio One cuts. Listen how Jackie Mittoo shows his appreciation for Booker T and The MG's, the studio group at Memphis' famous Stax Records with "Hang Em High". "Melting Pot" is also a Booker T and The MG's original, here covered by the strangest named group at Studio One, The Underground Vegetables. Devon Russell presents his roots favourite "You Found Heaven", while Cedric Im Brooks delivers a tough instrumental take of Horace Andy's 'Skylarking', entitled "Idleberg". James Brown is apparent in spirit with the JB's inspired groove on the rare cut "Now" by Lee Arab, and Motown gets a look in with Alton Ellis' stripped down version of the Spinners classic "It's A Shame". Here you'll also find five previously unreleased – even in Jamaica – tracks, namely Cedric Im Brooks' Shaft, deejay Prince Francis' toast to the Studio One cut of "Beat Down Babylon", the Soul Brother's full charge ska epic "007", Prince Moonie's "See A Man's Face", an amazing raw boned instrumental featuring that rudimentary drum machine Coxsonne Dodd employed on many classic late seventies recordings ('Last Call', 'Homeward Bound' etc.) entitled "Music Answer", and a sublime Vin Gordon trombone cut to Larry & Alvin's 'Your Love'. Some tracks are different takes to those originally issued like Pablove Black's 'Poco Tempo', better known as "Sidewalk Doctor", Lloyd Williams' "Reggae Feet", Lee Arab's "Now", the Underground Vegetables take on Booker T's "Melting Pot" and Roy Richards' gem "Another Thing", the riddim that Sugar Minott did over for his classic 1979 roots tune 'Rome'. Im & Sound Dimension’s wicked "Love Jah" was originally found only on the reverse of the original press to Dennis Brown’s 'If I Follow My Heart'.
Real funky stuff!

Teacher & Mr. T.