Soul and Jazz and Funk Latest


Friday, 19 September 2014 18:58 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

sswwNever mind the Scottish Independence vote! Next weekend Scotland moves south as the fourth instalment of the Great Scottish Soul Weekender moves down the M6 to Charnock Richards. For those not familiar with the geography of the great North West, Charnock Richards is a pretty little village near Preston and home of a motorway service area. There's also a great resort style hotel and for all kinds of reasons that's the place for all soul fans (Scottish or otherwise) next weekend!

Amongst the numerous attractions at SSW4 are DJs Graeme Park, Horse Meat Disco, Soul Sam plus Live legendary US soul artists Ann Sexton and Garfield Fleming. The dates? Friday September 26th through to Sunday September 27th. For all info

Last Updated on Friday, 19 September 2014 19:23



Friday, 19 September 2014 18:54 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

cwbbe Records have just reissued two more classic, rare albums in their 'Masters We Love' series. First up there's 'First Flight' from Chicago duo CRYSTAL WINDS. Paul Coleman and Cortez Brown were the pairing at the heart of the group and the lush 8 tracker is a contemporary of the great Curtom albums and features many of the same musicians who worked with Curtis Mayfield. Indeed the orchestrations on the LP were provided by Richard Tufo and little wonder that original copies of the album command high prices,

Paul Coleman (vocals and keys) began his career with the Epics and ended up in Rasputin's Stash, while Cortez Brown (sax and vocals) played for a while in Oscar Brown's band. The pair teamed up as Crystal Winds in 1982 and cut 'First Flight' for the indie Cash Ear Records. The set, though, never a hit album, became an in-demand, underground favourite, blending smooth, lush ballads like the gentle swaying 'So Sad' with finger-clicking dancers. Best of that bunch is maybe 'Love Ain't Easy'. This is a totally snappy tune with a vibe not a million miles away from Luther Vandross's Never Too Much'.

After three years the pair went their separate ways, but their LP,' First Flight', remains a classic of the smooth Chicago sound of the early 80s.

CPThe second new 'Masters We Love' reissue is much more eclectic. It's 'Pyramid Love' from the CRAIG PEYTON GROUP. The Peyton Group were a development of jazz-fusion outfit Band X and were led by Craig Peyton – vocalist and pioneer of the electric vibraphone. The LP was originally released on Broken Records in 1977 and has never been reissued in any format! Mint copies of the original change hands for upwards of £200 and it's much sought after by fans of jazz-funk. The sound of the album is much more than that though. The soundscape of 'Pyramid Love' is coloured with disco, jazz, jazz-fusion, funk – even classical - and most tracks feature remarkable rhythm changes and unexpected mood changes.

Find out more about both albums@



Thursday, 18 September 2014 18:57 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

drew_regMentored by EWF'S Ralph Johnson and Motown Funk Brother Uriel Jones, drummer DREW SCHULTZ is one of soul music's finest percussionists. For five years he was drummer in the road band of The Four Tops and he's also worked with the likes of the Temptations, Aretha Franklin, the Dramatics, the Contours, the Miracles, the Chairmen of the Board and Harold Melvin's Bluenotes.

A few years back Drew released his first solo album. Called 'Back To Class', he described it as "his love letter to soul music and to those who make it" and it featured Spyder Turner, Dennis Coffey, McKinley Jackson, James Jamerson JR and Drew's old employers, The Four Tops

To make the album even more special Drew donated half of all the profits from the project to the music programmes in the Detroit Publics Schools so that the pupils could continue to create and celebrate classic soul.

On October 17th Drew takes his project to a new level by branching out nationally. The drummer will be releasing an A-and-B-side tribute single to Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions, with 50% of profits benefiting the Chicago Public Schools' music programmes. The single features The Impressions' lead singer Reginald Torian Sr, Lee Goodness of Curtis Mayfield's longtime touring band, and Cecil Jones from the Chicago Black Ensemble Theatre's production of 'The Story Of Curtis Mayfield.' (Cecil and Reggie are alongside Drew in our picture, above).

