Various Artists, What It Is! Funky Soul and Rare Grooves [1967-1977]

Douglas Wolk

By Douglas Wolk

on 05.21.12 in Reviews

What It Is! Funky Soul And Rare Grooves [1967-1977]

Various Artists

Besides their artist-based compilations, Rhino Records has released a series of boxes that neatly define musical moments, and this is a thrilling one. What It Is! isn’t a collection of R&B hits, as such, although it includes a handful of very big hits. It’s a collection of grooves that still sound amazing 35-45 years after they were recorded — the sort of thing DJs spend their lives digging through bins to find. Some of them are familiar from hip-hop samples; some are local bands’ covers of national hits; some are major artists’ minor marvels. And all of them are hard not to dance to.