Now in a belated example of what used to happen practically every day when digital technology first appeared, the band’s two albums, plus the material they recorded as Ice, have been remastered and reissued digitally for the first time in the U.S. by Manifesto Records as the 2 CD set, The Lafayette Afro Rock Band vs ICE, AfroFunk Explosion!. Remastered by Bill Inglot and Dave Schultz from sources that are not listed on the package, this reissue trails previous CD reissues in France and the UK by nearly 20 years. Though the sound is generally good, I emailed Manifesto owner Dan Perloff about the sources for this reissue.
“Bill remastered from a variety of sources. We had all of the master tapes for the Ice material and various source materials for the Lafayette Afro Rock Band and used whatever was the best source that we could obtain.”
While the two albums have been re-pressed on vinyl in the U.S. several times (1976, 1993, 2007) since their initial release, this is the first easily obtainable release since they first came out. The liner notes here, which try to untangle the band’s hopelessly mangled story, were adapted from those found in the 1999 UK CD reissue on the Strut label.
While American musical ex-pats moving to Europe is not so uncommon for jazz playersBen Webster and Dexter Gordon, for example, both spent time in Europe in the 1960sthe idea of an entire funk group departing for the old world was fairly novel even then. Happily this reissue, resurrects in sharp, clear sound, one of the few '70s funk/soul holy grails that’s actually worth digging for.