Soul and Jazz and Funk Latest


Monday, 30 May 2016 09:55 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

Alan_light_nina_bookIt only came to light recently that Nina Simone suffered from bipolar disorder, which for those that knew or worked with the singer, went some way, perhaps, to explaining her abrupt and inexplicable mood swings and seeming emotional instability. Indeed, Simone, is generally perceived as a deeply troubled and volatile character who was not only fighting against the racism and sexism that confronted her every day as she strove to forge a singing career but also battling with her own inner demons. Appearing imperiously strong one moment and yet vulnerable and helpless the next, she was defined, it seems, by contradictions.

She was, then, a complex character and though she died thirteen years ago, her music and life continues to exert a fascination for the public. Her life has been the subject of three films recently - one is a movie called Nina with Zoe Saldana cast as the singer - which has engendered controversy due to its casting and purported inaccuracies - while the other two, What Happened, Miss Simone?, and The Amazing Nina Simone, are both documentaries. Following in the wake of those comes a new biography of the North Carolina singer by Alan Light, whose book, What Happened, Miss Simone? A Biography is a tie-in with the recent acclaimed documentary of the same name.

The author, who's also written books on Prince and Motown, recently talked about his latest project with SJF's US writer, John Wisniewski...


Last Updated on Monday, 30 May 2016 10:07



Friday, 27 May 2016 13:56 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

1deep'The Present' is one of two new cuts from DEEP TENOR CITY the production duo comprised of DAN STILLIT and OLI SAVILL. They won loads of friends last year with their ultra percussive 'Oba' which, especially in its Opolopo remix was a real floor filler.

'The Present' offers more of the same exotic dance flavours –fuelled by insistent yet gentle percussive work and Herbie Mann style flute. The cut is a collaboration with Bronx-based Tribal Winds main man, Antonio Ocasio. and features spoken word from NYC's Ricoh Scott and London's Maria-Julia Nunez. To keep the feet moving and the heads nodding there's additional percussion from Jose Claussell.

The team's other new tune is the equally infectious, loping bass-fired 'Fireheart and like 'The Present' is out right now on bbe Records!



Friday, 27 May 2016 13:39 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

1mattIf jazz is meant to move boundaries and offer "newness", then self-proclaimed "alternative jazz alchemist", MATT VON RODERICK fits the bill. Roderick is a jazz trumpeter with a penchant for rapping and rock and his debut album, 'Hero's Journey' fuses those three elements into what he describes as "larger than life tales of burning love, spiritual hunger, raucous rebellion and realizing dreams".

Featuring eerie trumpet, otherworldly rapping, gurgling synths and kinetic beats, the 12 tracker isn't an easy listen, but you've probably guessed that by now.But amid the madness and mayhem there's a real oddity... the sets' big cover, Matt's version of 'What A Wonderful World'. Not sure what Louis Armstrong would make of it!

Last Updated on Friday, 27 May 2016 13:42



Friday, 27 May 2016 13:17 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

600x600'My Name Is Mark' is the new album from singer/songwriter/keyboardist MARK BITTLER.

Classically trained as a child, Mark turned to jazz in his teens and was fronting his own rock n roll band aged just 14 and by 17 he had his own radio show – interviewing amongst others Ray Charles!

For the past ten years Mr B has been part of West Coast funk band, Bump Kitchen but for his latest outing it's his name alone that's on the titling!

Released on Maurice the Fish Records, Mark describes 'My Name Is Mark 'as "a smorgasbord of all things funky" and yes, there's plenty of funk in the grooves like 'Everybody Get Up' and 'JB 2.20' – both recalling the classic funk of bands like the Meters, while stuff like the quirky title cut is more out of the George Clinton bag! Amidst all this mayhem there are some quieter moments like the gentle 'Paradise' –a classic, synth-led pop ballad.

Helping Mark deliver his menu is U.K. vocalist Franke Pharoah and bassist Marc Miller (former bassist with Edgar Winter).

Find out more @

Last Updated on Friday, 27 May 2016 13:21


HIGHER ELEVATION - The S E L Interview...

Friday, 27 May 2016 10:16 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

ElevationsleeveS.EEMMA LOUISE HARRIS is a North London soul singer but she's known to the soul cognoscenti as S E L (Soulful Emma Louise.... geddit?). Those same soul cognoscenti are predicting that by the end of the year S E L will be out there, known and recognised in the mainstream. The evidence? Well, it's there on a recently released EP – simply titled 'UK Soul EP', and the lead tune, a shuffling 'Elevation' is winning plenty of airplay and filling lots of DJ boxes. The cut has just a hint of Soul II Soul about it, hardly surprising since S E L is currently working with Jazzie B and his Soul II Soul review. With such a buzz about Emma, we felt it was about time we found out more. After tracking her down we started, logically, by asking how she got into the crazy world of soul music in the first place....

My dad was a soul music lover and you could always hear Curtis Mayfield, Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye playing in our house. I fell in love with Luther's voice when I first heard it. Having said that, the first time I really heard Soul music that spoke to my soul. The first time I knew it was going to be a major part of my life...Well, when I heard Soul II Soul's 'Back to Life'. I was glued to Caron Wheeler's voice and I loved the whole flava! They were not afraid to be different, which is what I loved about them. Plus, it was the first time I heard soul music that I could relate to as a black British person - It was very British!

You've called your new release 'UK Soul EP" ... why?

I decided on 'UK Soul' because I wanted the listeners to know what to expect from the EP...taking that authentic UK Soul sound back to its grass roots.

Last Updated on Friday, 27 May 2016 10:26


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