Various Artists - Pulp Fusion - 15th Anniversary Crystal Edition
The tireless archive-combers at Harmless Records come up trumps yet again in their mission to unearth the best in neglected hard-bitten soulful grooves with this stellar helping of street-smart funk and jazz. Picking out highlights from such an enjoyable and diverse package is tough but Joe Quarterman & Free Soul's '(I Got) So Much Trouble In My Mind' is certainly up there, providing a scintillating exercise in uplifting soul. Average White Band's 'Person to Person' is a sweet, laid-back R&B jive, while famed percussionist Willie Bobo's offering 'Always There' is a turbo-charged jazz workout. Gil Scott-Heron cut 'The Bottle' hums along nicely without really touching any of his finest work and renowned keyboardist Dexter Wansel's 'Life on Mars' is an enjoyably spaced-out helping of jazz-funk. A collection of 28 tracks at a budget price is a fantastic deal and this is a terrific starting point for newcomers, as well as another solid addition to the series for existing fans.