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ME AND MR JONES...

Wednesday, 25 February 2009 09:51 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

ME AND MR JONES...

Sheffield's redoubtable MIKE WARD and his INDA SOUL set up have pointed us towards some brand new music from LEE JONES who records under the moniker MR JONES. The man has an album out soon - 'Love Again' - and the three track sampler doing the rounds proves that he's a decent soul stylist. 'We Were Meant To Be' is a very pleasing mid-tempo duet with an unnamed lady while the ballads 'Right On Time' and 'I'm Coming Home' show that soul's still around if you know where to look. That last tune, by the way, is getting heavy rotation from RICHARD SEARLING on his different radio spots… watch out for MR JONES at the internet outlets very soon. For more info contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

ESTELLE BENNETT DIES...

Saturday, 14 February 2009 07:44 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

ESTELLE BENNETT DIES...

The name ESTELLE BENNETT possibly means very little to most soul fans but as a founder member of the RONETTES she helped create some iconic 60's soul music. Sadly, ESTELLE died at her Englewood, New Jersey home on Wednesday, 11 February. She was 67. Back in 1959 along with her sister RONNIE and family friend NEDRA TALLEY she formed a group that eventually assumed a name based around the charismatic lead voice and stunning looks of her sister, RONNIE - the RONETTES. The group won the attention of PHIL SPECTOR who worked with them extensively - and, of course, he went on to marry RONNIE. SPECTOR, the girls and the musicians of that famed Wall Of Sound crafted countless pop soul classics - including 'The Best Part Of Breakin' Up',' 'Keep On Dancin', 'You Baby', 'Walking In The Rain',' Do I Love You', 'Baby I Love You' and the masterful 'Be My Baby'. The RONETTES split in 1966 and though RONNIE forged a reasonably successful solo career, ESTELLE was happy, it seemed, to fade from the spotlight. She did however join with the rest of the group in suing SPECTOR for unpaid royalties in a case that dragged on for years. ESTELLE BENNET is survived by her daughter and three grandsons and the music she helped create will be her lasting legacy. Esteemed critic DAVE MARSH places 'Be My Baby' at number 20 in his 'Heart of Rock and Soul' classic listing of the greatest records ever made, describing it as " a rock and roll cathedral… SPECTOR'S greatest masterpiece". There's few who would argue.

 

CHERRY PICKIN' AGAIN

Friday, 13 February 2009 14:21 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

CHERRY PICKIN' AGAIN

Now that the dust has settled after the Pinnacle Distribution debacle, most labels are getting back in gear and offering some tasty '09 soul treats. Reissue specialist CHERRY RED is leading the way with some excellent archive material - especially on their RPM imprint. Vocal group collectors will be delighted to see JAY AND THE TECHNIQUES 'Baby Make Your Own Sweet Music' on the racks. The multi-racial outfit recorded their best material with the legendary JERRY ROSS and many of the 28 tracks are appearing on CD for the first time. Also on CD for the first time is WILLIE HUTCH'S debut album 'Soul Portrait' .Recorded in 1969, it's long been an in-demand item as too are many of the tracks on 'The Dimension Links' - a retrospective on girl group THE COOKIES. Great Brill Building pop-soul throughout this album and if that's the sound that appeals, then you'll also need the 28 track assemblage of BURT BACHARACH'S earliest songs. Imprint for that one is El, while general pop collectors will also need to investigate CHAD AND JEREMY'S 'Of Cabbages And Kings' and Liverpool 60's maverick MIKE HART'S anthology which includes great covers of 'Roadrunner' and 'Cry, Cry, Cry'.

 

STEVIE GOES LIVE ... AT LAST

Friday, 13 February 2009 14:20 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

STEVIE GOES LIVE ... AT LAST

In the year that Motown Records reaches its half-century, lifelong Motown artist STEVIE WONDER celebrates with the release on March 9 of his first-ever live concert DVD, 'LIVE AT LAST'. Released through Universal Motown Records, the DVD was filmed at the O2 Arena, in London over two nights last year, September 30 and October 1. 'LIVE AT LAST'S' set list includes 'My Cherie Amour', 'Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours', 'Superstition', 'Higher Ground', 'Living For the City', 'You Are The Sunshine of My Life' , 'I Wish', 'All I Do', 'Overjoyed' and 'Knocks Me Off My Feet'. STEVIE also offers an interpretation of CHICK COREA'S instrumental 'Spain' and in an emotional moment, WONDER'S daughter AISHA MORRIS -- the inspiration of his classic 'Isn't She Lovely' -- steps from the background vocal group and performs NAT KING COLE'S jazz standard "I'm Gonna Laugh You Right Out of My Life'. STEVIE also takes time out in the set to salute the British audience with an affectionate medley of two BEATLES' songs ('Fool On The Hill' and 'I Want To Hold Your Hand') and a ROLLING STONES' classic 'Satisfaction', book-ending them with the traditional 'London Bridge is Falling Down'.

 

CRUZIN'...

Friday, 13 February 2009 11:23 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

CRUZIN'...

If you've been browsing indie soul sites recently or, indeed, trawling through new releases on CD Baby one name you'll find regularly cropping up is that of TRACY CRUZ. The Bay Area vocalist's 'Feel'osophy' album has been making waves right across the West Coast, so www.soulandjazzandfunk.com decided to catch up with the chanteuse to discover more about the album. TRACY told us that she was bitten by the performing bug aged just twelve when she won a string of talent competitions… and her inspirations? "Well I'd say my biggest influences are JILL SCOTT, LAURYN HILL, SARAH VAUGHAN, and LEDISI, though I strive for my own distinctive vocal style". Like HILL and SCOTT, TRACY also pens much of her own material: "As the primary songwriter, I try to bring personal observations and experiences on love and life to my songs". The lady's debut album "Feel'osophy" - released September 23, 2008 - is, she says, "the study of emotions through musical words and sounds" and since its release, the album has won 3 Muses's Muse Awards for Best R&B CD Project of 2008, Best Lyrics Female, and Best R&B Single Female and has received attention from reputable music critics and deejays worldwide. The album is now available via CD Baby and most internet outlets and you can discover more about TRACY at www.tracycruz.com

 

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