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THE FIRM ON FILM

Monday, 21 September 2009 11:49 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

THE FIRM ON FILM

Fans of eighties soul need to know that ALAN CLARKE'S 1989 TV drama, 'The Firm' has just been adapted for the big screen and will be at a cinema near you very soon. The story focuses on the world of the football casuals and naturally the soundtrack reflects that tribe's particular musical passions. The film therefore features tunes from KOOL AND THE GANG, DONNA SUMMER, YARBROUGH AND PEOPLES, The GAP BAND, RENE AND ANGELA, ZAPP and The FATBACK BAND. The soundtrack album is available now on Universal Music

 

SOUL AT SCOTT'S

Monday, 21 September 2009 11:48 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

SOUL AT SCOTT'S

Ronnie Scott's Club is joining forces with Jazz FM to present "Funky Sensation", a new jazz funk and soul night every Saturday. Jazz FM's jazz funk DJ MIKE VITTI and soul guru PETER YOUNG, two of the station's most prolific presenters, will launch the season on Saturday 26th September with a rich mix of new and old jazz funk favourites. The venue is the Frith Street club's upstairs bar and other DJs will include RALPH TEE and CHRIS PHILLIPS. Entry is free before 8pm, rising to £7.50 after 8; then £10 after 11pm

For more details ring the Box Office: 020 7439 0747

 

AUTUMN JAZZ ROUND UP

Wednesday, 16 September 2009 14:20 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

AUTUMN JAZZ ROUND UP

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness … of which fruitfulness there's a fine crop of Autumn jazz releases - across every flavour… here's a selection of some of the best …

CARL ALLEN and RODNEY WHITAKER; Work To Do (Mack Avenue)
'Work To Do' is drummer Carl Allen and bassist Rodney Whitaker's second collaborative album and as with the first (2007's 'Get Ready) this new one redefines the soul-jazz idiom. The pair - augmented by stellar sidemen - stamp their own mark on pop and soul classics like 'Eleanor Rigby', 'With You I'm Born Again' and 'A Time For Love' while also managing to capture that same classic spirit on their own material like 'For Garrison (Both)'. Standouts include the Isley Brothers' title cut, an inspirational version of Marvin's 'What's Going On' and an emotive reading of Donnie McClurkin's 'Speak To My Heart'. Kirk Whalum's sax work on all three is outstanding.

RICK BRAUN; All It Takes (Artistry)
Since his solo debut in 1993 with 'Intimate', Rick Braun has become a doyen of smooth jazz and his distinctive muted horn sound has become a mainstay of the genre. This new album offers nothing new though the collaborations with French keyboardist Philippe Saisse bring an obvious continental feel to tunes like 'Tijuana Dancer' and the cinematic 'Christiane'. All the tunes are originals and there are no vocals - save for the scat on the Tania Maria-flavoured 'Puerto Allegre Jam' (scat courtesy of Vanessa Falabella). The album also includes a heartfelt tribute to Braun's key influence - Freddie Hubbard, 'Freddie Was Here'.

WILLIE NELSON; American Classic (Blue Note)
Country icon Willie Nelson's no jazz singer but on this new long player there's plenty of jazz input - most notably from Joe Sample and Christian McBride. There are also guest vocals from Diana Krall and Norah Jones who enhance versions of 'If I Had You' and 'Baby It's Cold Outside' respectively. Those titles - and indeed the album's tag - let's you know that Nelson here pays another visit to the Great American Songbook and with Tommy LiPuma in the producer's chair you know what to expect.

KARL DENSON'S TINY UNIVERSE; Brother's Keeper (Shanachie)
Vocalist/saxman Karl Denson cites his influences as Herbie Hancock, the Rolling Stones and Wayne Shorter. He's worked with Michael Franti, the Allman Brothers, Fred Wesley and Lenny Kravitz and in the 90s he recorded with Dave Holland, Lonnie Smith, Roy Hargrove and Jack DeJohnette; all that diversity's evident in this new set which features a cameo from Meshell Ndegeocello and input from Lenny Kravitz's road band and members of the Dap Kings. The music's a mixture of rock, soul and jazz - (I believe it was called 'fusion' back in the day) - best summed up by 'Shake It Up' and the loose 'Just Got Paid'.

CLAIRE MARTIN; A Modern Art (Linn Records)
Where ever-dependable Claire Martin's last album was a tribute to Shirley Horn, this new set is an intriguing mix of brand new material, carefully chosen covers and an eclectic dip into the great American Songbook. The two from that last source are Cy Coleman's 'Everybody Today Is Turning On' and Rodgers and Hart's 'Everything I've Got Belongs To You' while of the other covers perhaps the most interesting is a take on Steely Dan's 'Things I Miss The Most' while a version of Esbjorn Svensson's 'Love Is Real' has an outstanding soul quality. Of Claire's original material 'Edgeways' is a Latin delight , rivalled by the album's title cut which takes a much-needed swipe at celebrity culture and the dumbing-down of popular music… naturally, no dumbing-down here though.

 

TIME FLIES FOR SMOKEY

Tuesday, 15 September 2009 14:57 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

TIME FLIES FOR SMOKEY

By a pleasing coincidence, in the month that Motown reissue the first five MIRACLES' albums, main man SMOKEY ROBINSON releases a sparkling new solo set - 'Time Flies When You're Having Fun' - on his own Robso label. The twelve tracker is SMOKEY'S first full album for three years and it will remind everyone of his legendary and iconic status. The fragile falsetto is still impeccable and can be heard to wonderful effect on the album's title track, a cover of NORAH JONES' 'Don't Know Why' and a slowed-down version of the JACKSON 5's 'I Want You Back'. Standout, however, is a knee-trembling duet with JOSS STONE - 'You're The One For Me'. Read a full review on TOBY WALKER'S famous www.soulwalking.co.uk site.

 

LONDON CALLING ...

Friday, 04 September 2009 14:20 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

LONDON CALLING ...

How appropriate that in the year Motown is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, we should also have the opportunity to celebrate the importance of the London American label - the first UK label to issue Motown product. Ever-dependable Ace records have just embarked on a new series that will chronicle, year-by-year, the part played by London in making American material more easily available in the UK. London American was a subsidiary of the old Decca label and issued its first British releases in 1949, but it was in the mid fifties that the label came into its own by licensing material from the scores of American indie labels that had sprung up in the rock'n'roll era. London American offered rock, blues, R&B and pop-starved Brits real, hard-to-find American gems from labels like Liberty, Dot, Jamie, Speciality, Imperial, United Artists, and even Atlantic, Chess and, of course, Motown. The first Ace London compilation focuses on 1960 and includes MARV JOHNSON'S 'I Love The Way You Love' which though recorded by Motown was released in the States by United Artists. Other featured tracks include CHUCK BERRY'S 'Let It Rock', 'Tiny Tim' from LAVERN BAKER, 'All I Could Do Was Cry' by ETTA JAMES and 'Save The Last Dance For Me' by the DRIFTERS. The new album is the first in what will surely prove to be an important series for collectors across all genres.


 

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