Tuesday, 12 March 2019 20:30 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altLast autumn we enthused about a sweet n lovely long player from the equally sweet n lovely LYNNE FIDDMONT. 'Power Of Love' was (indeed is) a classy, sophisticated soul affair that showed the experience and artistry that Lynne has honed over her many years as one of the US's top session and background singers.

The album boasted many wonderful cuts – like a cover of Lou Rawls' 'Groovy People'. Another key track was Lynne's take on Minnie Riperton's 'Memory Lane'. Well, that very track has just been released as a new single and it comes highly recommended. Ms. F doesn't put a foot wrong – staying faithful to the original yet still managing to put her own spin on proceedings.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 March 2019 20:54



Sunday, 10 March 2019 15:59 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altAustralian singer CAITI BAKER zoomed into our consciousness last October with her album, 'Zinc'. A bluesy, rocky affair, it wasn't everyone's cup of soul tea but one track, the Amy Winehouse-flavoured 'Could It Be Nerves' won some support. Another of the album's key cuts was 'Over The Horizon' which has just won release as a single on a "North Street" mix – edgy and atmospheric; like the parent album, not classic soul but intriguing and interesting.

Last Updated on Sunday, 10 March 2019 18:53



Sunday, 10 March 2019 15:49 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altLatest release from one-time three times Apollo amateur night winner, TIFFANY BYNOE is an interesting EP that offers a selection of takes on the old O'Jays/Jackie Moore dancer 'This Time'. The disc has no less than five mixes of the song – with the house mix already getting lots of support in the Stateside clubs. Another house mix of the song – this time from 2016 from DAVID ANTHONY and LISA MILLET - was also a big club hit... just shows you can't keep a good tune down!

Interestingly for a big dance number, here, Ms Bynoe also offers a slowed down tweak of the song which she's called "the classic soul mix". In my humble submission, m'lord, it's more contemporary R&B than "classic soul" – the kind of thing that Toni Braxton used to do so well. The 'This Time' EP is out now.

Last Updated on Sunday, 10 March 2019 18:54



Saturday, 09 March 2019 10:14 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF


From its inception in 1980, the UK-based Demon label, along with its Edsel imprint, has been serving up noteworthy soul music reissues. With the resurgence in the popularity of vinyl LPs, the London-located company has just issued a varied batch of albums  - including compilations - on 180 gm vinyl.

First out of the blocks is 'Soul Classics,' a  30-track double LP that is likely to attract a wide demographic with its devotion to some of the soul genre's most anthemic tunes from the 1970s.The sound of Philadelphia is represented by songs by the O'Jays ('Brandy'), Billy Paul ('Me & Mrs Jones'),  Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes ('If You Don't Know Me By Now'), The Three Degrees ('When Will I See You Again,' Teddy Pendergrass ('The Whole Town's Laughing At Us'), and Jean Carn ('Was That All It Was').  There are also classic sides by Al Green, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Bill Withers, Earth, Wind & Fire, Isley Brothers, Freda Payne and Deniece Williams. You'll also find a sprinkling of 60s tracks from Nina Simone, Jackie Wilson, and Erma Franklin.

Another new Demon compilation making its appearance on LP is  'Greatest Hits' by the legendary Average White Band, which features some of the Scottish funk/soul group's biggest smashes: 'Pick Up The Pieces,' 'Cut The Cake,' 'Work To Do,' and 'Let's Go Round Again.' The album's pressed up on white vinyl.

For those who like to their soul music to be a bit more esoteric, then the gritty funk found on the self-titled album by The Politicians Featuring McKinley Jackson, originally released on Holland-Dozier-Holland's Hot Wax imprint in 1972, just might fit the bill.  It features the cinematic instrumental 'Free Your Mind' as sampled by DJ Shadow for his 1991 cut, 'Lesson 4.'

If you want to dig deeper in into H-D-H's Hot Wax/Invictus catalogue then another Demon retrospective, 'The World We Live In,'  is recommended. Like 'Soul Classics,' it's a double set and among its many highlights are 'Crumbs Off The Table,' by  Laura Lee 'Why Can't We Be Lovers,' by Holland-Dozier Featuring Lamont Dozier, 'Wants Ads' by Honey Cone, 'The Unhooked Generation' by Freda Payne, 'Love Factory' by Eloise Laws and 'Working On Building A Love' by Chairmen Of The Board. There also cuts by Lee Charles, Just Brothers, Harrison Kennedy and several others.

Also featured on 'The World We Live In' is George Clinton's groundbreaking aggregation, Parliament, whose mind-blowing debut album, 'Osmium' - famously sampled by the likes of De La Soul, NWA and DJ Shadow - was released on Invictus in 1970. A collision of psychedelic rock,  lysergic soul, gritty funk, deep blues and even country music (check out 'Little Ole Country Boy' complete with lap steel guitar), 'Osmium' is a sprawling collection of tunes unified by Clinton's genius.

More Demon LP releases come in the shape of  'Wack Wack,' recorded in 1966 for the Brunswick label, by Chicago jazz group, The Young-Holt Trio; 'Trax - The Foundations Of House,' a various artists compilation which spotlights the rise of Chicago's house music scene; and  'Straight Out Of The Jungle,' the 1988 debut from the pioneering hip-hop group, The Jungle Brothers.

 All Albums Are Out Now Via Demon Records

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 March 2019 10:27



Friday, 08 March 2019 13:38 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altI first got to know about U-NAM (Emmanuel Abiteboul) when his jazzy guitar licks accompanied Phil Perry on the quite lovely 'Right Here Right Now' back in 2004. Since then, the guitar man has gone from strength to strength via a series of fine solo albums and big name collaborations. En route, he's built up a steady and faithful coterie of fans and followers who'll all be delighted with his latest album – 'Future Love' – a 15 track smooth jazz/groove-heavy collection.

That delight has already shown itself as the LP sits nicely at #20 in the Billboard Top25 Jazz Albums and little wonder ... it's stuffed with optimism and energy which anyone who knows anything of Emmanuel might find odd. You see, last year he went through a complex divorce that would leave most people emotionally drained and down. Not U-Nam. He sees the future stacked with opportunity – reflected in his new album's title. The 'Future Love' track is as optimistic as the title implies; sound wise, it's a classic guitar-led smooth jazz groove. And there are plenty more like it.... cuts like 'Changes' and the lovely 'Good Old Days' for starters. More intriguing is the electro flavoured 'Change Of Heart'. Equally intriguing is the summery vibe of 'Artbeat' while the best Quiet Storm moment is 'My Joy'.

As ever U-Nam offers some cover versions – two in fact. The first is a new take on Luther Vandross' 'Get It Right' – real jazzy changes and vocal input from Tim Owns and Kim Chandler. They're there too on a cover of Deodato's 1984 'Never Knew Love' – another album highlight.

Of course, comparison with George Benson is inevitable. However as Benson seems to be changing direction (his latest album is a tribute to Chuck Berry and Fats Domino), fans of jazz guitar will be well satisfied with what U-Nam offers so splendidly on 'Future Love'. It's out now on Skytown Records.

Last Updated on Friday, 08 March 2019 13:54


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