Soul and Jazz and Funk Latest

HIGH HOPES....

Monday, 21 January 2019 20:09 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altThe ever-lovely PATTI AUSTIN needs no introduction here; just for us to say that we wish the lady cut more records these days!

Well the good news is that there's a brand new Ms Austin single on its way at the end of January; it's an intriguing and engaging cut called 'Hope Has Arrived' and it seems that the song is the title track for the forthcoming graphic novel and film 'Spirit of the Pharaoh' which is an action adventure romance across time with an ancient Egyptian theme.

Can't say too much about the book/movie but 'Hope Has Arrived' has an eclectic, even exotic air about it – matching, no doubt, the mood of the story .... Pharaohs, ancient spirits, aristocratic arms dealers and odd goings-on in the streets of modern London! Needless to say Patti nails the vocal with her usual aplomb and commitment. The tune will be available via DSG Records at the end of the month and there are two mixes courtesy of Nigel Lowis with the "Soulworld" tweak just shading the "Extraterrestrial" one!

Last Updated on Monday, 21 January 2019 20:14

 

STEPPIN’ OUT

Monday, 21 January 2019 20:06 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altEarlier this month we highlighted the latest album from STONE PAXTON – sometime member of Rick James's 'Stone City Band'. The long player 'In The Key Of Love' impressed right away and has shot right up to #5 on the UK soul album chart.

Cut that grabbed most of the attention, especially from the DJ's, was the potential floor filler, 'Steppin''... yes, a steppers' tune. So Stone and his people have decided to maximise interest by releasing 'Steppin'' as a single in its own right. A wise move... it's a great little head-nodding, foot-tapping groove that will keep dancers happy right through to Spring!

 

ROCK ON!

Sunday, 20 January 2019 14:42 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altThe great ROCKIE ROBBINS is a something of a modern soul legend. Savvy soul folk have been grooving to his sophisticated take on the soul idiom since the 70s when his three A&M long players were hugely sought after; then Rockie was off to MCA before doing the rounds of other sympathetic labels. Over in the UK and Europe, Expansion Records have issued various RR sides and several Expansion compilations have featured his cuts – most recently, of course, the 'Luxury Soul 2019' collection that features his 'I'll Always Love You'.

The press items that came with 'Luxury 2019' promised some new Robbins material and, right on cue, it's here... well almost! February 1st sees the Expansion release of a brand new double A sided single on Mr. R. The cuts are a pacey, busy, beaty 'Good Life' coupled with an equally pacey 'Let's Groove'. Methinks, it's this 'Let's Groove' that will win the hearts of the modern soul crowd. It's one of those wonderful cuts that somehow ticks all the boxes... I mean, you know why it's a winner but you just can't say exactly why!

More good news? Rockie will be coming to the UK in March to promote the single. He'll be playing the Camden Jazz Cafe on Sunday 10th March and we're told that the man will also be performing all his old favourites – stuff like 'You And Me' and 'Be Ever Wonderful'.

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 January 2019 14:48

 

SMOOTH SOUL....

Sunday, 20 January 2019 14:37 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altSMOOTH BLEND is a new soul duo from Atlanta, They are Ty Juan and Shawndella Roberts and the singer/songwriters are right now putting the finishing touches to their first album, intriguingly called 'Couples Therapy: Session 1' .... Yes sounds interesting.

You can get a therapy taster by investigating the lead single – a mid-tempo, catchy R&B groove called 'Moves'. Pleasing male/female vocal interplay and catchy melody might win 'Moves' plenty of airplay. You can investigate via your favourite download portal... it's out now.

 

ON THE ROAD AGAIN....

Saturday, 19 January 2019 15:01 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altThe redoubtable PAUL CARRACK has just embarked on his annual UK tour. It began last night (Friday 18 January) at Liverpool's majestic Philharmonic Hall and ends on 24th March at The Lowry in Salford. Full details @ www.paulcarrack.net

So what to expect at the concerts? Well the Liverpool show set the bar high. Paul offered his usual excellent, slick and crowd-pleasing performance that mixed songs from his latest album 'These Days' alongside a welter of old favourites and, naturally, his "signature" songs – 'Over Your Shoulder' (saved for the encore), 'The Living Years' and 'How Long'. Gerry and the Pacemakers' 60s classic 'Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying' has now also become a mainstay at Carrack shows and here he delivered the song with the soulful tenderness that it demands. The performance was the more poignant given that the song's creator (Gerry Marsden) was in the packed audience. Paul considers 'Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying' as the perfect pop song and he acknowledged the debt he owes to the whole 60s Mersyebeat thing – a theme he developed during a concert innovation – a short acoustic section. Accompanied by his own guitar, a pared down drum kit and an upright bass, Paul offered intimate versions of five songs including a wonderful take on the Searchers' 'When You Walk In The Room'.

The formal set's rousing closer was the aforementioned Ace song which instantly brought the whole audience to their feet. The two song encore comprised 'Over Your Shoulder' and a moving and convincing version of Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On' - a song just as relevant now as when the Four Top's Renaldo Benson conceived it back in 1970.

You'll find a full review of Paul Carrack's 'These Days' in our reviews archive while there's a full interview with the man in our interviews section.

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 January 2019 15:07

 

    

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