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SOUL 4 REAL... FOR REAL

Friday, 22 November 2019 19:45 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altSOUL 4 REAL is a bijou indie soul label that specialises in reissuing quality soul on 7" vinyl. Their latest release pairs two classic CALVIN RICHARDSON tracks... 'I´ll Take Her' and 'Looks Like (You´ve Been Crying)' Nowadays, Richardson is best known for his work with Shanachie Records... in fact his latest Shanachie album, 'Gold Dust' has just been released. But he debuted back in 1999 with the acclaimed 'Country Boy' and it's from those long players that these two tracks have been lifted. The sound is gritty, authentic soul and it's clear how much Richardson revered Bobby Womack (and by extension, Sam Cooke). Hear that most clearly on 'I'll Take Her' while 'Looks Like (You've Been Crying)' is a beautiful, melodic gem.

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Amongst Soul 4 Real's other offerings are two discs from Jimmy Gresham. Gresham is a veteran southern soul man (now 85 we believe) and his offerings date back to the early 70s and their provenance is the Playground Studios in Florida and produced by Finley Duncan. Jimmy at one time recorded for Decca and Teri-De and was also a member of the The New Yorkers and The Groovers, but the four songs on these two Soul 4 Real records are some of his most sought after work. First up there's 'Garden Of Love' / 'Love Symphony'. The first is a classic mid tempo southern soul; the latter has rougher, tougher edge. The second Gresham 45 pairs 'Shadow Of A Doubt' / 'Chasin´A Rainbow'. 'Shadow...' is proper Southern soul (penned by sometime Motown staffer Reuben Howell while 'Rainbow' is another rough hewn item.

We'll be focusing on more Soul 4 Real releases in the coming weeks. In the meantime, find out more @ www.soul4real.esalt

 

GETTIN’ FOXY!

Friday, 22 November 2019 19:40 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altLatest release from Detroit's KATHY KOSINS is another collaboration with OPOLOPO (remember their lovely 'Voodoo (Winter in Miami)' from last year?). Their new single is an intriguing, bumpy, burbling cover of Jimi Hendrix's 'Foxy Lady'... and it's a, proper "reimagination" as Mr O like to call his work these days!

 

ON DAYS LIKE THESE....

Friday, 22 November 2019 19:34 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altTROY ROBERTS is a three-time Grammy nominated Australian saxophonist and composer who now works in and around New York City. He's just released his eleventh release as a leader... 'Days Like These'. The 8 tracker, though, marks a milestone in Troy's career. It's the first release on his own, new label, Toy Robot Music.

Though on 'Days Like These' Robert's name is out front, it's a collaborative effort featuring organist Joey DeFrancesco and drummer Jeff 'Tain' Watts. The trio have history. Roberts has enjoyed being a regular member of DeFrancesco's band for four years and worked with the organ grinder on two recent Van Morrison albums ... 'The Prophet Speaks' (2018) and 'You're Driving Me Crazy' (2018). Roberts has also been a member of the Jeff 'Tain' Watts Quartet and the synergy between the three is obvious on each epic workout (the shortest track clock in at almost seven minutes!) as Roberts allows the players to stretch out. Amongst those other players are pianist/organist Emmet Cohen, who appears on five tracks.

'Days Like These' is a swinging affair and the presence of Joey DeFrancesco gives a flavour of 60s soul jazz to proceedings... it's out now.

 

FOR WHATEVER IT’S WORTH....

Thursday, 21 November 2019 19:39 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altAussie soul man LANCE FERGUSON is a busy boy! I've lost track of the projects the Bamboos' front man throws himself into! His latest baby is a new reissue label... Pacific Theatre Encore which debuts with a 1968 Australian soul jazz classic album from COL NOLAN & THE SOUL SYNDICATE. Through the swinging 60s Nolan led the in-house band at one of the most famous night spots in the Land of Oz... The Whiskey A Go Go, on William St, Kings Cross, Sydney. That band numbered Nolan on Hammond organ, drummer / percussionist John Sangster, Col Loughnan on sax and flute, John Allan on bass and "Diamond" Jimmy Doyle on guitar. This "THE SOUL SYNDICATE" drew its inspiration from people like Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff and Brother Jack McDuff and their late 60s/early 70s albums are highly-sought after vinyl artefacts for DJs, record diggers and collectors alike. Their rarest LP is 1968's 'Whatever It's Worth' and that's the album that marks the debut release for Pacific Theatre Encore.

'Whatever It's Worth' is a ten tracker and it's been meticulously restored from the audio, taken from a vinyl copy of the album, which was then remastered by Steve Smith at Studio 301. Like all great soul/jazz albums of the 60s the repertoire is a loving mix of covers and cool originals. Amongst the covers is a version of 'Got My Mojo Workin'' which, of course, was also recorded by Jimmy Smith. This new 'Mojo', unlike Smith's, is sans vocals. The biggest vocal on the album is 'By The Time I Get To Phoenix' (an epic 8 minutes plus and watch for the wild, psychedelic ending). Listen up too to a great 'Sunny'... the Bobby Hebb tune was a soul/jazz perennial.

Sadly, reedsman Col Loughnan is the sole surviving player on the album, and he gives invaluable insights to the reissue's liner notes, and it's the first time he's had a chance to hear the album since misplacing his only copy decades ago! He says: "With the fusion of Jazz, Rock, R&B and Soul music becoming a trend in Australia in the late 60's" he recalls, "Sydney's Kings Cross was alive with numerous music venues, featuring great bands playing seven nights a week into the early hours of the morning. The Whiskey A Go Go was one of the busiest clubs of that time and was a residency for Col Nolan's group The Soul Syndicate. It was also a great opportunity for the band to break in new material night after night, much of it was recorded on the album 'Whatever It's Worth'."

Though 'Whatever It's Worth' is Australian through and through it holds its own against any Hammond-led set on say Prestige or Blue Note and for those who collect singles, two originals, 'Shades Of McSoul" and the album's title, track are available on a limited 7" single.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 November 2019 19:48

 

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY….

Thursday, 21 November 2019 19:34 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altThe intriguingly titled album, 'The Last Bohemians' is a new collaborative release from renowned UK vocalist DAVID MCALMONT and the distinguished songwriter, arranger and pianist ALEX WEBB.

McAlmont, of course, needs little introduction. With a unique voice, he won multitudes of admirers via his work as one half of McAlmont & Butler (alongside Suede guitarist, songwriter and producer Bernard Butler). Webb is a songwriter and musician with a huge range of experience and this new recording marks McAlmont's first major recorded work for over a decade and sees him going deeper into jazz vocal territory offering a selection of imaginative covers and plenty of original material. Sidemen on the album include Tony Kofi (soprano, alto & tenor saxes) and Andy Davies (trumpet, flugelhorn).

Of the covers, the most striking is the eerie take on the Beatles' 'I'm so Tired' (from the band's legendary 'White Album'). There's a Suede song too – the jaunty 'The Wild Ones'.

The duo describe the album as "a love letter to the jazz life" and the set never fails to intrigue and engage... reference point?... maybe a Jimmy Scott album for the 21st century!

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 November 2019 19:48

 

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