Despite his diminutive stature, Prince did not spring from the womb fully formed. The Purple One came from a vibrant funk and R&B culture in Minneapolis. Reissue specialists Numero Group have taken up the noble task of cataloging the sound.
Purple Snow amasses lots of genre hallmarks. A distinctive disco-bump props up Herman Jones' "I Love You." Slow-burning soul drives along the Lewis Connection's "Got to Be Something Here." Tightly compressed funk, obscured by tape hiss, livens up Quiet Storm's "Can You Deal with It." Synthy electro-funk bubbles all over Ronnie Robbins' "Contagious." At 30 tracks, the album is lengthy but not impenetrable, and easily taken in piece by piece.
This album also provides context for learning about the roots of artists like Prince, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. All in all, it's a well-deserved showcase for a criminally overlooked scene.