Wednesday, 17 April 2013 17:37 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

tabu-2013Founded in 1977, TABU RECORDS became one of the hottest soul labels of the 80s. It was the imprint that gave us, amongst others, the wonderful ALEXANDER 'O'NEAL, the sultry CHERRELLE and the powerful SOS BAND. TABU, of course, also nurtured the mighty production team of JIMMY JAM and TERRY LEWIS ... and, you know, most TABU product has been out of print for a long, long time – now we're pleased to announce, it's back!

A re-vitalised TABU has just begun an extensive de-luxe reissue campaign that will see all the label's key albums re-released – and packed with all kinds of bonuses. The first four releases have just hit the sales racks; they are – ALEXANDER O'NEAL'S ground-breaking eponymous long player, THE SOS BAND'S third LP – imaginatively titled 'III', CHERRELLE'S debut 'Fragile' and BRAINSTORM'S flagship 'Stormin' – the album that helped launch the label.

All releases come beautifully packaged and are stuffed with extras tracks and rare re-mixes – watch out for full reviews here @SJF very soon.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 18:02



Wednesday, 17 April 2013 17:27 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

madWithout doubt one of the most successful and talked about TV series of recent years has been 'MAD MEN'. Based around the rise of modern advertising in the 50s and early 60s and set in a go-getting Manhattan agency, the MATTHEW WEINER created series won the hearts of both the critics and the public. One of the reasons for the acclaim was the painstaking attention to period detail – the costumes, the hairstyles, the decor, the speech idioms and much more were all painfully realistic.

Integral to the series' success and adding to the accurate sense of time and place was the music – always well-chosen, it fleshed out and added atmosphere to the key scenes and added to the authenticity.

FANTASTIC VOYAGE RECORDS have just released a wonderful 2 CD, 51 tracks CD that pays homage to the music of the 'Mad Men' series. Though not an actual programme soundtrack each selection has been chosen with care - collectively charting the period sounds that featured throughout the first five series of the show. Evocative and entertaining, the collection covers four decades of pop and jazz and is a perfect musical accompaniment to the series.

The featured music includes some embryonic soul from the likes of ETTA JAMES, BABY WASHINGTON and the CRYSTALS along with plenty of jazz from artists like MILES DAVIS, THE BUD POWELL TRIO and ELLA FITZGERALD. The accompanying booklet – compete with period ads – sets the music in its context, making the package a great companion to the series.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 18:04



Tuesday, 16 April 2013 05:40 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

georgeSouthern soul singer, song-writer and all round good guy, GEORGE JACKSON has died aged 77.

Agency reports from the States say that JACKSON passed on 14th April after a long battle with cancer – the irony being that after a long and sporadic career he was just enjoying some success thanks to the reissue of much of his back catalogue by the UK specialist label, Ace/ Kent (see our reviews archive for details of recent GEORGE JACKSON reissues).

GEORGE HENRY JACKSON was born in 1936 in rural Mississippi and as a teenager he began writing songs – drawing the attention of IKE TURNER who took him to New Orleans where he worked with the legendary COSIMO MATASSA. JACKSON eventually pitched up in the Memphis/Muscle Shoals area where, variously, he worked for FAME. Muscle Shoals Sound, Goldwax and Hi. Though he made his own records (most of 'em unsuccessfull) label bosses saw him as a great songwriter and JACKSON tunes were recorded by dozens of soul artists including IKE and TINA TURNER, JAMES BROWN, WILSON PICKETT, CLARENCE CARTER and ZZ HILL

JACKSON however earned most royalties when his songs were picked up by pop and rock artist like THE OSMONDS ('One Bad Apple'), BOB SEGER ('Old Time Rock N Roll') and YAZZ ('The Only Way Is Up') and most commentators believe that it was the continued success of his songs that took away his ambition to become a star in his own right... still, you can enjoy his unique style on those aforementioned Ace/Kent releases. They feature most of the songs he recorded in his own right and demos of many of the best that he "gave away".

