Saturday, 03 September 2011 14:44 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

johnny_mathis_2011Veteran crooner JOHNNY MATHIS comes to the UK for a three show mini tour in October. The dates are - 12th October O2 Arena, London; 14th October LG Arena, Birmingham; 16th October Manchester Evening News Arena.

It's MATHIS' first tour to the UK in five years and to coincide with the shows SONY have just released a 23 track album on him. 'The Ultimate Collection' features all the Texan's classics like 'Misty', and 'The Twelfth Of Never' along with the wonderful Philly sourced 'I'm Stone In Love With You'.

Soul collectors will be interested in a pair of previously unreleased cuts – 'Something To Sing About' and 'I Love My Lady'. Both were produced by the CHIC team and come from a collaborative album that was never released. The songs are classic CHIC productions and though JOHNNY'S as smooth as ever, they offer something just a bit different.

The album, by the way, also features 'When A Child Is Born'.... just to remind us, maybe, that there are only 120 days left to Christmas.

JOHNNY MATHIS – The ULTIMATE COLLECTION is released by SONY on October 10th.



Thursday, 01 September 2011 18:58 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

mamasMAMA'S GUN – whose excellent 'The Life and Soul' album we reviewed back in May (see our REVIEWS pages)– take to the road in November to promote the set. The tour dates are:- 3rd Nov – High Barn, Essex; 4th Nov – Jazz Cafe, London; 6th Nov – Mama Stones, Exeter; 11th Nov – Cox's Yard, Stafford; 12th Nov – Cellers, Portsmouth; 13th Nov – Erics, Liverpool; 19th Nov – Alter Ego, Manchester; 26th Nov – The Duchess, York. Local press will give you more details

The band has also released the second single from the LP. It's the jauntily wild 'Reconstruction' and if you're inclined you can watch the JAMES STONELY- directed video for it @



Monday, 29 August 2011 15:44 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

chanelMAPP RECORDS are perhaps best known for their world-wide hit 'My Life' by CHANEL (PERRY). Now, guided by head honchos DEE MAJEK and PAT BEDEAU, the label is about to enjoy a renaissance with a plethora of soulful new releases. Between them DEE and PAT bring together diverse backgrounds – disco, R&B, reggae, acid-house, jazz, funk and – above all else- soul. Serious crate diggers and full-time club goers, the pair has built up an extensive network of independent musicians and producers on both sides of the Atlantic and those relationships are now bearing fruit with the label's newest releases.

Working in collaboration with, the label's key release is the first full album on CHANEL – 'Forget About Your Boys'. The long player features the smash 'My Life' along with the club hits – 'Dance', 'Lovely Day' and 'If You Love Me' (an acclaimed cover of the BROWNSTONE classic).

Mapp/Blacktree also has a six track mini album on ex-METROPOLIS front man JAI BLACK. JAI and his old band also feature heavily on the label's album sampler – 'Six For Six Spins Volume 1'. This 16 tracker gives a real flavour of what the whole Mapp/Blacktree sound is about. Full reviews on all these albums on SJF very soon.... in the meantime find out more @



Monday, 29 August 2011 15:42 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

jobimAs reported here at SJF back in June, Rhino are currently busy promoting the latest batch in their 'Original Album' series – where five classic albums from major artists are collected together to be retailed in the mid-price range.

The label's newest tranche features some outstanding jazz collections. Check out our June feature for information on the sets which feature HERBIE MANN, ORNETTE COLEMAN and JOHN COLTRANE.

Rhino also have five-CD sets on AL JARREAU and Brazilian icon ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM. The JARREAU collection offers some of the vocalist's most accessible work – 'We Get By', 'Glow', 'All Fly Home', 'This Time' and the still classic 'Breakin' Away'. The JOBIM five piece has 'The Wonderful World of Antonio Carlos Jobim', 'Love Strings And Jobim',' A Certain Mr. Jobim', 'Urubu', and 'Terra Brasils'. The five albums were hugely influential on initial release – impacting  right across the musical spectrum.

Last Updated on Monday, 29 August 2011 15:59



Friday, 26 August 2011 18:15 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

ESther_GordyThey called her the 'mother of Motown.' Indeed, Berry Gordy's older sister, Esther – who died aged 91 on Wednesday 24th of August - played a crucial role in not only the birth of the legendary Detroit record company (she was instrumental in her brother getting the $800 he needed from his family to start Motown in 1959) but also in various capacities throughout the company's evolution. A university graduate with an astute business mind she toiled behind the scenes at Hitsville as a corporate secretary, managed some of the label's artists, became Director Of International Relations and eventually ended up as senior vice president.

She died after a protracted illness in her Detroit home.


What follows is a statement issued by Berry Gordy in tribute to his late sister:


Today our family mourns the loss of our beloved Esther Gordy Edwards.

Esther Gordy Edwards was a top Motown executive, businesswoman, civil and political leader, who received numerous awards, commendations and accolades. She was the most educated in our family and was the go-to person for wisdom in business.

Whatever she did, it was with the highest standards, professionalism and an attention to detail that was legendary. She always came out a hero. Esther wasn't concerned with being popular. She was dedicated to making us all better-the Gordy family and the Motown family.

Esther turned the so-called trash left behind after I sold the company in 1988 into a phenomenal world-class monument where Hitsville started The Motown Museum.

She preserved Motown memorabilia before it was memorabilia, collecting our history long before we knew we were making it. She nurtured and held it together through the years, protecting the Motown legacy for generations to come-which is only one of the reasons people all over the world will remember and celebrate Esther Gordy Edwards.

Despite my sorrow, I will proudly continue to honor and celebrate her. She will always be my big sister and she will forever live in my heart.

Last Updated on Friday, 26 August 2011 18:21


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