A Look At 5 Essential Compilations

To comp or not to comp is always a tricky thing that’s looked at from two perspectives. From a business or someone who just wants the music perspective it’s always a great look, but from a purist “only has to have the original pressing” perspective, it’s goes against everything that “real” collectors stand for.  Yes, as collectors we always love original pressings but if an album came out in 1971 and in 1974 it was comp’d by the same people who made it in the first place then it’s still a comp.  For some music lovers, they just want to be able to sit comfortably in their homes, drop the needle down and immerse themselves in beautiful sounds and culture.

So with that being said, welcome to a look at 5 essential compilations that should be on your list and in rotation at the present moment covering the funk, jazz and afro spectrums of sound.

Let’s begin on the jazz side of things and start with the brand new release from Jazzman Records, “A New Life Vol.2″ – Independent and Regional Jazz in Great Britain 1968-1988. Jazzman does it better than anyone else and continues to set the bar high with amazing releases, beautifully packaged with liner notes and more.

Japanese Jazz is and always will be some of the finest and most sought after amongst collectors and BBE’s  “J-Jazz – Deep Modern Jazz from Japan 1968-1984″ is priceless. In the years following the World War Two, Japan developed one of the most insatiable, dynamic and diverse markets for jazz. For a crucial period of little over a decade – from the late 1960s to the early 1980s – Japanese jazz culture progressed at an astonishing rate, producing an extraordinary array of artists, recordings and record labels that created some of the most forward thinking and impressive jazz to be committed to tape.

During the height of the sampling era, Library LP’s were highly sought after and commanded a pretty penny on the secondary market. Having a cool off period but still retaining it’s value, the genre has seemed to make a swing back into the spotlight with new bands creating works that pay homage to the old and even documentaries cover the entire history like the new LP and DVD, “The Library Music Film”. Essential listening for anyone who needs to get hipped or even if you’re a seasoned collector.

Funk 45 compilations seem to be far and few in between these days but Rocafort Records recently linked up with heavy New York City collector and go to guy for the funk, Robert Perlman to release “Funk For The People” which dives deep in the Funk and Latin 45 bins to produce a serious 15 cut slab of burners.

Taking it back to where it all began, with the drum and in the motherland, the Africa Seven labels has comp’d a proper Afro National’s LP “African Experiments 1972-1979” that brings the funk hard and extra heavy on the Afro side of things.  Hailing from Sierra Leone and comprised of remnants off a previous jazz collective, Afro Nationals released a slew of singles and albums connecting the dots between jazz, highlife, funk with a West African perspective in mind and perfect music for dance floors worldwide today.

No matter your taste in music, these five LPs would make great additions to your daily rotations and help expand your pallet.