Various Wheedle's Groove: Seattle Funk and Soul 1965-75

The distinguishing feature of compilations released by Light in the Attic is the palpable sense of enthusiasm the label has for its subjects. Just as they reminded Toronto of its bygone soul history with their insightful notes to their Wayne McGhie reissue, so too they approach their own home base of Seattle. This collection is assembled from so many rare bits and pieces that it’s obvious this project is no mere crate-digging session, it’s primary musical research. Seattle never supported studios with house bands turning out a readily identifiable sound, as in Philly, Memphis and Miami, so the styles are quite diverse. However, many self-contained units got a lot of work supporting touring stars such as Rufus Thomas, and turn out to be quite nifty in their own recordings. Of note is some early work by the Nightbird himself, Kenny G, in the much funkier incarnation of Cold Bold and Together, which, like many of the ’70s bands represented here, sounds like a more intense Tower of Power. Some of these pieces are absolutely wild workouts on potentially pedestrian material. The Overton Berry Trio redefines the second part of "Hey Jude” into an epic funk workout. Another cover which takes off into deep soul jazz space is the Johnny Lewis Trio’s revisiting of the Meters "Cissy Strut.” There’s not a duff track in the 21, including a few new jams that more than keep up the flow. (Light In The Attic)