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GRAZIN' IN THE LEMONGRASS

Thursday, 24 June 2010 09:03 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

GRAZIN' IN THE LEMONGRASS

Over the last couple of years Germany's LEMONGRASS label has won a reputation for quality chill out music and quirky dance tunes. The label, headed by top muso, ROLAND VOSS, goes into high summer with a trio of strong albums. First up there's label mainstays LEMONGRASS with 'The 5th Dimension'. The band is a vehicle for VOSS and his clever take on ambient and if that's your bag listen up in particular to some wonderful vocal cuts featuring KAREN GIBSON ROC and SUZY DUFFY. There are more chill out tunes on the label's second set - 'No Place Like Home' from MICHIKO. MICHIKO is a London-based vocalist and this is her second album. A cool but soulful vibe permeates the whole set and on it you'll hear echoes of SADE and GOLDFRAPP... but mixed with homage to the legendary Naked label. The feeling's a good deal more "up" on 'The Paradise Groove' from Sweden's GLAM SLAM AND HIS COMBO. It's the third of Lemongrass' summer releases and it's a mix of disco, soulful house, smooth jazz and Latin. One of the key tracks is 'Staying Home With My Baby' featuring euro jazz vocalist, CARL BELUGA while 'Last Days Of Disco' is already making waves in Ibiza and in California. For more info go to www.lemongrassmusic.de.

 

EXPANSION REISSUE EXPLOSION

Monday, 21 June 2010 11:47 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

EXPANSION REISSUE EXPLOSION

The ever-dependable Expansion label has lined up a trio of vintage albums for CD reissue. First up is CHAPTER 8's eponymous debut album. Originally released on the Ariola label, the set, of course, featured ANITA BAKER on lead vocals. Ariola soon dropped the band, claiming that Ms. BAKER couldn't sing! Hear now how wrong they were! Second up from Expansion is BOBBY GLOVER'S 'Bad Boy Glover'. GLOVER hailed from Ohio and this was his only album. Released in 1984, it was the brain child of ROGER TROUTMAN for whom GLOVER had provided backing vocals in the ZAPP hey-day. The third Expansion reissue is a twofer from NORMAN CONNORS. The set pairs two of the percussionist's Arista albums - 'Take It To The Limit' and 'Mr. C' ... and CONNORS' aficionados consider them to be up there with his very best. Finally - as a wonderful extra - through a deal with DAVID NATHAN'S soulmusic.com, Expansion are making available THELMA HOUSTON'S marvellous 1969 'Sunshower' album. The set was conceived, largely written and produced by the legendary JIMMY WEBB who was one of music's hottest commodities at the time. All of the LP's 12 tracks are included (naturally), along with a six bonus cuts - including a lovely version of LAURA NYRO'S 'Save The Country'. The album comes complete with apposite sleeve notes from http://www.soulandjazzandfunk.com's CHARLES WARING.

 

INCOGNITO GO TRANSATLANTIC

Monday, 21 June 2010 11:45 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

INCOGNITO GO TRANSATLANTIC

INCOGNITO - currently celebrating their 30th anniversary - are set to release a brand new album ... 'Transatlantic RPM' on the Shanachie label. The LP boasts an incredible guest line up. Featured artists include CHAKA KHAN, MAYSA, URSULA RUCKER, LEON WARE, MARIO BIONDI and AL MCKAY! BLUEY told www.soulandjazzandfunk.com "Being a teenager in 1970's London, you could not escape the music. It was all around you. There was a buzz in every record store. People searching through the crates to catch up on the latest offerings from across the pond. I'd be looking for the names… Harvey Mason, Steve Gadd, Ralph McDonald… I would fantasize about boarding a plane to the USA and strolling into the studio to lay down tracks with Earth Wind and Fire, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder & Leon Ware... In regards to this album, three out of four isn't bad for this island boy from Tottenham who several years earlier at the age of five on the beaches of Mauritius had decided that music would be his destiny!" Full review of the album here @ www.soulandjazzandfunk.com very soon......

 

SOUL ON CDS

Monday, 21 June 2010 11:42 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

SOUL ON CDS

Cambridge-based DJ, MICK O'DONNELL has recently teamed up with California-based label CDS Records to issue a lovely little 17 track compilation. 'Soul Discovery' (named for MICK'S radio shows) features17 modern soul cuts from artists like THE COBRA HEART BAND, ANDRE MARCUS, JASON LITTLE and the wonderfully named T. J. HOOKER-TAYLOR. Soul veterans will also be delighted to know that the album features a cut from the fabulous CONTROLLERS. 'Still In My Heart' is a superb, old school harmony ballad and is right up there with the group's very best. CDS Records also currently have albums out on FLOYD TAYLOR, CHUCK ROBERSON and WILL EASLEY. For more info go to www.CDSRECORDS.com

 

SOUL'S BACK NUMBERS

Tuesday, 15 June 2010 15:32 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

SOUL'S BACK NUMBERS

Universal Music Catalogue has just released a strong trio of soul reissues. First up - and first time ever on CD - is the MIRACLES' 1975 album 'City Of Angels'. The LP, of course, featured BILLY GRIFFIN as lead vocalist and was one of the first concept albums, telling the tale of two people searching for love and fame in Hollywood. 'Love Machine' was the album's big single, though 'Overture' and 'Nightlife' garnered massive club acclaim. The reissue comes with an authoritative essay from DAVID NATHAN and an instrumental version of 'Love Machine' is included as a bonus. Two bonus instrumentals too on the reissue of BARRY WHITE'S first proper solo set - 'I've Got so Much To Give'. Originally released in 1973, this was the album that started it all for the Walrus Of Love and it's been out of print for a long, long time. The third big Universal reissue is a collection of live tracks from KOOL AND THE GANG, out under the title 'At The BBC'. The 13 tracker includes all the band's top tunes including 'Hollywood Swinging', 'Ladies Night' and 'Joanna'.

 

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