The single's A-side is a wistful mid-tempo groove called 'Please (Don't Give Up On Your Dreams)'. It starts with a children's' chorus before Reggie's fragile vocal soars while the lyric makes reference to several Mayfield classics. 'Waiting Game' is the official B side and it's another gentle piece of vintage soul with a poignant spoken passage. Both recall prime time Impressions and I'm sure dear Curtis would be proud of both and until that promised Impressions' Daptone album materialises this is the nearest to new Impressions' material you'll get.

Drew says of the single: "The music that Curtis Mayfield created continues to motivate, inspire, and encourage me every day. Hopefully this new single can help to carry on his positivity, and give a boost to the musical education of the Chicago's children."

Find out more at . 'Please (Don't Give Up On Your Dreams' b/w 'Waiting Game' will be available digitally through iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and more on October 17th, 2014.

Our site archive will give you access to an interview with Drew and a review of 'Back To Class'.


Last Updated on Thursday, 18 September 2014 19:05



Thursday, 18 September 2014 18:54 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

b_creweMulti hit-making songwriter BOB CREWE died on Thursday September 11th. He was 83. Crewe, best known for the songs he wrote with and for the Four Seasons, died in a nursing home in Maine. He'd been in poor health since a fall four years ago.

Born in 1930 in Newark, New Jersey, Crewe took up song writing in the 50s after quitting architecture school. Working with Bob Gaudio he enjoyed his biggest successes with the Four Seasons. (Pictured together, below) Indeed it was his 'Sherry' that provided the group with their first hit. Amongst his other Seasons' hits were, 'Silhouettes', 'Big Girls Don't Cry', 'Walk Like a Man', 'Rag Doll', 'Silence Is Golden', 'The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)', 'Can't Take My Eyes Off You', 'Bye, Bye, Baby', Let's Hang On!' and 'My Eyes Adored You'. Many of these were also successfully covered by groups like The Walker Brothers, the Tremeloes and The Bay City Rollers.

Bob Crewe also co-penned 'Lady Marmalade' with Kenny Nolan and wrote hits for many other artists including Lesley Gore, Michael Jackson, Roberta Flack, Peabo Bryson, Patti LaBelle, and his own Bob Crewe Generation.

During the 80s he took up painting and sculpture and was inducted the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The success of the musical 'The Jersey Boys' thrust him back into the limelight and until his passing, the Bob Crewe Foundation had donated 3 million dollars to the Maine College of Art.


Last Updated on Thursday, 18 September 2014 19:05



Tuesday, 16 September 2014 15:48 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

DANNY_TOEMAN_COVER_Over the last few years London-based blue-eyed soul man DANNY TOEMAN has been making a name for himself in and around the capital. His music's been a mainstay on some of the more discerning soul stations (even dear old Auntie BBC has played him out), there were two Danny T tunes on the video game, 'Rockband' and his 'When The Lights Go Down' has been heavily rotated on the Abercrombie and Fitch in-store playlist.

Danny is currently putting the finishing touches to his latest album- 'The Way It Seems' and it's prefaced by a double A sided single – 'That Sinking Feeling'/'Layin' It On The Line'. Both tunes are proper organic, retro grooves with hints of all the old soul greats that influenced crate digging Danny over the years. Musically, think Mayer Hawthorne meets James Hunter with an extra dose of quirkiness and a dash of Paperboy Reed.

Danny's PR people say he "combines the production values of Tamla Motown, the sincerity and passion of southern soul, and the funky showmanship of James Brown". Well, you can of course make up your own minds about that but on the evidence of these two tunes his music is fresh, vital, and organic and certainly pays a whole lot of respect to the aims and objectives of classic soul.

'The Way It Seems' is scheduled for release on Monday the 27th of October, 2014. Danny Toeman performs at Blues Fest UK at the Royal Albert Hall on the 28th of October.



Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 September 2014 15:55




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