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BACK WITH A BULLET

Saturday, 06 December 2008 08:41 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

BACK WITH A BULLET

Readers with long memories may fondly remember PETE WINGFIELD'S 1975 hit 'Eighteen With A Bullet'. WINGFIELD, a long-time soul fan who edited soul fanzines and wrote for 'Let It Rock' magazine, crafted the song as a tribute to his favourite group THE DELLS and the song's wonderful intricacies ensured it was a hit not just in the UK but in the States where WINGFIELD was taken for a black artist. 'Breakfast Special', the Island album that spawned the hit, has long been deleted, but, thanks to Cherry Red, it's now back on the racks enhanced with the rest of super-sessioner WINGFIELD'S other Island recordings. 'Eighteen' is still outstanding, but as noteworthy are two fine ballads - 'Number One Priority' and 'That's How Chances Go Round' which are reminiscent of BLOODSTONE, a band whose sessions WINGFIELD worked on. Collectors will also need to know that the CD features 'Scratchy 45s' - WINGFIELD'S tribute to the real R&B stars of New Orleans, where the song has become something of a cult classic.

 

SUPREMES UP NORTH...

Saturday, 06 December 2008 08:39 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

SUPREMES UP NORTH...

Northerners who didn't make to London to see the wonderful MARY WILSON-curated SUPREMES exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum will be delighted to know that the whole show is now on at Blackpool's Grundy Art Gallery. The exhibition opened at the end of November and runs through to 1st February 2009. Admission is free and the gallery is open seven days a week, 10 am - 5 pm… for more details go to www.visitblackpool.com/supremes or ring 01253 478170.

 

MORE YULTIDE JAZZ

Friday, 05 December 2008 07:40 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

MORE YULTIDE JAZZ

Jazz fans who dig their Christmas tunes could do worse than track down a fine 12 track sampler from innovative smooth jazz label Nu Groove Records. 'Grooves For The Season' features some of the label's roster on a varied selection of Christmas favourites and includes MICHAEL LINGTON'S sensitive reading of 'Silent Night' and GAIL JHONSON'S swinging take of 'Come All Ye Faithful'. Other highlights are bassist's MICHAEL MANSON'S version of 'Angel's Serenade' and UK sax man SHILT'S reverential twist on 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas'. Vocally, DENATE'S foot-tapping 'Christmas Bells Medley' could become a modern soul room favourite over the festive season.

 

SINGULARLY MOTOWN

Wednesday, 03 December 2008 14:31 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

SINGULARLY MOTOWN

As part of Motown 50, the year long celebration to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Motown, Universal Music Catalogue is releasing 25 limited edition 7" singles featuring 50 classic Motown cuts. Limited to just 2000 copies, the singles will be released in batches of five singles at a time with a different Motown act featured on each side of the disc. The first batch will be released in January 2009, with the following batches released in March, May, July and September 2009. Each batch of singles will come with a Motown Spider and a download card entitling fans to a free digital download of their purchase. In addition, fans who purchase all five batches of the singles will qualify for a Motown presentation box to house the complete set - a truly collectable item. What's so interesting about the project is that the selected songs aren't the usual, obvious Motown chestnuts as witnessed by the first five (January) releases ….. BARRETT STRONG - Money / THE CONTOURS - Do You Love Me; MARY WELLS - My Guy / CAROLYN CRAWFORD - My Smile Is Just A Frown; BRENDA HOLLOWAY - Just Look What You Have Done / THE SUPREMES - Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart; THE VELVELETTES - Lonely Lonely Girl / THE MARVELETTES - I'll Keep Holding On; FOUR TOPS - Something About You Baby / TEMPTATIONS - Get Ready. On a slightly different tack, Universal are also releasing STEVIE WONDER'S 'For Once In My Life' as a 7" Tamla Motown single.The song was originally released 40 years ago and is being reissued to celebrate STEVIE'S incredible career to date and the huge success of his 'Definitive Collection' album.

 

YULETIDE JAZZ AND SOUL

Friday, 28 November 2008 04:40 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

YULETIDE JAZZ AND SOUL

The season of goodwill and festive cheer will soon be with us and to coincide with Santa's arrival down the chimney, veteran soul and jazz man, AL JARREAU, is about to release his first Yuletide album. 'Christmas' is a 13-track collection that finds the 68-year-old Grammy-winning singer tackling a mixture of traditional festive songs and Christmas carols - ranging from 'Winter Wonderland' and 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' to 'Hark The Herald Angels Sing' and 'Oh Come All Ye Faithful.' The participating musicians include bassist Chris Walker, percussionist Lenny Castro and former Seawind members Jerry Hey and Larry Williams (the latter is the album's co-producer). Vocal group Take 6 have a cameo role on 'I'll Be Home For Christmas.' The album's available via Rhino.
Swedish jazz and funk trombonist, NILS LANGREN, also releases a festive album, 'Christmas With My Friends II,' on ACT Records. Amongst the 15 tracks are versions of 'A Child Is Born,' 'Ding Dong Merrily On High,' 'Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem,' and - of interest to soul fans - a tasteful remake of Donny Hathaway's 'This Christmas' featuring vocals from Jessica Pilnas.
Interestingly, 'This Christmas' is also the title tune of ARETHA FRANKLIN'S first ever Yuletide long player released in the States via DMI Records on December 9th. Advance reviews have been very mixed, with some US critics stating that Aretha's voice shows signs of a marked decline. Most of the production is handled by Tena Clark - who's previously worked with Natalie Cole and Chaka Khan - although Aretha produces three cuts herself. The 11 tracks include 'Silent Night,' 'Ave Maria' and ''Twas The Night Before Christmas.'
Finally, the team behind the 'Verve Remixed' albums have persuaded top ranking DJs and mix-meisters like Christian Prommer, Wax Taylor and The Orb to put a contemporary dance floor spin on vintage Christmas tunes by some of jazz's most revered artists. 'Verve Remixed Christmas' features radical remixes of songs by Louis Armstrong (including 'What A Wonderful World'), Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Jimmy Smith, Mel Tormé, Shirley Horn and Dinah Washington. It's in the shops now.

 

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