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VAN - NOW IN THE CAN!

Saturday, 08 December 2007 11:40 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

VAN - NOW IN THE CAN!


There have been some strange goings-on at Blue Note recently. On Friday 8th December VAN HUNT'S P.R. people issued a terse statement to the unsuspecting British music press in relation to the Ohio musician's forthcoming album. It read: 'I am sorry to inform you that Van Hunt's new album Popular originally scheduled for release on Blue Note Records in April 2008 will now be released on a different label at a later date.' It appears that Hunt's contract with Blue Note-EMI has been terminated - whether he jumped or was pushed is open to conjecture, though it looks like he's been allowed to take his master tapes with him in order to find a new recording contract.

(CW)

 

MOTOWN MEMORIES. . .

Saturday, 24 November 2007 08:39 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

MOTOWN MEMORIES. . .

Singers Louvain Demps, Marlene Barrow and Jackie Hicks aren't exactly household names - even to many seasoned soul fans who think they know their stuff - but as THE ANDANTES, the trio contributed their honey-toned background harmonies to myriad Motown records in the 1960s. Author, VICKIE WRIGHT - who recently collaborated with Ludie Montgomery on a book about her tragic songbird sister, Tammi Terrell - sheds valuable new light on the shadowy vocal group in a new tome called 'Motown From The Background.' It's published by Bank House Books at £14.99 (it should be available at all good book shops but if you have trouble locating it, try www.bankhousebooks.com).

(CW)

 

SOUL ON DVD

Thursday, 25 October 2007 11:53 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

SOUL ON DVD

Soul music fans should keep their eyes peeled for a clutch of forthcoming DVDs dedicated to vintage soul artists. The 50th anniversary of the legendary STAX record label is marked by the release of a new 2-disc DVD entitled 'Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story.' This is the same newly-commissioned two-hour documentary movie that was shown to critical acclaim at selected UK cinemas back in August and September. The film features rare archive footage of Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Booker T & The MGs, Wilson Pickett, The Staple Singers, Don Covay and The Emotions.

Another must-see DVD from Universal Music is 'Dreams To Remember: The Legacy Of Otis Redding.' Released to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Redding's death, the documentary is the product of David Peck's Reelin' In The Years production company (also responsible for acclaimed DVDs focusing on TV performances by Marvin Gaye and The Temptations) and is packed with rare live footage of the raspy-throated soul man.

Stax fans should also check out the first official ISAAC HAYES in concert DVD, 'Live At Montreux 2005,' on Eagle Vision, containing versions of the deep-voiced singer's hits 'Theme From Shaft,' 'By The Time I Get To Phoenix' and 'Walk On By.'

Another resonant-voiced soul man is SOLOMON BURKE, who's still wowing audiences in his seventies. Burke's recent sojourn into country music is represented by the Snapper Music DVD 'Live In Nashville,' featuring cameos from country queens Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch. The liner notes feature a recent interview with the so-called King of Rock'n'Soul.

(CW)

 

WEATHER REPORT CO-FOUNDER PASSES

Friday, 19 October 2007 03:35 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

WEATHER REPORT CO-FOUNDER PASSES

Jazz keyboard sorcerer and synth pioneer, Joe Zawinul, succumbed to cancer aged 75 in Vienna - his birthplace - on September 11th 2007. Though actively recording and touring until just before his death, Zawinul is best remembered as a leading proponent of electric jazz-fusion in the late '60s. His collaborations with trumpeter, Miles Davis, resulted in the landmark recordings 'In A Silent Way' (1969) and 'Bitches Brew' (1970). In 1971, Zawinul co-founded the group Weather Report with fellow Miles Davis alumnus, saxophonist, Wayne Shorter. After an experimental phase, the group reached their commercial apogee in the late '70s with the album 'Heavy Weather' (1977), featuring the infectious and much-covered track, 'Birdland.' Zawinul's name is also a familiar one to many soul fans - 'Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,' a song he originally penned for saxophonist Cannonball Adderley, was a Top 40 R&B hit for singer Marlena Shaw in 1967.

(CW)

 

BOBBY BYRD RIP

Thursday, 18 October 2007 15:34 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

BOBBY BYRD RIP

Bobby Byrd, the James Brown sidekick and collaborator whose gruff voice counterpointed the Godfather's vocals with the chant 'Get On Up' on the funk classic 'Get Up (I Feel Like Being) A Sex Machine,' died from lung cancer on September 12th aged 73. Georgia-born Byrd met James Brown in the early 1950s when his devout Baptist family was instrumental in helping Brown negotiate an early release from a juvenile correction facility. Brown joined Byrd's devotional harmony group, The Gospel Starlighters, which eventually metamorphosed into The Famous Flames and signed to King Records in 1956. By that time, Brown's showmanship had earned him separate billing. The Brown-fronted group struck chart gold the same year with the Top 10 R&B smash, 'Please, Please, Please.' In the '60s and '70s, Byrd was credited as co-writer on several of Brown's big hits, including 'Licking Stick,' 'Talkin' Loud & Sayin' Nothing,' and 'Get Up (I Feel Like Being) A Sex Machine.' Byrd also recorded a clutch of collectable singles under James Brown's production stewardship, among them 1971's 'I Know You Got Soul' famously sampled by '80s hip-hop act, Eric B & Rakim. Byrd is survived by his second wife, singer Vicki Anderson - a former James Brown protégé - and several children, including UK-based soul chanteuse, Carleen Anderson.

(CW)

 

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