Monday, 17 April 2017 13:04 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

                       altSony Music has just reissued a raft of classic jazz albums as part of a new low price range called Jazz Connoisseur, covering LPs originally released on the Columbia, RCA and Paris-based Disques Vogue labels in the '50s, '60s , '70s and '80s. The music ranges from swing, bebop, and post-bop to fusion and vocal jazz. The artists and musicians featured include DUKE ELLINGTON, BILL EVANS, KEITH JARRETT, WAYNE SHORTER, SONNY ROLLINS, and STAN GETZ. All reissues come with full original artwork and in some cases bonus material. They retail at around £4.00 in the UK.

Here's the full mouth-watering list of title available:  

DIZZY GILLESPIE - 'The Greatest Of Dizzy Gillespie'

STAN GETZ - 'The Master'

LEE KONITZ - 'Lee Konitz Plays'

ROY HAYNES - 'Roy Haines Modern Group'

SONNY ROLLINS - 'Our Man In Jazz'


BOBBY JASPAR - Bobby Jaspar's New Jazz'

THE FOUR BROTHERS - 'Together Again!'

WOODY HERMAN - 'The 3 Herds'

BOB BROOKMEYER - 'Bob Brookmeyer & Friends'

WAYNE SHORTER - 'Native Dancer'

KEITH JARRETT - 'Expectations'

DUKE ELLINGTON - 'The Popular Duke Ellington'

PAUL DESMOND - 'Glad To Be Unhappy'

ANDRE HODEIR - 'Essais Par Le Jazz Groupe De Paris'

LIONEL HAMPTON - 'Jazz Time Paris Vol. 4, 5 & 6'

SIDNEY BECHET - 'Bechet Souvenirs'

BUD POWELL - 'Swingin' With Bud'


CARMEN McRAE - 'Carmen Sings Monk'

ROY ELDRIDGE - 'Roy Eldridge & His Little Jazz'

KENNY BURRELL - 'Bluesin' Around'

MAYNARD FERGUSON - 'Birdland Dream Band'

TONY BENNETT - 'The Beat Of My Heart'

BILL EVANS - 'The Bill Evans Album'


Last Updated on Monday, 17 April 2017 14:02



Saturday, 15 April 2017 14:39 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

                                   altAs most avid, hardcore record collectors will know, it's Record Store Day on Saturday April 22nd. To mark the occasion, one of the UK's specialist reissue labels, Soul Brother, is releasing two must-have items if you're a funk and soul aficionado.

The first is by jazz-funk/fusion outfit, the HEAD HUNTERS, which pairs their much-sampled 1975 track, 'God Make Me Funky' with 'If You've Got It, You'll Get It.' This particular version of 'God Make Me Funky' is a rare 4-minute version of the tune which was only previously available as a promo single back in the day. The reissue 45 is limited to a 1000 copies.                                         altThe jewel in the crown of Soul Brother's Record Store Day releases is undoubtedly their eagerly-anticipated revival of a super-rare 9-track album by obscure American soul singer, SANDRA PHILLIPS. It's called  'Sweet Sexy Soul' and was originally issued by Sylvia Robinson's All Platinum label in 1971. Original copies are rarely seen, with none having ever been listed on Discogs or eBay. We at SJF can attest that the album is a bona fide corker - a delectable cache of bittersweet orchestral soul, including the in-demand 2-stepper, 'He Knows My Key (Is Always In The Mailbox.' Look out for a full review soon at SJF.


For more info go to:

Last Updated on Monday, 17 April 2017 11:44



Thursday, 13 April 2017 07:31 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

altTokyo-born US singer and songwriter, NIKKA COSTA, has worked alongside the best of the best - from Frank Sinatra (her father, Don Costa, was an arranger for 'Ol' Blues Eyes') and Prince to Ray Charles, Ben Harper and Lenny Kravitz. She scored an international hit single in 2001 in the shape of 'Like A Feather,' taken from her Virgin LP,  'Everybody Got Their Something.'  Since then she's released two more albums, 'can'tneverdidnothin' in 2005 and 'Pebble To A Pearl' via Stax in 2008. Now, the singer, who made her first recording aged five, is soon to release her eighth album, 'Nikka & Strings, Underneath And In Between' on the Metropolis label.

