Soul and Jazz and Funk Latest


Friday, 24 October 2014 13:41 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

TBC_Romantic_artwork_709sqrFor many, many years now British soul has been able to hold its head high with its US counterpart. Bands like Incognito and The Brand New Heavies enjoy a worldwide fan base while solo stars like JUNIOR GISCOMBE, OMAR, DON-E and NOEL McKOY have sold millions of records and are constantly in demand. Last year that trio, along with LEEE JOHN (of Imagination) joined forces on a key track on Don-E's 'Little Star' album. Tune in question was the quite lovely, ethereal 'Spiritual' – an album highlight... and its success encouraged the quartet to do it all over again.

Junior, Omar, Don-E, Noel and Leee recently went back to the studio and, using the umbrella name BRITISH COLLECTIVE, have collaborated on another wonderful piece of modern soul called 'Romantic'. The tune, a precursor to an eagerly-awaited album, is a tight, sharp groove with just a hint of New Jack Swing about it and, oddly for a super group maybe, it's a real team effort. The voices blend beautifully as if the boys have been singing together for a long, long time; there are no egos on show and none of the collective aspires to lead singer status!

You can probably guess that such a landmark recording comes in a number of mixes. The Radio Edit, obviously, highlights the best of the original track; the Booker T Klub mix and the Paris Cesvette remix take the tune into house territory; while the Romix tweak is bumpier and a bit more R&B. Old stagers (like me) might well prefer the So Sweet Mix which is ... well, "sweeter" and unless my ears deceive me there's a whiff of Michael Wycoff's 'I'll Be Looking Up To Up To You' about the insistent riff.

Whatever mix you go for, you'll get a proper British soul treat. Find out more @

Last Updated on Friday, 24 October 2014 13:47



Friday, 24 October 2014 13:39 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

diedrehollandDEIDRE HOLLAND – wife of writer/producer Brian Holland – died on Monday October 13th in Las Vegas. She was 62.

Deidre was born in Detroit in 1952 but moved to Nevada in 1994 and was a respected interior designer. Her husband, Brian, of course, was part of the great Holland-Dozier-Holland triumvirate that helped shape the Motown sound before moving onto their own projects – like Invictus Records.

Deidre and Brian had two sons – Brian Jr and Brandon and two granddaughters, Brooklyn and Dylan. The memorial service will he held tomorrow (Saturday) at Palm South Jones Mortuary in Las Vegas.



Friday, 24 October 2014 09:53 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

220px-Ted_GioiaAward-winning US jazz historian, critic and renowned author, TED GIOIA, has written a number of well-received and critically-lauded books on music, including West Coast Jazz, Delta Blues, A History Of Jazz and The Birth (And Death) Of The Cool. His latest tome is The Jazz Standards: A Guide To The Repertoire, published by Oxford University Press USA.

SJF's US correspondent John Wisniewski recently interviewed the 57-year-old author - who is also a teacher and a practicing jazz pianist and composer - about his most recent writing project...





Thursday, 23 October 2014 18:21 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

lost_gemsSoul collectors in general and Philly freaks in particular will be delighted to learn of a brand new archive release on indie Philadelphia label, SOUND GEMS. The label, set up in 1974 by Frank Fioravanti, is best known for the global hit 'Be Thankful For What You Got' by William DeVaughn, now, forty years after that iconic release, Sound Gems enters a new era with the issue of 'LOST SOUL GEMS' – an 11 track anthology of ultra rare 70s Philly recordings.

Two of the brightest "gems" in the collection come from the aforementioned William DeVaughn. Songs in question are a brace of sweet ballads, 'Staying Power' and 'Love Ballad Of The Year'. Both prove that there was much more to Mr DeVaughn that 'Be Thankful'.

Ballad fans will also love 'The First Time Baby, Is A Holiday' from Asia Luckey who channels a great Barbara Mason feeling and 'Breaking Up Again' from the Charmetts – a classic girl group sound. Amongst the more up-tempo items are 'Sweet Norma Jones' from Spice (very Jones Girls, this one), 'I Wanna Dance' – a rough, rustic item from the Al Brown Rhythm band and Cache-A -Lux's 'Get Wise' which takes its inspiration from Chic.

There's also a pair of classic Philly group sounds à la Intruders. They are 'Give Me Your Best Shot Baby' from Ebb Tide and Crystal Motion's 'You're My Main Squeeze' – possibly two of the best Philly recordings you've never heard!

Label boss, Fioravanti says that, "In their day some of these songs were sizeable hits. 'Give Me Your Best Shot Baby' in particular was big on the East Coast club scene and it will have the same effect on listeners today". Make up your own minds by investigating 'Lost Soul Gems' yourselves. The music is already available via I-tunes and wins full release on November 4th. Find out more @




Wednesday, 22 October 2014 19:16 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

prestonPRESTON SHANNON is a proper old school soul and blues man. Born in rural Mississippi, he moved to Memphis as a child and in the 70s he immersed himself in the city's musical culture finally landing a job touring in a band that supported Shirley Brown.

In 1991 Preston signed with Rounder Records for whom he released three albums – two of which were produced by Willie Mitchell and recorded in the iconic Royal Studios. Musically Mr Shannon's sound was a mix of blues and southern soul – a vein he continued to mine after a move to Title Tunes in 2006 and best manifested on his album 'Be With Me Tonight'.

Preston's most recent album is called 'Dust My Broom' which was recorded for the Dutch label Continental and from that long player, specialist label Soul Junction have lifted the carefree, groove-laden 'The Way I Love You' for release as a vinyl 45. Backed by the fabulously-named Fat Harry and the Fizzy Licks, Preston delivers a sound that many soul lovers fear has been lost. Not so, this tune is rough and rustic but full of energy, optimism and, yes, soul... check the great sax break too!

The B side is the more subtle 'Be With Me Tonight' – the title cut from the aforementioned Title Tunes album. This one's a lazy, soul roller that recalls the best of Malaco, the best of Tyrone Davis and the best of Johnnie Taylor... an understated gem.

Find out more @


Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 October 2014 19:20




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