This third installment in the "Diggin' Deeper: The Roots of Acid Jazz" series, which collects likely funk, jazz, soul, fusion, and disco sides from the deep Columbia/Epic/Sony catalog, includes such gems as Art Blakey's "Cubano Chant" and Lalo Schifrin's "Jaws," a Shaft-meets-Frankenstein hybrid version of the "Jaws" movie theme.
This set moves and grooves from end to end, and even listeners with little interest in the acid jazz movement that surfaced some two decades after most of these tracks were recorded will find a great little alternative dance album lurking here.
The title of this compilation tries to make Montgomery viable for a younger generation, but it's not exactly "acid jazz." Rather, it's an anthology of some of Montgomery's better pop- and soul-oriented material from the mid-'60s. The 16 tracks show Montgomery in both orchestral and small combo settings, a few cuts taken from his collaborations with Jimmy Smith. Purists have long disdained this phase of Montgomery's career. But those who don't measure work by how straight-ahead it is will find much to enjoy here, in either the cuts with Oliver Nelson's orchestra, or the less elaborate sessions with the likes of Smith, Grady Tate, Ron Carter, and Ray Barretto.
Taking Beenie’s original 1992 album Cool Cool Rider and adding a heap of tracks from that era, this Trojan set is a highly desirable disc for the dancehall singer’s most hardcore fans. It’s likely they’ve encountered these tracks before, although on inferior sets with poor sound quality. The source material is still rough and recorded on the cheap, but Trojan does what they can as crucial cuts like “No Mama No Cry,” “Black Liberty,” and the title track punch out of the speakers like they did on their original Jamaican 45s. Newcomers should be warned that Beenie was more aggressive and less tuneful than he would become two years later when songs like “Slam” and “Romie” came along, and you certainly shouldn’t expect anything as smooth as “Girls Dem Sugar” since this material is much more frantic. A couple tracks from a decade earlier, when a ten-year-old Beenie scored a hit with “Too Fussy,” would have made this the ultimate early set, but it’s a small complaint seeing as how Trojan has liberated this rare material from bootleg status.