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 April 2013 05:46



Sunday, 14 April 2013 20:44 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

vincePhiladelphia musician and influential arranger and percussionist, VINCE MONTANA JR. has died - aged 85.

Born in February 1928, MONTANA, like many Philadelphia musicians, was of Italian extraction. His musical career began in his late teens when he played in local South Philly dance bands, graduating to supporting visiting stars like Sarah Vaughan and Charlie Parker. After a spell playing in the hotel bands of Las Vegas he returned to his native Philadelphia working as a session-player in the city's hottest recording studios.

When the City Of Brotherly Love's soul boom exploded VINCE was first choice percussionist and vibraphonist for all the hottest producers and labels – most notably, of course, KENNY GAMBLE and LEON HUFF. MONTANA worked on many of Philadelphia's biggest hit records – including tracks on THE DELFONICS, THE SPINNERS, THE O'JAYS, EDDIE KENDRICKS, LOU RAWLS, THE JACKSONS and HAROLD MELVIN and THE BLUE NOTES. An integral part of MFSB (the Philadelphia International house band), MONTANA was also a key member of THE SALSOUL ORCHESTRA – a big band that worked out of New York and Philadelphia, fusing disco flavours with Latin rhythms.

In the early 80s MONTANA founded his own label – Philly Sound Works - and many of the tunes issued by the label (notably 'Heavy Vibes' and 'The African Track') are now sought after collectors' items. His underground success with Philly Sound Works led young soulful house mixers, producers and musicians to seek him out for assistance and to beef up their recordings, with MONTANA featuring on club cuts from the likes of MASTERS AT WORK, DAVID MORALES and even THE PET SHOP BOYS. He continued to work with soul stars too – notably GEORGE BENSON, INCOGNITO and ROY AYERS.

No other details are available – other than VINCE MONTANA died on Saturday 13th April 2013.

Last Updated on Sunday, 14 April 2013 20:55



Sunday, 14 April 2013 20:30 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

chapSoul people will know DAVID WASHINGTON as a founder member of the legendary Detroit group, CHAPTER 8. DAVID founded the group with MICHAEL POWELL in the late 70s and the band recorded three acclaimed long players including the still-wonderful 'This Love's For Real'.

POWELL and WASHINGTON were also, of course, responsible for breaking ANITA BAKER into the big time. The petite songstress had fronted the Detroit band, OSMOSES before being drafted into CHAPTER 8 in 1978. When she left, bassist WASHINGTON and guitarist POWELL continued to work with her along with the likes of REGINA BELLE and DAVID PEASTON.

Since then DAVID WASHINGTON has worked with THE DETROIT EMERALDS, THE FANTASTIC FOUR, JOE SIMON, SAM and DAVE and the mighty DELLS as well as being part of the band, QUAZER.

At the start of the millennium, DAVID turned his back on music and started up a pest control business before going back to college – winning a degree in IT. He and his wife JEANNINE moved to Japan and set up a business but after the devastating tsunami, they returned to the States and DAVID went back into the studio. He re-recorded the CHAPTER 8 classic ballad 'Ready For Your Love' – on which he duets with KATRINA JOHNSON; then he laid down his own version of the song he'd written for JIMMY SCOTT – the lovely, mid-tempo 'Games'.

UK soul specialist label SOUL JUNCTION has picked up both tracks and has just issued them as a 7" vinyl single, with the ultra-catchy 'Games' as the featured A –side. Riding a tight groove, the tune will please modern soul fans everywhere. It's eminently danceable and has enough retro touches to satisfy the most conservative of soulies... great vocal too. The slow 'Ready For Your Love' has always been a classic ballad and the new tweak is every bit as good as the original version.

DAVID WASHINGTON'S Games/Ready For Your Love is out now on SOUL JUNCTION RECORDS – find out more @

Last Updated on Sunday, 14 April 2013 20:55


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