Various Florida Funk

Given that Florida Funk is on the shelves now, and the reissue of Texas Funk isn’t far behind, Jazzman may be pulling a Sufjan Stevens by reissuing a funk comp for each state of the union. Stevens never got down like this, though. I’ve always found Jazzman comps to have worthy selections but to be a little lacking in context for their comps — liner notes and the overall care put into the package being two aspects that separate a superior comp from an average one. Not so this time. The liner notes are a veritable ethnographic profile of how the demand for soul music, generated from both Florida residents and the steady stream of vacationers, affected the musical climate. Some artists were best at cashing in on live gigs, some established small labels and some bought into local magnate Henry Stone’s empire. The liner notes identify the major and minor players and produce a surprisingly diverse and unfailingly funky bunch of tracks. Some of the best are the contributions of Cuban expats to the Florida music scene. While they didn’t change the overall game, long-time Florida producer Willie Clarke is quoted in the notes explaining how Afro-Cubans couldn’t even comprehend Southern American segregation, much less buy into it, and they "straightened that shit out in about a week!” Jazzman has raised its game with this collection. More please. (Jazzman)