Compilation Review: ‘The Best of Perception & Today Records’ (BBE)


Despite being an imprint that only enjoyed a moderate lifespan from the late ’60s to the mid-’70s, NYC’s Perception Records has an enviable back catalogue of funk, jazz, soul and the exotic links around it, ripe for cherry picking and bringing back to the masses. The ears of hip-hop fans will be alerted to the sources of samples (Raekwon and The Perceptionists but two), thanks to DJ Spinna, a none more capable beat miner who always maximizes in situations like these, and on a like-minded history appreciator like BBE. Some of the names speak for themselves — Dizzy Gillespie, Astrud Gilberto (just as sweet as her time enthusing about Ipanema), The Fatback Band, to the researchable The Albert and The Eight Minutes.

Everything is super slick, from blood, sweat and tears laid on the line to slow jams ticking over nicely (Bobby Rydell), and despite covering 30 tracks over two discs, everything gets it groove on in sharp bursts leaving ample room for zealously extended horn solos and guitar stairways to heaven – step forward, Jon Bartel and Julius Brockington getting busy on the organ, and Tyrone Washington threatening to blow his lungs out. Sunday morning, hot coffee and Perception/Today on your player — not a bad way to get a head start on the advancing week.
File under: Black Ivory, Wanda Robinson, JJ Barnes