Friday, 17 December 2010 14:54 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

breakoutFantastic Voyage Records are about to release the third in their wonderful 'Soul Breakout' series... and it's not journalistic hyperbole to say this 60 track, 2 CD collection is the best yet. The reason is simple. The series is intended to show the evolution of soul music, and this new collection focuses on 1960 – the year that soul really began to crystallise.

There are plenty of tracks from soul's three acknowledged founding fathers – RAY CHARLES, JACKIE WILSON and SAM COOKE and other big names featured include IKE AND TINE TURNER, JAMES BROWN, THE DRIFTERS, BEN E KING, JERRY BUTLER, CLYDE McPHATTER, BROOK BENTON and even a young ARETHA FRANKLIN who weighs in with a truly soulful 'Today I Sing The Blues'. There's also a smattering of early Motown – including THE MIRACLES' 'Shop Around' and BARRETT STRONG'S 'Money'.

As ever with collections like this it's often the less well known items from the minor league players that bring the real pleasure. Here, for instance, there's stuff like 'Clap Your Hands' from THE WHEELS, BABY WASHINGTON'S 'Work Out' and TY HUNTER'S 'Everything About You' and any compilation that includes BOBBY BLAND'S masterpiece 'Cry, Cry, Cry' demands serious investigation.

'Soul Breakout '60' is released on Fantastic Voyage Records on 24th January 2011.

The same label, by the way, is releasing a fantastic 47 track JAMES BROWN retrospective. The set – dubbed 'I'll Go Crazy' – features every track released by BROWN between 1956 and 1960... but you'll have to wait till February for that. Full review soon on SJF.



Wednesday, 15 December 2010 19:04 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

sedsoulModern soul folk frequently complain that when it comes to Christmas songs they're hard done to. Apart from a few Motown gems, that classic LUTHER VANDROSS album, the LONNIE HILL and DONNY HATHAWAY tunes, there's little that's properly Christmassey to bother them.... till now!

You see, modern soul boy extraordinaire, ROB HARDT and his Sed Soul people have just released what is destined to become the definitive modern soul Christmas album. 'Christmas At Sed Soul' is a stunning 11 track mix of Christmas songs old and new – all given that crisp, cool and sophisticated modern soul treatment for which Sed Soul is famous. ROB and his team have crafted hugely danceable arrangements and brought in some big, big names to add extra special magic to the seasonal set.

Biggest coup for the album was to secure veteran soulstress ANN SEXTON to bring her assured tones to the evergreen 'Santa Claus Is Coming To Town'. It's one of three big covers on the album. The others being PEGGI BLU'S treatment of MEL TORME'S 'The Christmas Song' and C. ROBERT WALKER'S take on DONNY H's 'This Christmas'. Here, the wonderful song is given an almost 80s sound and its magic lives anew.

Amongst the new songs, the EUGENE WILDE vocalised 'I Love Christmas' is building up to become a modern room anthem while the two COOL MILLION-led songs –'Let The Christmas Spirit In' and 'What Christmas Means To Me' run it close.

Good too to see the ubiquitous NOEL McKOY on board. Good 'ole NOEL leads on the soulful builder, 'This One's For You'. It's a proper Christmas gem.... but it's only one amongst eleven.

'Christmas At Sed Soul' is out now and deserves to be in all soul people's stockings.



Wednesday, 15 December 2010 19:01 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

morphey_goodSoul and R&B fans with truly adventurous ears might want to check out French trio, MORPHEY. Singer DELIA DELPHIN, keyboardist PHILLIPE FABRER and guitarist SEBASTIEN PERRIER work out of Marseille and they've just released their second album – 'Rise And Shine'.

Their sound is dark – melancholic even – and is built on elements of rock and electro funk, best illustrated by the opener, 'Freedom' while the album's title cut is a neat R&B roller with echoes of L'IL LOUIS about it. For down moments try 'Sexy' which offers a modern twist on that overused adjective. For more details go to



Monday, 13 December 2010 16:15 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

CJ_Evrythng_frt_cvr_2CHRIS JASPER is a true soul hero. In the 70s and 80s, of course, he was an integral member of the ISLEY BROTHERS. He helped shape their remarkable and unique sound and wrote and produced classics like 'For The Love Of You' and 'Between The Sheets'. As one third of the spin-off ISLEY-JASPER-ISLEY, CHRIS was also responsible for the anthemic 'Caravan Of Love'. He's worked solo since 1998 and regularly crafts albums that are treasured by soul collectors. The good news is that he's just released his latest solo album – 'Everything I Do' – on his own Gold City Music label and the 10 tracker is stuffed with quality modern soul.

CHRIS has also found time to work on a new album from his son – MICHAEL JASPER. Young MIKE'S LP is called 'Addictive' and daddy JASPER contributes talkbox and background vocals as well as acting as co-producer. 'Addictive' is also out on Gold City Music and it's a heady mix of soulful pop and techno and includes a tribute to the allied forces currently serving abroad. Full reviews of both albums on SJF very soon... in the meantime go to for more info.



Monday, 13 December 2010 16:13 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

unsignedWith Christmas almost upon us, two of SJF's favourite indie soul labels have launched pre-Christmas sales right across their ranges.

First up, SOUL UNSIGNED has a remarkable offer. From now till the end of December, all the albums in their catalogue can be purchased for just £6 – including post and packaging to anywhere in world! So if you've missed any of the original UNSIGNED series, or the three contemporary soul sets, or the Urban Soul Connection album, or the individual artist albums and the DJ compilations – here's the time to enjoy some great soul at a giveaway price. For more details go to

Over in Europe, Italy's splendid little RECORD KICKS label are offering a big 20% discount on all their product... for more info on this one go to


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