Friday, 25 June 2010 10:43 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF


youngbloodIn a relatively short space of time PHIL DRIVER'S Cambridgeshire- based Soul Unsigned label has made huge advances. They began issuing EPs on unsigned, indie soul artists; then moved to full albums. After that came critically-acclaimed CDs of music from more established indie soulsters and more recently PHIL has allowed some top DJs to compile alums for the label. Now SOUL UNSIGNED is about to take another giant stride when it releases its first full single artist album. Said artist is CHRIS YOUNGBLOOD and the album's called 'In Love With You'. The set's title cut has already appeared on a Soul Unsigned compilation album. It's smoothly soulful - totally contemporary but with its feet, respectfully in the past. We needed to find out more about the honeyed-voiced MR. YOUNGBLOOD so we tracked him down to his Los Angeles home, where we began by asking him to fill us in on his background....


DIVINE INSPIRATION: jazz legend JOHN McLAUGHLIN talks about his new album, 'To The One.'

Tuesday, 01 June 2010 07:43 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

DIVINE INSPIRATION: jazz legend JOHN McLAUGHLIN talks about his new album, 'To The One.'

In January 1969, JOHN McLAUGHLIN - an unknown Yorkshire-born jazz guitarist who had been eking a living as a session player in London and played alongside the likes of Georgie Fame and Brian Auger - travelled to New York ostensibly to join the group Lifetime, formed by Miles Davis's departing drummer, Tony Williams. After the group's first rehearsal, he accompanied Williams to Miles Davis's house (Williams had gone to pick up his pay from Miles) and ended up being asked by the legendary trumpeter to join him in the studio the next day. That session resulted in the classic Davis album 'In A Silent Way' - a landmark record that paved the way for jazz-rock fusion - and which catapulted McLaughlin into jazz's premier league.
In 1972, McLaughlin formed his own group, the pioneering jazz-rock behemoth, Mahavishnu Orchestra, in tandem with powerhouse drummer Billy Cobham and in 1975, after the group broke up McLaughlin went in a wholly different direction when he formed the acoustic group, Shakti, which fused jazz with Indian music. Since that time, the guitar virtuoso - how now lives in the south of France - has issued a raft of albums under his own name that marry a quest for spiritual enlightenment with music. His latest album, 'To The One,' follows on from his role in the Five Peace Band project with Chick Corea and was recorded with his group The Fourth Dimension (its members are keyboardist Gary Husband, bassist Etienne M'Bappe and drummer Mark Mondesir) and recently, the 68-year-old guitarist took time out from his busy touring schedule to talk to www.soulandjazzandfunk's Charles Waring about his new album.



Thursday, 27 May 2010 14:30 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF


In a few short years, North West-based SOULCHOONZ has established itself as a major player on the UK modern soul scene. The company is also having a big impact Stateside, where head honcho DI LEE has been working with the legendary TONY CAMILLO on a number of exciting projects. We felt it was time to catch up with Ms LEE to find out more ... but we started by asking her what exactly Soulchoonz is. Is it a record label, a promotion company, a production company, a web-based music magazine or a radio programme maker?

"Soulchoonz is all of the above ... we're a passionate company that supports soul music from around the world (we have worked with artists from countries including; USA, Canada, UK, Sweden, Spain, France, Germany and Australia) with all these activities to get the artists know and the choonz out there!"



Monday, 24 May 2010 07:08 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF


US sax star MINDI ABAIR releases her latest album - 'In Hi Fi Stereo' - in June. The Florida-raised, LA-based jazzer has used the album to re-visit the music that was such a big influence on her back in the day - specifically, the soul sounds and funk grooves of the 60s and 70s. Investigation reveals a feel good album with a big, happy vibe and though the 60s and 70s provide the launch pad for the album, the music it totally contemporary. Intrigued, wanted to know more, so we hooked up with MINDI on her recent visit to London and soon we were learning about her background and influences.....

"I grew up on the road with my father's band, the Entertainers. They played a kind of blue-eyed soul. I grew up in Florida and I was really into music - everything from R&B to the Rolling Stones and even the Police! I played in the school band but didn't really find out what jazz was till High School. At college I started to listen to Wayne Shorter, Cannonball Adderley, David Sanborn and Miles Davis. I ended up at Berklee College of Music in Boston where I took my degree but most of all I remember my sax teacher telling me to start my own band and never try to be someone else. I moved out to Los Angeles and spent nearly ten years doing all kinds of things. I played on the road with people like the Backstreet Boys, Bobby Lyle and Jonathan Butler and when times were hard I even busked on the street... down on 3rd. Street Promenade. I made my first album in 1999... It was a kind of pop vocal thing... from there my recordings became more instrumental and I eventually ended up signing with Verve, though now, of course, I'm signed to Heads Up... the label for the new album."



Friday, 14 May 2010 13:05 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF


One of 2010's best soul albums so far has been 'Come And Get It' from Boston's ELI 'PAPERBOY' REED. The music's passion and commitment has found favour right across the spectrum from died-in-the-wool soul anoraks right through to straight-down-the-middle Radio 2 listeners. Indeed the album was "Record Of The Week" on the station - quite an accolade for music that was also being played in underground, esoteric soul clubs. ELI has just finished a long UK tour and we just had to speak with him. We began with the obvious question about that "paperboy" nickname...

"Well, my grandfather, back in Boston, used to always wear what we in the US call a paperboy hat.... I'd wear it too and was given that nickname at an early age and it kinda stuck and I've never thought of dropping it...."


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