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.
Bootsy’s Rubber Band: “Player of the Year”
The first time you listen to this record, start with side 2 – that’s where the funk is. In fact, the first three cuts have more than enough high-energy funk to balance out the slow jamz on side 1, which, to be honest, leave me kind of cold. Gotta let Bootsy be Bootsy, baby.
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.”