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COFFEY TIME

Friday, 11 March 2011 15:00 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

mayer-coffey-01-350"Legendary" is an adjective used with far too much impunity in the music biz... however no one would ever doubt the right of Detroit guitar man DENNIS COFFEY to have the adjective tagged to his name. COFFEY, of course, was an integral member of MOTOWN'S FUNK BROTHERS and he played on countless hits. Notably, his distinctive wah-wah guitar sound came to dominate many of the TEMPTATIONS' hits in their so-called "physco-soul" period. Beyond that, it's DENNIS' guitar on FREDA PAYNE'S 'Band Of Gold' while the anoraks will gladly list hundreds of pop hits on which he played.

COFFEY has enjoyed a sporadic solo career too; his 'Scorpio' becoming a staple of the break beat brigade. April 25th sees him release a brand new solo album. Simply titled 'DENNIS COFFEY', the 11 tracker features a mix of new tunes and old songs on which he originally featured. To add relish to those "oldies", the guitar man has hand-picked some up and coming artists to handle the vocals. So – amongst others - FANNY FRANKLIN (of funk combo, ORGONE) takes on WILSON PICKETT'S 'Don't Knock My Love' and PAOLO NUTINI contributes on RODRIGUEZ' 'Only Good For Conversation'. One of the highlights is MAYER HAWTHORNE (pictured with DENNIS) guesting on THE PARLIAMENTS' 'All Your Goodies Are Gone'.

'DENNIS COFFEY' by DENNIS COFFEY IS RELEASED ON STRUT RECORDS ON APRIL 25TH. FIND OUT MORE AND ENJOY A PREVIEW BY GOING TO....

http://soundcloud.com/strut/constellations-the-a-to-z-of

 

 

FROM HOLLAND WITH LOVE...AGAIN

Friday, 11 March 2011 11:23 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

johnso_howa_doinitmyw_102bDutch reissue specialists Vinyl Masterpiece are about to put three collectable late-'70s and early-'80s albums back in circulation via their PTG label.

Two of them are from Miami singer HOWARD JOHNSON. The label has already reissued Johnson's 1982 A&M debut 'Keepin' Love New' (it contained Johnson's biggest hit, the Kashif-penned 'So Fine') and now follows it up by re-releasing the singer's two other albums for A&M, 1983's 'Doin' It My Way,' helmed by The System's Mic Murphy and David Frank and 1985's 'The Vision,' which contains material penned and produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

Also on PTG is the eponymous 1978 Motown album by the Ohio sextet, SWITCH, which features their debut chart hit, 'They'll Never Be,' a Top 10 US R&B smash.

Look out for reviews soon at SJF

 

LAND OF 1,000 DANCES – INTO THE SUNLIGHT...

Sunday, 06 March 2011 13:01 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

LandOf10007inchExample500'Land Of 1,000 Dances' is one of soul music's greatest vintage war horses. Written and originally recorded by New Orleans' CHRIS KENNER in 1963 it was revived magnificently by CANNIBAL AND THE HEADHUNTERS in '66. The best known version though is WILSON PICKETT'S. Immaculately produced by JERRY WEXLER, it achieved a kind of iconic status when used as one of the theme tunes to the legendary 'Ready Steady Go' TV show.

Since then the song's been revised, revisited and resurrected countless times. The latest version comes from SUNLIGHTSQUARE – a big band (25 personnel and counting!) who work in and around the London jazz scene. Led by Italian pianist CLAUDIO PASSAVANTI, they're set to release their third album – 'Britannia Shing-A-Ling' - and as a taster, their label (Sunlightsquare Records), will release the band's version of 'Land Of A 1,000 Dances' as a single. Using no more technology than that was available in the 70s, the track is a huge melting pot of Latin rhythms, brass stabs and driving keys – all topped off with a frenzied trumpet solo and a controlled vocal from BRENDAN REILLY (he of BASEMENT JAXX fame)

SUNLIGHT SQUARE'S 'LAND OF 1,000 DANCES' IS RELEASED ON APRIL 4TH..... NEWS OF THE ALBUM TO FOLLOW.

 

SPOTLIGHT ON REAL R&B....

Friday, 04 March 2011 17:05 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

RBDoughty soul collectors will know all about the FANTASTIC VOYAGE label's archive series of 'Soul Breakout' compilations. Each set focuses on a particular year and offers a rundown of the soul sounds that crashed the US charts in that year. They're currently up to 1960 and the label has just issued a complimentary collection – 'R&B Spotlight '60'. Real soul fans know that in the early sixties there was little to distinguish between the arbitrarily imposed categories 'soul' and 'R&B' and this new 2 CD, 60,tracker is stuffed with tunes that could so easily have fitted on the 'Soul Breakout' album.

Featured artists include LAVERN BAKER, ROSCO GORDON, THE COASTERS, THE PLATTERS, ETTA JAMES, HARVEY FUQUA, LITTLE ANTHONY AND THE IMPERIALS, THE COASTERS and DEE CLARK. There's also a great selection of doo-wop (from groups like THE FIVE SATINS and THE BLUE NOTES) and a sprinkling of blues (from artists like ELMORE JAMES and JOHN LEE HOOKER). There are also inclusions from two of popular music's most influential innovators - CHUCK BERRY and BO DIDDLEY. R&B... Soul... Blues... Doo-Wop... it hardly matters.... it's all great music - and for the collectors and anoraks hugely significant.

FANTASTIC VOYAGE'S 'R&B SPOTLIGHT '60' IS OUT NOW.

 

CHERRY PICKED REISSUES...

Tuesday, 01 March 2011 10:10 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

kikkiThe CHERRY RED group of label's recent release schedule is stuffed with all kinds of soul goodies to tempt soul fans of every hue. Their Shout imprint offers a twofer on LEON HAYWOOD. The 2CD pack pairs two of the man's mid 70s albums – 'Back To Stay' and 'Keep It In The Family'. Pick of the RPM subsidiary's soul releases is the first time reissue of underrated MADELINE BELL'S 1971 eponymous set which was originally issued in Philips. If a ever a soulstress deserved re-evaluation, it's dear old MADELINE.

Cherry Red's bbr label has a trio of great newies – JON LUCIEN'S 'I Am Now', MARLENA SHAW'S 'Sweet Beginnings' and TOM BROWNE'S 'Love Approach' – which of course spawned the massive 'Funkin' For Jamaica'.

However, perhaps the most interesting reissue for collectors is another RPM album – 'The Fontana Years – 1963-1968'... a fabulous retrospective of KIKI DEE'S early work prior to joining Motown. The big 32 tracker is a heady mix of 60's pop, dramatic ballads and early Brit-soul of the DUSTY SPRINGFIELD variety (hardly surprising since KIKI, of course, was for many years one of DUSTY'S backing singers). Highspot of the set is the in-demand 'On A Magic Carpet Ride'.

Watch out for reviews of these albums @SJF very soon.

 

 

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