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MICHAEL WYCOFF DIES....

Friday, 15 March 2019 12:54 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altSinger/writer/keyboardist MICHAEL WYCOFF died on Wednesday 13th March. Michael was 63 and he passed away as a result of pancreatic cancer. Michael, of course, will always be remembered for his hit 'Looking Up To You'.

Born in Torrance, California, Michael worked out of LA. As a youngster he was part of the gospel choir that featured on Stevie Wonder's 'Songs In the Key Of Like' album. Subsequently, he was chiefly active as a solo singer in the early 80s. It was his second solo album, 'Love Conquers All' that featured 'Looking Up To You' (sampled later, you'll remember by Zhane on 'Hey Mr DJ').

In the later 80s Michael was beset by addiction problems but he turned himself around via his commitment to the church. He eventually became Minister of Music at several Los Angeles area churches.

Last Updated on Friday, 15 March 2019 13:01

 

WEATHER REPORT...

Wednesday, 13 March 2019 19:48 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altTrumpeter FARNELL NEWTON is one of soul and jazz's unsung heroes. Now based in Portland, Oregon and a renowned music educator, he's played with big names across all kinds of genres, most notably Jill Scott, Bootsy Collins, Lalah Hathaway, Ron Isley, R. Kelly, Cee Lo Green, Fantasia, Gladys Knight, Charlie Wilson, Chaka Khan, Najee, Will Downing, Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind and Fire and more recently Jarrod Lawson.

Right now though Mr N is busy promoting his latest solo outing '7 Days Of Rain'. He tells us that he knows all about rain... Portland gets 43 inches of rain on average in a year and 154 rainy days per year. So the album is a kind of homage – we might even say a "concept" album - to the wet stuff!

You see the album has just seven tracks – with 6 named for each day of the week and all the tunes in different ways perfectly capture the mood of gentle rainy days – lazy and laconic with lashings of rain effects behind Farnell's emotive horn. The "odd" tune is a lovely, clever and laid-back treatment of Bobby Hebb's 'Sunny'. Ironically it opens the rain drenched long player and though you've heard dozens of covers of 'Sunny' I heartily recommend this version to you. Umbrellas at the ready.

The band on the album, by the way, is Farnell Newton (trumpet and bass), Jason Fabus (Alto Saxophone), B. Lee aka BrandonLee (Tenor Saxophone), Tristan Burns, (Tenor Saxophone) and Mané Fernandes (Guitar) and '7 Days Of Rain' is available now on Farnell's LofiJazzSoul label.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 March 2019 19:55

 

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE?

Wednesday, 13 March 2019 19:41 BILL B E-mailPrintPDF

altFollowers of UK soul/jazz guitar maestro DAVE MASCALL will be familiar with his tune, 'What You Want To Be'. The jazzy, housey tune featured on his very first 'Acid Lounge' album and recently he resurrected it on his last long player – 'Acid Lounge 5' (see our reviews archive). Dave clearly likes its vibe and to make his point he's released it as a single in a new, faster 123bpm Franklin D mix. As you can imagine it really zips along but has lost nothing of its jazz feel while Julia Quinn's vocal remains upfront. It's available now via Dave's web site.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 March 2019 19:55

 

HEAVEN SENT

Tuesday, 12 March 2019 20:38 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altHere in the UK we first became enamoured with RAHSAAN PATTERSON back in 1997 when his song 'Don't Wanna Loose It' was everywhere. Since then he's rarely delivered a dud; however, it's sadly been a long time since we heard new music from him. That's about to change as Mr P gears up to release a new long player..... 'Heroes and Gods' due May 17th on Shanachie Records.

To whet our soul appetites, the first single has just been released –a gorgeous, lazy 'Sent From Heaven' on which Rahsaan's buttery smooth vocal meanders alongside sweet muted horns. Quiet Storm... Blue Light In The Basement....? Call it what you will. Just to say it's every bit as lovely as that '97 winner 'Don't Wanna Loose It' and it augers well for the parent album.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 March 2019 20:53

 

KISS AND TELL....

Tuesday, 12 March 2019 20:34 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altOver the past few years North East soul outfit SOULUTIONS (essentially Steve Lee and Louise Meehan) have made quite a name for themselves with their unique take on sweet, poppy ,Brit dance floor soul and their latest single will do no harm at all to their reputation.

Tune in question is an infectious, sparse 'Who's Been Kissing You' that already tops many of the credible European soul charts. If you know Soulutions' work you'll agree that it's "typically them" – down to the soundscape crafted by Steve running under Louise's distinctive vocals. If you don't know their sound... well, it's just what we said - sweet, poppy, Brit dance floor soul.

The song is good to download right now and there's also a CD with 4 mixes of the song on it. Label is Festival Park and the first 100 copies, we're told, will be signed by Steve and Louise. The band's web site will furnish the details.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 March 2019 20:54

 

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