Friday, 17 August 2012 13:23 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

kylieAustralia's other KYLIE – the wonderful KYLIE AULDIST – is set to release her third album in mid October. The fab (we've had a sneak preview) ten tracker is heralded with the release of a double A side digital single – 'Counting On You'/'Changes'.

'Counting On You' is breezy dancer and though 'Changes' is aimed at the dance floor too, it's a decidedly heavier proposition with hints of that glorious CHIC sound about it. Produced by LANCE FERGUSON of the BAMBOOS it boasts a clever and catchy chorus that's accentuated in the LANU remix that accompanies the single. On that one the beats are heavier too and, clocking in at over six minutes, it's a gift for discerning DJs. The single will available from 17th September with the album – titled 'Still Life' on the racks from 15th October and without giving away too much I can tell you that proper soul fans will love the LP's title cut.

Find out more @

Last Updated on Friday, 17 August 2012 13:26



Wednesday, 15 August 2012 15:54 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

butThe label continues with its programme of reissuing TAVARES' Capitol back catalogue by releasing the New Bedford brothers' seventh and ninth LPs for the major. 'Madam Butterfly' was originally released in 1979 when the boys were riding high on the back of a string of pop/soul/disco flavoured hits like 'Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel' and 'More Than A Woman'. So, for the 'Madam Butterfly' project TAVARES and their management decided to go back to their soul roots. Consequently legendary Philadelphia producer/arranger BOBBY MARTIN was brought in to oversee matters. MARTIN, now working out of LA, rounded up some great songs (including a trio from SAM DEES), assembled a team of top notch sessioneers (amongst them old Philly colleague RON KERSEY) and set to work. The result was a soul vocal group tour de force. The album's lead single, 'Never Had A Love Like This Before' is exceptional and, indeed, the song remains a mainstay of the brothers' stage show. The three DEES' ballads ('Games, Games', 'Let Me Heal The Bruises ' and 'My Love Calls') and the first version of 'I'm Back For More' have also stood the test of time. Despite the set's excellence, 'Madam Butterfly' only hit #13 on the R&B chart and stalled at #92 on the pop listings, so a disappointed Capitol brought in new producers for the next TAVARES album.

upReleased in 1980, 'Love Uprising' (the second new reissue) was TAVARES' ninth Capitol album and Benjamin F Wright oversaw the project. It's generally brighter and more up-tempo than 'Madam Butterfly' with the LP's title cut (penned by Angela Winbush and Rene Moore) taking the honours. Accompaniment is provided by a team of top players including James Jamerson Jr, Paul Jackson Jr, Paulinho Da Costa and the Phenix Horns. Sadly, the album meant little chart wise. A disillusioned group made one more long player for Capitol ('Lovelines') before moving on to RCA.



Monday, 13 August 2012 20:22 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

carldavis_600CARL DAVIS – one of the principal architects of the classic Chicago soul sound – has died at the age of 77. He passed away on 9th August at his home in Summerville, South Carolina. The cause of death was given as pulmonary fibrosis.

DAVIS was born in 1934 and in the late 50s he became one of the first Afro-Americans to achieve executive status at a major label when he became A&R director for the Chicago-based Columbia subsidiary Okeh. His first million seller there was GENE CHANDLER'S evergreen 'Duke Of Earl' but (sometimes in tandem with CURTIS MAYFIELD) he worked on numerous Chicago classics - including hits for MAJOR LANCE, BILLY BUTLER, JACKIE WILSON, WALTER JACKSON, THE ARTISTICS and THE CHI-LITES. He also helmed a record for CASSIUS CLAY (before he changed his name to MOHAMMED ALI). DAVIS and CLAY worked on a great version of BEN E KING'S 'Stand By Me' which gave the boxer a moderate chart hit – but, thank goodness, not big enough to make him quit the ring!

DAVIS worked in different capacities for other labels too – most notably Dakar and Chi-Sound. In later life he was plagued by lung disease and he retired to South Carolina.

