Released by Stax in 1973 — a massive rare groove album, sampled by Digable Planets and Jay-Z (amongst others) — Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth was a brooding, deep-funk admonition to the new black middle class, without a chance of commercial success.
For its follow-up, Dale Warren’s outfit shed these rhetorical ambitions, and for political consolation dug deep into its musical roots, and his time in the mid-sixties as a songwriter at Shrine and Motown.
But Stax closed in 1975, and the tapes were abandoned. Now, miraculously retrieved from a Chicago basement, here’s a precious taster: hurt, disillusioned, beautiful, pure, sensuous Windy City soul music, funky and jazzy but street (like Donny Hathaway), musically sophisticated but emotionally straight (like Curtis).
The sleeve is all-black, with black-on-black text, and an embossed silhouette of the group — ‘probably the nicest single LP we’ve ever made’, says Numero.