The album is preceded by the digital single, 'Nothing Compares 2 U' (see the video here:, her stirring cover of the Prince song that was previously covered by The Family and Sinead O'Connor.  The new collection of songs was recorded in a day and is produced by Justin Stanley and Bob Clearmountain, who frame Costa's searingly soulful pipes with the rich sonorities of a string quartet. In terms of its material, the album features original songs ('Headfirst' is a stunner) but also includes the singer's takes on classic material that ranges from the Smokey Robinson-co-penned/Marvin Gaye-associated  'Ain't That Peculiar' to 'Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying' and 'Stormy Weather.' The singer also serves up her own stupendous version of the Sinatra tune, 'Come Rain Or Come Shine,' where she adapts an arrangement that her father wrote for the 'Chairman Of The Board.'

'Nikka & Strings' is available from June 2nd 2017 in various formats (standard CD digipak with 8-page booklet; standard 12" black heavyweight vinyl; deluxe double 12" vinyl gatefold with special edition slip case plus live to vinyl and live performance on USB). 

Read SJF's review of 'Pebble To A Pearl' here:

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 April 2017 13:40



Sunday, 09 April 2017 09:32 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

altRolling Stones' drummer, CHARLIE WATTS - a long time jazz and blues aficionado whose latest album, 'Charlie Watts Meets The Danish Radio Big Band,' has just been released on the iconic Impulse! label - is set to be the recipient of the 'Gold Award' at this month's Jazz FM Awards in London. The award is being given to honour Watts' contribution to jazz and blues. Watts has also been nominated with his band, the ROLLING STONES in two categories: Album of the Year and Best Blues Album.

In a statement, Watts said: “I am very grateful to be honoured by Jazz FM for my contribution to Jazz and Blues.  I’ve always loved and been influenced by the music and its players. It was one of the reasons I wanted to be a musician myself.  It’s still important that we continue to support this music to ensure it lives on for the next generations.“

Another veteran of the British R&B scene getting recognition is GEORGIE FAME, who will be stopping by to pick up a PPL Lifetime Achievement Award as well as performing with a band that includes Guy Barker and Alec Dankworth.

Jazz FM has also revealed that LAURA MVULA will be performing at the awards ceremony (which take place on the night of April 25th at Shoreditch Town Hall) as well as David Bowie collaborator, saxophonist DONNY McCASLIN.

See the full list of nominations here:

Last Updated on Monday, 17 April 2017 11:45



Saturday, 08 April 2017 15:23 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altS.E.L is the working moniker of a young UK soul singer, Emma Louise. She adds "soulful" to her name to get S.E.L.... geddit? Anyway, last spring she impressed all and sundry with her debut EP, 'UK Soul' from which the lead single, 'Elevation' was particularly tasty and championed by a goodly selection of soul tastemakers. One such tastemaker was dear old DJ Spen who remixed the track twice over; one tweak with soulful house mix meister Michele Chiavarini.

Well now Spen and Michele have gotten their hands on little Emma's newest track, 'Flowered Tears' and produced a wonderful modern soul dancer that is bob on the current soul vibe but with its roots in the great days of the 80s weekenders. The lyric helps too – full of hope and optimism.

The catchy rug cutter deserves to do well; it ticks all the boxes and Emma is a right little grafter. Classically trained she's worked with people like Soul II Soul, Alicia Keys and Jocelyn Brown and managing herself, she's determined to do well. Oh, and she's also pregnant right now – so congrats on two fronts... great record and new baby on the way!

Last Updated on Saturday, 08 April 2017 15:30


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