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Latin Jazz - Released October 22, 2021 | Daptone Records

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Latin Jazz - Released October 13, 2021 | Daptone Records

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Soul - Released October 1, 2021 | Daptone Records

The Daptone story—scrappy little label cultivates a neo-soul mystique and a community of successful artists—is a proud one. Working out of a row house in Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood, musicians-turned-label owners Gabe Roth and Neal Sugarman built an analog, Pro Tools-free studio fondly known as the "House of Soul" and scored instant notoriety when Amy Winehouse recorded part of her Back to Black album there in 2006. Beyond that, much of Daptone's rep came from soul singer and fireball performer Sharon Jones and her national breakthrough, 2007's 100 Days, 100 Nights. The label's success continued to grow until tragedy struck; Jones was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, struggling for three years before succumbing in 2016. Misfortune repeated itself when the label's other star, Charles Bradley, died the following year, also from cancer. In 2014, with the label riding high, Daptone had the luck and/or foresight to organize at Harlem's famed Apollo Theater, for what in retrospect is truly a super soul review; all the artists were clearly motivated in this pinnacle moment to put on bravura performances. Both filmed and recorded, the quality of the performances—and happily, also the sound (despite the occasional jarring edit between tracks)—are amazingly high from beginning to end. Aided by intelligent sequencing that limits everyone but Bradley and Jones to between one and three tracks, this sprawling album is nothing but highlights that favorably display every shade in the Daptone rainbow of technique and talent. With the peerless Dap-Kings (who count both label founders as members) serving as the house band behind most acts, and the band's guitarist Binky Griptite holding down the MC spot, the group's pair of female backup singers Saun & Starr make the most of their opening slot by delivering the upbeat "Hot Shot." The Sugarman 3's clap-along instrumental "Witch's Boogaloo'' floats along with a loose, groovy style. Gravel-voiced gospel growler Naomi Shelton and backup trio add a Memphis snap to "Stranger." Gospel returns in the form of the Como Mamas, a trio from Como, Mississippi, who shout out the a capella, "Out of the Wilderness." This set's second half is devoted to its two leading lights with Bradley going first. Although he spent his career doing James Brown impressions, his delivery leans more toward Otis Redding. Believably anguished and mostly on-key in his trademark screams, he's more effective in the ballad, "Lovin' You Baby." A rare talent, and to reclaim a phrase, one of the hardest working women in show business, Sharon Jones was only ever out-danced and out-hustled by her obvious model James Brown. Her intense vocals and usual rising ferocity powers ballads like "If You Call" and shakes with a mad passion in blistering workouts like "Calamity" and "There Was a Time." In "Making up and Breaking Up (And Making Up and Breaking Up Over Again)," she shows a cool retro '60s pop side. Daptone artists had a deep connection with their label, a point driven home by the finale of this impressive live set, where everyone assembles for a rousing and heartfelt version of Sly Stone's "Family Affair." A concentrated snapshot of an essential indie label's mighty first chapter. © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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Soul - Released October 1, 2021 | Daptone Records

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Soul - Released October 1, 2021 | Daptone Records

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Soul - Released October 1, 2021 | Daptone Records

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Soul - Released October 1, 2021 | Daptone Records

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Soul - Released October 1, 2021 | Daptone Records

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Soul - Released October 1, 2021 | Daptone Records

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Soul - Released October 1, 2021 | Daptone Records

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Soul - Released October 1, 2021 | Daptone Records

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Soul - Released October 1, 2021 | Daptone Records

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Latin Jazz - Released September 14, 2021 | Daptone Records

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Reggae - Released September 10, 2021 | Daptone Records

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Latin Jazz - Released August 17, 2021 | Daptone Records

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North America - Released July 16, 2021 | Daptone Records

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North America - Released July 14, 2021 | Daptone Records

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Soul - Released July 6, 2021 | Daptone Records

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North America - Released June 16, 2021 | Daptone Records

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North America - Released May 19, 2021 | Daptone Records