American influences in Jamaican music have always been unmistakable — the R&B and jazz backdrop to ska, the soul influences in rocksteady and reggae, and today the hip-hop gangsta posturing in contemporary ragga. In this collection, drawn from the vaults of the prolific Studio One label, attention is on the infusion of dirty old funk into ’70s reggae.

The funk can easily be heard in the James Brown-like shouts and grunts of “Reggae Feet” by Lloyd Williams and the recorded-in-a-shack slackness of “Chicken” by Cedric Im Brooks. One of the various reggae versions of “Shaft,” the classic blaxploitation flick, is included here. In other funked-up homages to bad boys of the screen, the Soul Bros. fly Agent 007 to Jamaica and Jackie Mittoo takes on Hang ‘Em High (from the Clint Eastwood western). Other funk/soul classics given the Jamaican overhaul include The Spinners’ “It’s a Shame” (covered by Alton Ellis) while the finely named Underground Vegetables rip into Booker T’s “Melting Pot.”

A few inclusions here display no outside influence; they’re just inherently funky reggae. Even so, “Studio One Funk” is not a bad place to start drawing the dots between black music of the two cultures.

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