Monday, 14 January 2019 15:18 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altBrooklyn-born soulstress NICOLE WILLIS is something of a veteran.... she's been in the biz for over 30 years! In that time her feisty and funky albums like 'Tortured Soul' and 'Happiness In Every Style' have garnered her plenty of followers.

For her newest recording she's put together a tight, new, little band - Banda Palomita. The group is comprised of Ndioba Gueye (electric bass), Julius Heikkilä (guitars), Antti Kujanpää (keyboards, synths, sequencer), Ilari Larjosto (drums, engineer, producer) and Luiz Orlando Sá Do Carmo (percussion). Their mission statement is to create disco-flavoured soul and funk for the contemporary dance-floor.

See if they've succeeded by investigating their latest single.... 'I Call Your Name'. The infectious electro-funk mover is out now and heralds an upcoming album... 'My Soul Sensation'. We're told the long player recreates the flavours of people like Rod Temperton, Bobby Caldwell & Maurice White. We'll reserve judgment on that till we've had a good listen; in the meantime we can recommend 'I Call Your Name' – it's out now on Persephone Records.



Sunday, 13 January 2019 16:12 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altFor many years trumpeter WILLIE BRADLEY was a mainstay in the James Brown band; since the passing of the Godfather he's carried on supporting many top names – including, in 2017, Gerald Alston with whom he recorded the smooth and soulful 'In The Meantime' – the focus cut on Bradley's album 'Going With The Flow'... the smooth sound of which was very different to the hard funk of the Brown band.

We're told that there's more of the same soul based smooth jazz on Mr B's upcoming long player – 'It's My Time' from which the first single, 'Life On top' has just won release.... a classy slice of danceable smooth jazz.

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 January 2019 16:25



Sunday, 13 January 2019 16:09 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altOver the last 18 months or so Whitfield Batson has won plenty of friends with is easy-on-the-ear take on pop/soul. Not surprising, the London born singer who was brought in Barbados has a long and successful background in the music biz. He's worked in music management and written songs for people like Glen Goldsmith. On his own recordings he's delivered simple and sweet pop/soul... he clearly knows what mainstream radio is likely to programme.

Whitfield's latest single treads that same path. His 'Feeling The Love' is an undemanding but very pleasant soul cut that wins release via Tunecore at the back end of next week.



Friday, 11 January 2019 16:37 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

alt2019 has begun with the passing of two soul stalwarts – CLYDIE KING and LARRY CUNNINGHAM.

Ms King died on Wednesday, 9th January; she was 75. She was born in Atlanta in 1943 and began her singing career in her own group Little Clydie and the Teens. She was then recruited into the Raelets by Ray Charles but after three years she defected to work with Phil Spector on his classic recordings. Clydie soon became an in-demand session singer working with all kinds of people across all kinds of genres. Amongst the artists she worked with are Humble Pie, The Rolling Stones, Neil Diamond, B.B. King, Steely Dan, Joe Cocker, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Barbra Streisand and even Lynyrd Skynyrd. In a 1971 interview she said; "I don't remember all the people who I sung for," while Dylan said: "She was my ultimate singing partner. No one ever came close. We were two soulmates."

Clydie King also enjoyed her own solo career. Amongst the labels she recorded for were Specialty, Philips, Imperial and Minit. Her biggest solo success was 1971's 'Bout Love' but many of her solo recordings like the lovely 'Love Now Pay Later' are revered on the rare soul scene. Proper soul fans also cherish her duets with Jimmy Holiday – 'We Got A Good Thing Going' and 'Ready, Willing And Able'.

It's reported that King stopped recording in recent years to deal with unspecified health issues, The singer Merry Clayton (with whom Clydie often worked) said "She didn't take any crap. She knew how to put you in your place, but she was so sweet you didn't know you were there until a week later."

alt"Cancer and my name is Larry, And I like a woman that loves everything and everybody, Because I love everybody and everything" is the verse that LARRY CUNNINGHAM took on the 1977 smash 'Float On' by the Floaters. Sadly Larry died, yesterday, Thursday 10th January; he was aged 67. An original member of the Floaters, Larry was born in Detroit in 1953 and he'd reportedly been suffering from health problems for years and was hospitalized in Tucson with chest pains in December.

'Float On' was a UK no 1 and reached no 2 in the US charts and was the group's only major success though in their career they recorded four albums – all now, of course, collectable.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 January 2019 16:48



Thursday, 10 January 2019 18:44 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altThe music biz has started 2019 with a series of high profile legal cases... like the recent Ed Sheeran/'Let's Get It On' dispute. Now singer R Kelly has found himself centre stage again as Lady Gaga has openly apologised for working with him, and vowed to remove their duet, 'Do What U Want', from streaming services.

Her decision comes after the broadcast of a new documentary about Kelly, 'Surviving R Kelly', which detailed allegations of sexual and physical abuse against women and underage girls, spanning several decades. Kelly has denied all the allegations but Gaga called the stories "horrifying" and "indefensible", adding: "I stand behind these women 1000%".

Meanwhile, the documentary has prompted fresh investigations into R Kelly in Chicago and Atlanta. At a press conference on Tuesday, Chicago state attorney Kimberly Foxx urged anyone with information to come forward.

In a completely different story Michael Jackson's estate has criticised a documentary alleging the late singer sexually abused children. The film 'Leaving Neverland' will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this month and includes interviews with two alleged victims of Jackson. Representatives for Jackson's estate have responded in a statement: "This is yet another lurid production in an outrageous and pathetic attempt to exploit and cash in on Michael Jackson."


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