CARL DAVIS is survived by children PAMELA DAVIS, CARL H. DAVIS II, TREY DAVIS, JULIO DAVIS, KELLI MORRIS, CARLEEN DAVIS and JAIME DAVIS, as well as one brother, GEORGE DAVIS, and several grandchildren and great grandchildren.



Friday, 10 August 2012 19:41 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

miraclesWhen the great SMOKEY ROBINSON eventually went solo in 1972, soul pundits (and even some die-hard fans) believed it was the ends of the road for the guys he'd left behind –THE MIRACLES. SMOKEY however wanted the group (all lifelong pals) to continue and he'd worked hard with RONNIE WHITE, BOBBY ROGERS and PETE MOORE to find a suitable replacement. The singer they all settled on was Baltimore's BILLY GRIFFIN and he led the revitalised MIRACLES on the next phase of their career. The first two MIRACLES albums to feature GRIFFIN - 'Renaissance' and 'Do It Baby' - have just won a reissue as "twofer" on the Universal/Motown Hip-O Select imprint (available via Universal Music Catalogue) and they reveal a group right at the top of their game.

1973's 'Renaissance' is particularly impressive. SMOKEY worked as executive producer for the set and he brought in some of Motown biggest hitters to ensure that his old buddies got the very best start in their new incarnation. Producers and writers include LEON WARE, JAMES CARMICHAEL, WILLIE HUTCH, LARRY MIZELL, PAM SAWYER, FRANK WILSON, LEONARD CASON and MARVIN GAYE. MARVIN wrote and produced 'I Love You Secretly' for the MIRACLES and it's a superb ballad that echoes his best work with the ORIGINALS. Other highlights on the set include two WILLIE HUTCH songs - 'I Wanna Be With You' and 'I Didn't Realize That The Show Was Over'. Like the whole album – outstanding examples of sweet soul harmonizing.

Sadly the set wasn't a huge seller, so for the 1974 follow up Motown decided to toughen up the sound just a tad... typified by the LP's title cut 'Do It Baby', which when released as a single gave the MIRACLES their biggest US hit since 'Tears Of a Clown'. 'Can't Get Ready For Losing You' is another up-tempo gem though the album boasted several outstanding ballads too – notably 'You Are Love' and 'A Foolish Thing To Say'.

The 'Do It Baby' album established the MIRACLES as a viable force without SMOKEY ROBINSON - a position they consolidated with the remarkable 'City Of Angels' album. This "twofer" reissue sees 'Renaissance' and 'Do It Baby' on CD for the first time and as a special bonus the collection features a wonderful seven and a half minute remix of 'Do It Baby' by TOM MOULTON.

Last Updated on Friday, 10 August 2012 19:47



Thursday, 09 August 2012 15:50 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF


horace_1London's Soul Brother label is about to reissue four collectable and hard-find jazz albums. Two are by hard bop pianist, HORACE SILVER - both 'That Healin' Feeling' and 'Total Response' were two LPs released by Blue Note in 1970 and were unusual in the fact that on both sets the Silver band was for the most part augmented by the presence of lead vocalists (namely Andy Bey, his sister Salome, Gail Nelson and Jackie Verdell).

Soul Brother is also reissuing 'Mahal' by trumpeter EDDIE HENDERSON. The Skip Drinkwater-produced Blue Note album from 1975 spawned a US chart hit in the shape of 'Prance On.' Accompanying Henderson on the album are jazz luminaries in the shape of Herbie Hancock, Bennie Maupin, Hubert Laws and Mtume.

The final reissue in the new Soul Brother batch is a 'twofer' from legendary Hammond organ hero, JIMMY SMITH. 1977's 'Sit On It' and '78's 'Unfinished Business' have never been on CD before and were both recorded for Mercury and find Smith playing string ensemble, synthesiser and piano as well as his trademark organ. Contributing musicians include Herbie Hancock, Lenny White, Ronnie Foster and James Gadson.

Look out for full reviews soon at SJF.

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