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Various Artists (2001)

Soul Jazz SJRCD050

Express Yourself (Leroy Sibbles); Respect (Norma Frazer); Groove Me (Leroy Sibbles); Soulful Strut (Sound Dimension); Queen Of The Minstrels (Eternals); Message From A Blackman (Heptones); I’ll Be Around (Otis Gayle); Still Water (Jerry Jones); Time Is Tight (Sound Dimension); Can’t Get Enough (Richard Ace); Don’t Break Your Promise (Chosen Few); First Cut Is The Deepest (Norma Frazer); How Strong (Ken Parker); Set Me Free (Ken Boothe); Is It Because I’m Black (Senior Soul); Deeper And Deeper (Jackie Mittoo); I Don’t Want To Be Right (Alton Ellis); No One Can Stop Us (Willie Williams).

This latest compilation from the Soul Jazz stable explores the hugely successful Studio One practice of covering American soul and R&B hits. And, unlike the two previous Soul Jazz compilations, this one includes some real rarities to satisfy even the most discerning of collectors. Most of these tracks appear on CD for the first time, and several have only previously been available as rare and obscure Jamaican singles. Just look at the track list - the choice of titles cannot be faulted.

Available on both CD and vinyl formats, the usual Soul Jazz deluxe packaging includes a genuinely informative 16-page booklet, which not only puts the music into historical perspective but also details the original soul sources. Well done, Soul Jazz! A must-have for anyone’s collection.

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