Daptone has long been one of those semi-hidden gems, a small label in Brooklyn consistently delivering soul and funk that builds off of classic sounds. The Daptone Gold compilation highlights only a portion of the greatness of the label’s catalog, focusing on rarieties and assorted album cuts. Daptone Gold may be a sly comment on a lack of recognition, but it is also a true reflection of the sides therein. At its essence, it’s a true celebration of a deserving label, a collection of soul, funk and R&B done the right way — with style and a sense of history.
Label co-owner Gabriel Roth took the lead in selecting and sequencing the tracks here, and he does so in a way that reflects the various sounds and styles of Daptone’s history, satisfying fanatics and enticing the curious. The Budos Band’s “Up From the South,” Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings’ “Tell Me” and assorted album tracks mingle with unreleased cuts like Jones’ cover of Gladys Knight’s “Giving Up” and a few 45 rpm-only sides, including two by the illustrious Binky Griptite. Another 45-only release, Lee Fields’ “Could Have Been,” is a gem that should have been a No. 1 in any era. Other acts include Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens, Antibalas (featuring Mayra Vega), Sugarman & Co., and Menahan Street Band.