Sunday, 04 August 2019 18:25 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altLondon-born but Trinidad and Tobago raised soul man MATTHEW WINCHESTER returns to the fray with a catchy new single 'Be My Love'. Amongst his previous releases were 'This Thing Called Love' and 'You Make Me Say' – both of which featured on all credible UK soul charts.

'Be My Love' is all set to follow the same way; it's already getting a big thumbs up from the UK's top soul tastemakers and no wonder.... it's easy on the ear and ticks all the modern soul boxes and it's good to go right now via your favourite platforms.


FEELING RANDY (ooh Matron!!!)

Saturday, 03 August 2019 15:49 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altMost soul folk have a soft spot for RANDY MULLER - the brains behind bands like Brass Construction, Skyy, BT Express, and First Circle. For reasons never best explained Mr M dropped off the radar for while, but a couple of years back he re-emerged mentoring a band called Brooklyn Soul Biscuits, then all kinds of production work.

The last we heard from Randy was back in January when his BROOKLYN GROOVE MACHINE won lots of plays with their 'Disco Holiday'. Now he's back fronting RANDY MULLER BOOM CHANG BANG and they have a very tasty double A sided single out right now. First up is the bright, breezy, infectious 'Joy In Da Rain' ... a touch of disco, a smidge of smooth jazz and a great soul vocal... great stuff. And the bonus? Well you get the incomparable Angela Johnson on vocals.

The "other" side is 'Groovin' U' which we're told comes from Muller's previous album (?). We don't much about that but this "new" track is "re-recorded live". It's a disco romp – mainly instrumental with some Herbie Mann style 70s style flute running through the track. Both tunes are from Randy's "upcoming" album.

Last Updated on Friday, 09 August 2019 12:16



Saturday, 03 August 2019 15:40 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

alt'The Music's On Me' is the latest album from British jazz pianist and vocalist WENDY KIRKLAND. Wendy describes the album as "a selection of original and "lyricised" pieces"; that's to say her own songs (3) interspersed with 8 jazz classics from people like Michael Petrucciani, Wes Montgomery, Russell Malone and Don Grolnick to some of which she's added lyrics. It's a clever concept and delivered with humour, insight and an obvious knowledge and love of the genre. For instance on the cover of Kenny Rankin's 'Haven't We Met' (most famously recorded by Mel Torme), Ms Kirkland uses the lovely piano figure from 'Here's That Rainy Day'.

Elsewhere there are two lovely Latin items... the original 'O Gato Molhado' (a homage to a "wet cat") and a take on Duke Pearson's 'Sandalia Dela'. A cover of Peter Nero's 'Sunday In New York' (most famously recorded by Bobby Darin) is another winner.

Musically the vibe is that of Blossom Dearie with just a hint of Diana Krall and a touch of Clare Teal. Wendy's piano sparkles throughout ably assisted by husband, Pat Sprake's guitar. Paul Jefferies is the bassist; Steve Wyndham plays drums while vibraphonist Roger Beaujolais guests on 2 tracks while Tommaso Starace's sax features on one.

WENDY KIRKLAND. 'The Music's On Me' out now on Discovery Records

Last Updated on Saturday, 03 August 2019 16:00



Friday, 02 August 2019 18:35 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altDon't know too much about big voiced UK soul man ASHTON JONES. His people and his socials don't say too much about his background and boring stuff like that. They just tell us that he's besotted by the likes of James Brown, Earth Wind & Fire, Rick James and Prince and that his band are seasoned veterans who've played with people like Beverley Knight, Joss Stone and Pee Wee Ellis. All that was borne out in April when we first heard Mr Jones' music via an EP and we were, mightily impressed by the sparse, gritty, funk workout that is 'Good Things Guaranteed' – shades of the above mentioned JB, Rick James and the Purple one!

The good news is that the ASHTON JONES PROJECT will be releasing a full album in September. The 11 tracker that is 'Toast' includes some of the EP tracks – notably the mighty funk of 'Good Things Guaranteed'. There's plenty more sanctified funk too – like the latest single, 'Hard Work Dedication' and the LP opener 'Shelly Get The Funk Outa Here' which reminds me a lot of the Temptations'' 'Standing On The Top' (that man Rick James again!)... Interesting lyrics too.

What really impresses on 'Toast' though is the variety. Apart from the funk, the album boasts plenty of beautiful ballads and sweet mid-tempo items on which no expense has been spared on production. Try the gorgeous 'How I Feel' to hear what I mean... it's quite beautiful; old school soul for old school romantics. And while we're at it, 'I Need Love' is as good as any ballad that Will Downing has ever come up with ... honest! Then if you want a crisp modern room beater, go to 'Who's Lovin' You' ... no, not the Motown standard, a lovely band original that really satisfies.

We said up top that at the moment the ASHTON JONES PROJECT is something of an unknown quantity, but come September when their 'Toast' hits the racks all that is sure to change... a great 2019 album from a man with a mighty voice who, it seems, can do it all!

Last Updated on Friday, 02 August 2019 18:45



Friday, 02 August 2019 18:30 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altSoul fans of a certain vintage will know and love Jerry O's classic soul cut 'Karate Boogaloo', but I doubt if many will know that Karate Boogaloo is also a top Aussie soul band – an off shoot of the Melbourne outfit The Cactus Channel.

These Karate kids won plenty of friends with their last long player – 'KBs Mixtape No. 1'. The quirky album offered KB takes on top soul tunes that had been regularly sampled. Now the foursome follow that up with the imaginatively titled 'Mixtape No. 2' which proffers wonky left-field soul covers of 80's songs that've been sampled into hip-hop tracks.

The album's out in September but in the meantime, the first single has been released – a Karate Boogaloo cover of the Sister Nancy reggae classic 'Bam Bam' – a tune that's been worked over by people like Lauryn Hill, Kanye West and Jay-Z. Listen up and you'll understand why this band has something of a cult following!


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