Thursday, 11 April 2013 15:42 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

chillHarmless Records' BACKBEATS series has, in the space of a very short time, become the world's most popular budget soul series with over 140,000 sales – quite an achievement in these straightened times. Reasons? Well obviously the price... for under a fiver each album represents real value, but, and more important, it's the quality of the music that really counts. Each album in the series is put together with love by soul specialists who know their subject and know the kind of material that serious soul collectors want.

BACKBEAT releases its albums in sets of six and they've just issued their fourth tranche... six fabulous compilations across a variety of genres – but all containing sounds that are collectable and hugely in-demand.

First up there's 'LAY BACK AND CHILL' – a 19 track set of sensuous soul put together by RALPH TEE. Featured artists include LUTHER VANDROSS, DIONNE WARWICK and TOWER OF POWER. There's more laid back soul on 'UNEXPLOITED and UNDER-RATED' – an 18 tracker featuring hard-to-find items from people like BARBARA RANDOLPH, JJ BARNES and DAVID RUFFIN. Listen up to the fabulous 'Back In Circulation' from SWEET JAMES EPPS of THE FANTASTIC 4.

The 24 track 'CROSSOVER TO SOUL' is self-explanatory, while for those who still like their stompers there's 'DANCE FLOOR REVOLUTION' (a collection of 70s dancers), 'METROPOLIS STOMP TIME' (compiled by KEV ROBERTS) and 'DETROIT GOLD' (23 Motor City rarities).

Six unmissable sets then... with reviews here @ SJF very soon.



Wednesday, 10 April 2013 20:07 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

Gs-WayG'S WAY is an innovative French jazz combo led by multi instrumentalist GERALD "G C" BONNEGRACE. For the last ten years G C has worked in and around the experimental Parisian jazz scenes as a percussionist, but - no mean keyboardist and brass player himself – he's decided that the time's right to sort out his own album.... et voila - here it is.

Released on Up-Tone Records, G WAY'S 'Seventy Seven' is an unashamed homage to the soul, jazz and funk of the 70s. The ten track LP can trace its lineage back to the pioneering music of people like HERBIE MANN, TOWER OF POWER, RAY BARETTO, EUMIR DEODATO, FELA KUTI and GROVER WASHINGTON JR. and to help him out Monsieur BONNEGRACE has drafted in the cream of the Parisian jazz scene - THIERRY "JP GROOVE" JEAN-PIERRE on bass, CHRISTIAN TEMPLET on drums, STEFANE GOLDMAN on guitar and SYLVAIN "SLY" FETIS on Baritone and Tenor saxophone.

Together they concoct a heady cocktail that is part Latin, part funk, part soul-jazz and part jazz-fusion. The set is topped and tailed with a pair of Latin-jazz romps – 'Latin Bubbles' and 'Kiss And Fly' and in between there's all kinds of big, brash flavours. Listen up in, partculauar, to the funky, flute-led title cut and the fast and frantic 'Escapade'.

With augmentation from guests RONALD BAKER (trumpet), THOMAS KOENIG (Flute), JC MOINE (Keyboards), PIERRICK PEDRON (Alto Saxophone) and JAN SCHUMACHER (Flugelhorn) there's a lot going down on 'Seventy Seven'. Find out more at

G WAY'S 'Seventy Seven 'is out now on Up-Tone Records.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 April 2013 20:15



Wednesday, 10 April 2013 20:05 BillB E-mailPrintPDF

YoYoHoneyYoyohoneyFor soul fans of a certain vintage one of the biggest events of recent months was the reissue of YO YO HONEY'S 1991 'Voodoo Soul' long player. It had been out of print for just too long and the new issue was re-energised with great new mixes of 'Groove On'. The YO YO crew are currently working on new material but in the meantime main man MANI SHONIWA has remixed another of the old cuts – the coolly enigmatic 'Yoyo'.

The re-tweaked tune will be available on the band's own Black Sugar Music label at the start of May, but sneak previews indicate an almost BARRY WHITE soundscape – sensual and insistent, over which vocalist ANITA JARRETT coos as seductively as ever. There'll be two mixes with little to choose between them... both are laid back and flute-filled, gentle and insidious.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 April 2013 20:14



Friday, 05 April 2013 19:49 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

manAce Records have just released two superb, archive pop compilations that offer all kinds of attractions to soul fans and music collectors.

First up there's a new volume in the label's 'Radio Gold' series. This new 24 tracker focuses on US music that was bigger (chart-wise) in the UK than in its homeland. So, for instance, where jazzer MEL TORME'S 'Mountain Greenery' failed to chart Stateside, it climbed to number 4 in the UK... and that's the story of the collection... an interesting insight into the contrasting tastes of Brits and Americans in the 60s.

The second compilation is 'Born To Be Together' – a second look at the songs of BARRY MANN and CYNTHIA WEIL. The Bril Building pair were responsible for scores of pop and soul classics and here you can re-enjoy things like LOU RAWLS' 'I'm Satisfied', THE DRIFTERS' 'Saturday Night At The Movies' and THE CRYSTALS' 'Uptown'. Hugely collectable too are CLYDE McPHATTER'S version of 'On Broadway' and DUSTY SPRINGFIELD'S 'I Wanna Make You Happy'. Plenty of pop classics too from people like GENE PITNEY, THE MONKEES, SCOTT WALKER and early blue-eyed soulster LEN BARRY. Great, memory-jerking music guaranteed!



Wednesday, 03 April 2013 14:01 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

aliceALICE RUSSELL has just released the second single from her fifth solo album, 'To Dust'. The song is the taut, catchy 'Hard And Strong'. With a flavour of PRINCE to it, the song was always a highlight on the LP. For the single the song's been treated to two new remixes – with the catchiest being the Let The Machines Do The Work tweak. The Brighton quartet add a loping bass and an eerie male vocal to create a whole new ambience.

The other mix comes courtesy of Bristol mixer Typesun. Find out more @

ALICE RUSSELL'S single 'Hard And Strong' is out on April 29th

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 April 2013 16:19


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