Tuesday, 05 July 2011 08:59 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

158286-bump-kitchen-1132-1BUMP KITCHEN are a West Coast-based, six piece self contained outfit - and for the last nine years they've been busy proving that soul and funk are still very much alive and very, very well! The band comprise TONY HARPER (vocals), EVERETT JAMES (drums), TOM MAZZUCA (sax), MARK BITTLER (Keys), JOE BEVENS (bass) and DAVID BROYLES (guitar) and their common bond is the belief that there is still a place for real musicians playing live – with commitment, passion and, of course, soul. BUMP KITCHEN spend most of the time on the road and their infectious dedication to their cause has won them a core of faithful fans.

The band are currently promoting two excellent CDs . First up is the eleven track 'Who Ordered The Waffle'. It's rousing proof that the band are sticking to their mission statement as they offer a committed set of sweet soul and driving funk that in places will remind you of TOWER OF POWER and dear old BLOODSTONE. Nine of the tunes are originals – the covers being versions of BILL WITHERS' 'Use Me' and THE AVERAGE WHITE BANDS 'The Jugglers'. Outstanding cut is the laid-back 'Back In The Day' – a heartfelt homage to the music of the 70s – which could so easily become a big summer anthem... the album's title cut, by the way, is based on the band's experiences on the road.

Both those tunes features on 'Live At The Yale' – BUMP KITCHEN'S "other" current album. Obviously, it's a live set – recorded at the Yale Club in Vancouver, Canada and it proves that BUMP KITCHEN are a formidable live attraction. They "do" funk with consummate ease but in TONY HARPER they possess a superbly soulful front man – witness his performance on the beautiful ballad 'Baby's Heart'.

You can find out more about BUMP KITCHEN (and it's recommended) @



Friday, 01 July 2011 14:03 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

lesleySerious soul collectors in general and Philly completists in particular need to check out a new Ace album on 60s popster LESLEY GORE. LESLEY, of course, is best remembered for the QUINCY JONES-produced smash 'It's My Party' and the searing ballad 'You Don't Own Me'. After those mid sixties hits she continued to record prolifically but for some unknown reason her label, Mercury, kept some of her best stuff in the can. The ACE crew have managed to unlock the vault and have just released 'Magic Colours' – a 25 track set, which comprises the lady's unreleased 'Magic Colours' LP and a whole host of previously unreleased items.

Amongst those items is a superb trio of Philly tracks. Produced by GAMBLE and HUFF and arranged by THOM BELL and BOBBY MARTIN, they are the ballad 'Look The Other Way' and the lilting 'Take Good Care (Of My Heart)' along with 'I'll Be Standing by'. All three are perfect '68 Philly artefacts. The rest of the material is breezy "sunshine" pop – including great versions of 'Wedding Bell Blues' and DUSTY SPRINGFIELD'S 'All Cried Out'.

The set's worth checking... collectors, I'm sure, will have already checked out ACE'S latest LONDON Label compilation. The new collection focuses on 1958 and includes tracks from CHUCK WILLIS, THE COASTERS, CHUCK BERRY, CLYDE McPHATTER, BILLY WARD and the DOMINOES and THE DRIFTERS. Of particular interest is 'The Secret' from the GAINORS – an early soul "super group" whose twin lead singers were HOWARD TATE and GARNET MIMMS.



Sunday, 26 June 2011 18:37 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

vaneeseThe lovely VANEESE THOMAS is the daughter of the legendary RUFUS THOMAS and like her siblings CARLA and MARVEL, she's made a career in music. She's worked extensively as a backing singer (gigs with people like LUTHER VANDROSS, MICHAEL JACKSON, ERIC CLAPTON, STEVIE WONDER and PAVAROTTI), she's written and produced, she tutors vocalists and works the music seminar circuit – but, most importantly - she also records as a soloist. Her 2001 album 'Talk Me Down' won critical acclaim and is fondly remembered by soul connoisseurs the world-over.

The good news for the cognoscenti is that VANEESE is currently working on a brand new album – to be called 'Legacy'. As a taster a six track sampler is currently available and it proves what those in the know knew .... Ms T is keeping the Memphis soul tradition alive – preserving its "legacy" if you would.

Amongst the six tracks there's a couple of searing ballads . 'Love's Come And Gone' (featuring a wonderful sax break) is superb by anyone's standards, while 'I Don't Wanna Be Left Out (In The Cold) is one of those classic southern soul songs with just a hint of country about it.

Of the up-tempo material, 'What About Lucille' (with a brass riff borrowed from Joe Tex's 'Papa Was Too') is a great throwback while 'Don't Throw It Away' is hugely accessible pop-soul – though none of the southern soul sensibilities have been sacrificed.

VANEESE'S wonderful 2009 album – 'Soul Sister Volume 1' is also being re-promoted. The album is a 12 track homage to the likes of ARETHA, ETTA JAMES, GLADYS KNIGHT and MITTY COLLIER and there'll be a full review here on SJF very soon. In the meantime you can find out more about the soul of VANEESE THOMAS by visiting . There you can learn more about 'Legacy' and the lady's other great soul recordings.

Last Updated on Sunday, 26 June 2011 18:47



Sunday, 26 June 2011 10:25 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

frankIn 2006 Reprise Records issued a 5CD box set featuring live recordings made by FRANK SINATRA during his many residencies in Las Vegas. The set was pricy by anyone's standards, so now the label has issued a single CD sampler - 'The Best Of Vegas'. 

The 17 tracks distill the "live" essence of the greatest popular vocalist of the 20th century. The recordings were made at either Caesar's Palace or The Golden Nugget and include great versions of 'Moonlight In Vermont' and 'I've Got You Under My Skin' along with a typically laconic Sinatra monologue. QUINCY JONES leads the band on a number of the tracks.

Last Updated on Sunday, 26 June 2011 10:38



Saturday, 25 June 2011 10:34 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

kekeUS label SHANACHIE RECORDS has had a busy few weeks releasing some rather superior soul sounds. First up is a new set from KINDRED THE FAMILY SOUL. The husband and wife duo's latest offering's called 'Love Has No Recession' and features guest appearances from URSULA RUCKER, RAHEEM DEVAUGHAN, SNOOP DOGG and CHUCK BROWN amongst others.

'Unbelievable' is the new SHANACHIE album from KEKE WYATT. It's the soulful lady's third album and marks a sort of "comeback" after some turbulent years in her personal life. The songs on the LP cover all kinds of topics – love, sex, spirituality and, more controversially, abuse. The three way track (featuring KEKE, KELLY PRICE and TWEET), 'Mirror', is an honest exploration of abusive relationships.

Gospel wise, SHANACHIE can offer 'Reborn' from LASHUN PACE. It's the powerhouse vocalist's first album in over four years and it's already winning rave reviews amongst the gospel community. The album was produced by RUDOLPH STANSFIELD and was recorded in at Atlanta's Rehoboth Church Of God.

Full reviews of all these album on SJF very soon and be sure to check out our review of another SHANACHIE gospel set – KIM BURRELL'S 'Love Album'.... go to 'reviews'.

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 June 2011 10:55


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