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SEEMS LIKE WE KNOW HER...

Wednesday, 03 April 2013 13:58 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

peggyPEGGY DUQUESNEL is a classically trained pianist from Orange County, California. After graduating from California State University with a piano degree, she worked with people like DIONNE WARWICK and JOHN PATTITUCCI before releasing her own solo jazz album 'Where Is Love' in 1999. Five more jazz albums followed but since working with JEFF LORBER and JIMMY HASLIP (of the YELLOW JACKETS) she's decided to try her hand at a smoother kind of jazz.

To that end, she's just released a 5 track EP – 'Seems Like I Know You' which features her take on the genre. Featuring her own vocals, it needs to be said that it's a poppy take on smooth jazz but it's none the less catchy, if a little sweet – most notably the self-penned 'When I Think Of You'. PEGGY'S also brave enough to take on a bona-fide pop classic ... and she makes a decent job of THE CARPENTERS' iconic 'Rainy Days And Mondays'.

If you like the lighter side of lite-jazz find out more @ www.joyspringmusic.com

 

ROCKIN’ STEADY

Monday, 01 April 2013 11:51 BILL B E-mailPrintPDF

skaA good number of soul folk are partial to Ska and old school Reggae and those who are will be delighted by two new UMC/Spectrum compilations that spotlight the very best Ska and Reggae released on CHRIS BLACKWELL'S iconic, old Island label.

The first two CD pack is simply called 'Island Presents Ska' and covers the years 1962-1966. The 40 featured tracks were all licensed by a young BLACKWELL from many of Jamaica's top producers and studios and amongst the featured artists are DESMOND DEKKER, THE SKATALITES, JIMMY CLIFF, THE MAYTALS, LAUREL AITKEN, DERRICK MORGAN and a young BOB MARLEY who offers 'One Cup Of Coffee' – simple, catchy and quite beguiling.

'Island Presents Rock Steady' takes the label's story from 1967 to 1968 and illustrates how Jamaica's musicians slowed down the Ska rhythms to create a "new" sound – Rock Steady – that was more suited to dancing in the intense, summer, Caribbean heat. More mature and sophisticated than Ska – yes, but the very best of Rock Steady (as represented here by people like DERRICK HARRIOTT, THE VICEROYS, PAT KELLY, JOE HIGGS and THE UNIQUES) was just as beguiling. Look out for covers of THE IMPRESSIONS 'Gypsy Woman' and 'A Man's Temptation' showing the huge influence CURTIS MAYFIELD had on Caribbean music.

Last Updated on Monday, 01 April 2013 11:56

 

ON THE ROAD…

Sunday, 31 March 2013 15:44 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

Clare-T_CLARE TEAL – one of the UK's most popular jazz vocalists – is slap bang in the middle of a lengthy tour. With the odd break now and then, CLARE'S virtually on the road for all of 2013 and those who've caught her show will attest that it's worth making the effort to get out there and book. In the show, supported by a fine trio, she effortlessly mixes jazz classics with her quirky treatments of pop songs... referencing the back catalogues of people like ELLA FITZGERALD, ANITA O'DAY, and PEGGY LEE ... even DORIS DAY and SNOW PATROL get a look in!

In between times CLARE still presents her BBC Radio 2 jazz programme and she's currently putting the finishing touches to her latest long player which will released soon. There'll be a full review here @ SJF but in the meantime check out the tour dates @ www.clareteal.co.uk

 

ARCTIC BLAST....

Friday, 29 March 2013 08:36 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

arcticJIMMY BISHOP'S Arctic Records was Philadelphia's most important pre-Philly International label. BISHOP was one of Philadelphia's most-listened to 60s Djs and as programme director of WDAS-AM he wielded enormous influence over the air waves of the City Of Brotherly Love. Not content with just breaking hits though BISHOP decided in 1964 he'd like to make them... so he set up Arctic Records.

In getting into the music making business JIMMY had invaluable support from ex-LARKS vocalist, WELDON A MCDOUGAL III. WELDON had a share in Philadelphia's Harthon Records and, ever a shrewd operator, he knew the value of having a top radio man on board. The pair produced a number of records that were leased out to other labels but in September '64 BISHOP dumped McDOUGALL and launched his own imprint – Arctic, named in a tribute to his respect for another "ocean" label, Atlantic Records. Importantly, he also tied up a deal with HARRY LIPSIUS of Jamie Records to secure the all-important distribution rights

BISHOP'S new label hit pay dirt with their fifth single - BARBARA MASON'S 'Yes I'm Ready' - a classic soft soul tune that pointed to the future of the Philly sound. That hit and BISHOP'S status in the tight-knit Philly music world meant all the city's best musicians and artists wanted to work with him. The legendary BOBBY MARTIN came in as Arctic's primary arranger while young Turks like NORMAN HARRIS, RONNIE BAKER and EARL HARRIS also came into the Arctic fold along with session men BOBBY ELI, EARL YOUNG and VINCE MONTANA. Amongst the Arctic crowd too were two hopeful, young musicians – keyboardist LEON HUFF and aspiring singer KENNY GAMBLE.

kenny_gGAMBLE got to record a number of singles for Arctic – both as a soloist and out front as lead singer with THE FLOATERS and THE ROMEOS and you can enjoy all of his Arctic work on a fabulous new 6 CD box set that brings together every single released on JIMMY BISHOP'S label. The set boasts 121 cuts and the featured artists include THE VOLCANOES, HAROLD MELVIN and the BLUE NOTES, HONEY and the BEES, THE AMBASSADORS, WINFIELD PARKER, DELLA HUMPHREYS and, of course, BARBARA MASON and KENNY GAMBLE. Philly collectors will revel in stuff like 'Happiest Girl In The World' from THE TIFFANYS and 'Girl I Love You ' from THE TEMPTONES who featured a young DARYL HALL (then using his real name, DARYL HOHL).

Want more? Well, the lavish pack also contains half a dozen vinyl 7" singles which feature 12 previously unissued recordings . They include BARBARA MASON'S 'He's Got To Love Me 'and KENNY GAMBLE'S 'It Takes Two'. Add to all that loads and loads of archive photos and full track commentary and you have a five star retrospective of a wonderful old label – a label that paved the way for the magic of Philadelphia International.. . a label that helped define sweet soul.

COOLER THAN ICE – ARCTIC RECORDS AND THE RISE OF PHILLY SOUL is out now on Arctic/Jamie-Guyden.

 

MORE MOTOWN MAGIC....

Friday, 29 March 2013 08:10 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

topsThe Motown reissue machine grinds on with two great anthologies on a pair of the label's most enduring groups – THE FOUR TOPS and MARTHA and the VANDELLAS. May sees the release of 50th anniversary collections on both groups and each pack will come as 3 CD box set.

THE TOPS' collection spans the years 1964 - 1972 and features all the A and B sides of all their Motown singles. As with all packs like this there are bonuses too. Here you can enjoy Italian versions of some of the biggest hits along with singles that were only ever issued in the UK.

 

 

vandellasTHE VANDELLAS package covers the years 1962 – 1972 and, once again, all the girls' A and B sides are in there. The bonus cuts, though, will be vital to collectors. Included are 27 previously unreleased tracks – some finished and remixed by DEKE RICHARDS of Motown's "Corporation". The work was the last major music project that DEKE worked on before his recent death.

Both box sets come lavishly packaged and are stuffed with rare photos, sleeve shots and various Motown memorabilia... full reviews on both sets here @ SJF very soon.

 

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