These Are My Records: Yusef Lateef’s “Detroit (Latitude 42 30, Longitude 83)”

Clocking in at slightly over half an hour, this album is about the same length as the theoretical optimum for any visit to Detroit. But unlike its sprawling namesake, this record is tight, focused and organized, a high-energy blend of jazz and funk that, at times, feels like it could drift into prog-rock territory with no more provocation than a stiff breeze. The city of Detroit has seen (heard?) its share of musical tributes; “Yusef Lateef’s Detroit” has to rank among the best of them.

These are my records: Soviet Funk, Vol. 1

Various artists – “Soviet Funk, Vol. 1”

An excellent record, but if you’re hoping to find Bootski Collins here, keep looking. This is more early ‘70s-style funk-jazz than straight-up funk, which probably shouldn’t be surprising because, honestly, how funky were the Soviets back then, really? As a side note, I’ve yet to hear a Secret Stash release that I don’t love. Best tracks: “Vyrodok” and “Gostiny Dvor.”