Various Artists – Philadelphia Roots 2

Another tasteful Soul Jazz series rolls on

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A startling reminder of Philly Soul’s enduring appeal came late last year when Elton John shot to No 1 with “Are You Ready For Love?”, recorded in 1977 with Thomas Bell, a cohort of legendary Philadelphian production team Gamble and Huff.

This compilation is another tribute to the genre’s undiminished power and its subtitle? “Funk, Soul and the Roots of Disco 1965-73” ?is a cheerful acknowledgement of the impossibility of stylistic demarcation. Household names like Three Degrees and Delfonics stand alongside African hi-life exponents Yellow Sunshine (the young Huff’s band), providing an engaging history lesson and the chance to cut some serious rug.

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