Boscoe Boscoe

This release shows exactly what the Numero Group is best at. Boscoe were one of the many, many bands crowding the stages of Chicago, fuelling an incredible live scene that had flourished from the post-war period until the mid-’70s. They never "made it” but were on the radar of the city’s successful artists of the late ’60s and early ’70s, along with as Tyrone Davis and Syl Johnson. Nevertheless, their lack of success was due to their conscious decision to work on a soul-oriented strain of creativity first "Great Black Music,” as formulated by the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Not only were they musically ambitious but they put out their only self-titled disc entirely independently. Boscoe the album contains trippy yet gritty ruminations about the nature of peace and the concepts of injustice, slavery and addiction. Like early Oneness of Juju, funk is only one part of the equation: the lengthy raps, cosmic flutes and bell trees all put this album squarely in its time. But that’s its beauty, which is so lovingly elucidated by the liner notes. Despite the wonky tunings and sometimes unsuccessful musical ingredients, Boscoe are a group putting their integrity on the line with their music. Listening to this release is inspiring, even though it’s not top-notch funk. This music represents the kind of long-odds release so beloved by Numero, and it absolutely deserves another chance to find an audience. (Numero Group)