Sunday, 22 April 2018 14:43 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altSinger/songwriter JON ALLEN releases his fourth album, 'Blue Flame' on May 18th. The long player is the Winchester-born singer's follow up to his 2014 set 'Deep River' which was a BBC Radio 2 "album of the week."

Jon describes the new 11 tracker as take on the classic soul sound of people like Bill Withers and Bobby Womack. He says: "I have always liked how people like Withers and Womack were able to combine folk music elements like acoustic guitar and make it sound so soulful and funky... so for 'Blue Flame, I decided to have my cake and eat it".

Soul-wise, Jon Allen has good form. His 2009 album collaboration with Tristan Longworth, 'The Third Degree' was a collection of well-known female-fronted pop songs presented in classic 60s soul style. The album so impressed a certain Marshall Chess (yes, of the Chess family) that he released it on his own Rolling Stone label.

'Blue Flame' continues Allen's blue-eyed soul progression well illustrated by the bluesy, Southern flavoured titled track. 'Stay' is another album highlight.... lighter and optimistic, it features some sweet 60's Chicago style brass (a touch of the 'Soulful Struts') and has all the potential to be a radio hit and a blue-eyed soul classic. It would make a great 45, but the album's leadoff single is the jazzy 'Jonah's Whale' which might remind you just a little of Van Morrison's 'Moondance'. It's full of that classic's optimism and as the singer opines "The world maybe going down the tubes but I'm in love and everything's fine...."

And speaking of "going down the tubes", 'Blue Flame actually offers an ode to Donald J Trump..... 'It's Just The End Of The World". This is a jaunty side swipe at the man with the comb-over and despite our misgivings, it does (like everything on the album) offer a degree of optimism.

Jon Allen's 'Blue Flame' (released on Monologue Records on May 18th) comes hugely recommended. I doubt we'll get a better blue-eyed soul tune than 'Stay' all year while 'Since You Went Away' is a killer ballad. If Van's your man and blue-eyed soul's your thing you really should investigate.


Last Updated on Sunday, 22 April 2018 14:54



Sunday, 22 April 2018 14:39 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altThe soul cognoscenti know all about DEE MAJEK. Over the years the UK based soul entrepreneur has put out some fine modern soul both under his own name and his alter ego KEJAM. Through 2015 and 2016 his music was everywhere – most notable his still lovely Terry Harris-vocalised 'Diamonds'.

Right now Dee is immersed in his latest album.... 'Kejam -More Majek' – due September, though he's also promised an EP or two before that.

As a taster, busy Dee's just released a single, 'Calmer'. It's a kinda soulful house mix of song that's to be featured on the aforementioned long player. The soulful vocal comes courtesy of long-time Kejam muse Lisa Taylor and Pat Bedeau is at the mixing desk giving a "Bedfunk" tweak to proceedings.

Kejam's 'Calmer' (Bedfunk mix) is out now via your usual portal.



Friday, 20 April 2018 07:17 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

                                      altAfter all the hullaballoo surrounding the announcement of a rare UK tour scheduled for June 2018 by Motown legend, LAMONT DOZIER, the singer/songwriter has announced that due to health reasons (which haven't been disclosed) he won't be coming here after all. While this development is profoundly disappointing for soul fans, the good news is that Lamont has rescheduled his tour for next year, in February 2019.

Via his concert promoter, AGMP, Lamont gave a written explanation:

"To my friends and fans, I regret that I have to postpone my trip to the UK and my performances this coming June due to medical advice. I was very much looking forward to being there with you all, and giving you my best.

 Please accept my humblest apology, as I work on getting my health back to where it needs to be, and will look forward to seeing you at the rescheduled dates. With love and respect, Lamont."

Last Updated on Sunday, 22 April 2018 13:14



Monday, 16 April 2018 18:36 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF


With only two weeks to go until 2018's Jazz FM Awards, which will be held at Shoreditch Town Hall on Monday April 30th, it's been announced that two jazz icons - UK vocal legend Dame CLEO LAINE, and US guitar virtuoso and multi-Grammy winner, GEORGE BENSON -  will both be honoured at the ceremony. Dame Cleo will be the recipient of a PPL Lifetime Achievement Award while George Benson will pick up the Impact Award gong.

Commenting on her award, Dame Cleo said: “It is an incredible honour to be the recipient of this year’s PPL Lifetime Achievement Award. Jazz continues to amaze me every day and I feel privileged to have been able to spend my life performing around the world and sharing music with many wonderful people. Thank you very much to Jazz FM for recognizing my work.”

Much-admired US jazz singer, Cecile McLorin Salvant, who's been nominated in two categories -  International Jazz Artist of the Year and Album of the Year - is set to perform on the night,  accompanied by the Jazz FM House Band led by UK pianist and recent Sony Music-signing,  Ashley Henry.



Last Updated on Friday, 20 April 2018 08:22



Friday, 13 April 2018 13:44 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF


London's Putney-based soul, jazz, and funk specialists, SOUL BROTHER RECORDS, are celebrating Record Store Day (on Saturday 21st April) with a couple of limited editon releases via their own label.

They're reissuing JARROD LAWSON'S self-titled debut album from 2014 on vinyl for the first time and are also pressing up an exclusive 45 of Mary Clark's cult track, 'Take Me I'm Yours.'

For these and other special Record Store Day delights, go to:

Last Updated on Friday, 13 April 2018 13:56


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