It’s Praise Poems time again at the ever-digging Tramp Records with the release of Volume 3. And if you checked Vols. 1 and 2 you’ll know that they go deep on these selections. Deeper than that service shaft underneath Hampstead tube station? Deeper than Poseidon’s basement in the Marianas Trench my friend – for we are in the realm of jazz funk. Well, initially anyway – but bear with me.
Fans of Herbie Hancock, Billy Cobham and the like will be stoked to hear the opening trio of cuts from Feather, Scott Cunningham and Project IV, and overjoyed with a quartet of tracks from Geoff Tyus, The Rosewood Trio, Plas Johnson and Toby Cooper. In between these are a soul jazzy Lexington number, and Lewell Williams’ smoothly psychedelic soul The Lonely Hunter. Round the monkey’s way however, things really get into gear when the LP suddenly goes all mod with The Lime’s paisley-patterned groove take on The Doors’ Soul Kitchen followed by Rock Formation with the stunning heavyweight northern soul and funk-crowd pleasing Listen Girl – a track that even John Manship describes as obscure. The pair of these form the golden centre of the compilation and followed by one of the mellower cuts off Lucky Brown’s Mystery Road LP (Lucky Brown? He’s not old! Damn straight – but he knows a fat Rhodes-tinged groove when he sees one!) and then suddenly it’s anyone’s guess what’ll happen before the end with latin flavours mixing it up with more soul jazz, big band jazz-blues and a trio of vocal jazz ballads. I told you it was deep.
(Out now on Tramp Records)