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Johnny Frigo: Collected Works

Leave it up to the vinyl-obsessed kids at Luv N’ Haight to unearth the dance-floor jazz recordings of Johnny Frigo, who’s not to be confused by Johnny Frigo, the master violinist. The Frigo on Collected Works released some kitschy instrumental sides in the late ’60s and early ’70s on Giordano, constructing Latin-tinged music used for dance classes and his own label, Orion.

Collected Works certainly makes for an enticing rare-groove find. Creamy, percussive music designed for jazz-dance classes: what could be better? Once you get over the music’s rarity, however, all you’re left with are some sub-par, rock-inflected soul-jazz numbers that could provide DJs some fresh breakbeats and samples but not much more. Frigo’s music is mostly frictionless fusion that couldn’t hold a candle to similar soul-jazz and funky fusion releases on Prestige, Blue Note or CTI. The tunes are interchangeable, the grooves don’t catch fire and the solos are just plain boring, making its 58 minutes length sound like an eternity.

Originally Published