Friday, 30 September 2011 16:50 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

gwen2Over the coming weeks London plays host to number of great soul and jazz artists and there really is something for every taste.

Sure to cause a lot of interest is the visit of 'Rockin' Chair' lady GWEN McCRAE. GWEN will be keeping the fire burning at a gig at the Islington Assembly Hall on Thursday 17th November. The Hall is part of the Islington Town Hall complex ... up there on Upper Street. As exciting is the fact that support band will be new Aussie soul stars ELECTRIC EMPIRE. Their album has rightly won rave reviews and the single 'Baby Your Loving' is shaping to be one of the year's very best.

October sees a show from the legendary Philly outfit, THE THREE DEGREES. The group which now consists of long time members VALERIE HOLIDAY and HELEN SCOTT alongside CYNTHIA GARRISON will play the Union Chapel, Compton Avenue on Monday 10th October. You can expect all the great, memory jogging hits and it's not yet confirmed whether super fan CHAS WINDSOR will be in attendance.

Jazz fans will be delighted to learn that the remarkable FOURPLAY are in London in for one show only. It's on Thursday 10th November and the venue is the lovely Clapham Grand on St John's Hill, Clapham. BOB JAMES, NATHAN EAST, HARVEY MASON and CHUCK LOEB are smooth jazz brand leaders and the show promises to be a sell out.... check out our in-depth interview with HARVEY MASON on our interviews pages.

Finally the BRAND NEW HEAVIES celebrate their 20th anniversary with two shows at Under The Bridge in West London on December 12th and 13th. The veteran Brit soul band will revisit all their past glories.... maybe given a new twist with new vocalist HONEY LaROCHELLE. Watch out too for a double CD "best of" album on the band on the way.

Check the venues for further details.



Wednesday, 28 September 2011 17:43 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

georgedionneIn collaboration with Music Club and Rhino, we recently ran two competitions with copies of their GEORGE BENSON and DIONNE WARWICK excellent 'Essential Selection' albums as prizes.

To win the GEORGE BENSON album, we asked who wrote the guitarist's break through tune, 'Breezin''... and the answer, of course, was BOBBY WOMACK.

To win the DIONNE WARWICK album, you needed to say which of her hits featured a lyric that bemoaned the fact that "all the stars that never were, were parking cars and pumping gas". It was, of course, 'Do You Know The Way To San Jose'.

The winners of the BENSON album were – ANDREW HAMPTON of Romford, RICHARD SAFFREY of London, J-O NILSSON of Malmo, Sweden, DAVE CHARD of Stevenage and ALAN COSTA of Brighton.

The DIONNE W winners – JUDY ROBERTS of Great Yarmouth, ALAN COSTA of Brighton, DAVE CHARD of Stevenage, KEVIN MURRAY of Wirral and YVES POQUET of Paris.

Congratulations to all the winners... watch out for more competitions soon.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 September 2011 17:52



Friday, 23 September 2011 16:23 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF













SJF is very sad to report the death of Ohio-born singer, VESTA WILLIAMS. The 53-year-old chanteuse was found dead in a Los Angeles hotel room on Thursday 22nd September. The cause of death is as yet unknown. Though a one-hit wonder in the UK (where her infectious song 'Once Bitten twice Shy' was a Top 20 hit in 1986) she racked up several chart smashes in the USA, her biggest being 'Special' in 1991 which made #2 on the R&B charts. More recently she had recorded an album in 2007 called 'Distant Lover' for Shanchie Records. Our thoughts go out to her family and friends.

Last Updated on Friday, 23 September 2011 16:38



Thursday, 15 September 2011 14:27 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

georgeDemon's MUSIC CLUB imprint (in conjunction with the RHINO label) is in the process of releasing a whole tranche of De Luxe single artist albums. Each double album has been put together by a specialist and comes with full sleeve notes, artwork and slipcase packaging. Retailing between £5 and £8, they offer a great overview of some key artists and performers.


Also in the series are essential albums on DIONNE WARWICK and GEORGE BENSON. You can read a full review of DIONNE'S collection on our albums page and there's a BENSON review on its way soon.

In the meantime we have five copies of both those albums to give away in our latest competition.

Simply answer either – or indeed both - of the questions below and send your efforts to our usual e-mail address (use the contact button up top). The closing date is Monday September 26th.



dionneGEORGE BENSON COMPETITION: Who wrote GEORGE BENSON'S break through, cross over tune 'Breezin''?

DIONNE WARWICK COMPETITION: In which DIONNE WARWICK hit were "all the stars that never were, parking cars and pumping gas"?

Good luck and remember the closing date is MONDAY 26th SEPTEMBER... and you can have a stab at winning both albums by answering both questions.

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 September 2011 17:42



Thursday, 15 September 2011 11:18 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

reginaReissue label SUPERBIRD have just released two superb "twofers"... you know – two classic albums from one artist in one mid-priced package. First up, they have 'All By Myself' and 'Stay With Me' from the sadly underrated REGINA BELLE. 'All By Myself' was the lady's 1987 debut and it yielded a string of hits – notably 'Show Me The Way', 'So Many Tears' and 'How Could You Do It To Me'. Two years later REGINA released 'Stay With Me' which became an R&B album chart no. 1 before going on to be certified Gold. The two albums are featured in a twin CD pack and the set's completed by a decent set of notes from MALCOLM DOME along with several bonus cuts. Listen – not too hard – and you'll discover there's a lot more to Ms. BELLE than the ANITA BAKER clone label with which she's been unfairly too often tagged.

SUPERBIRD'S second new release features two LPs from Grammy winning horn man CHUCK MANGIONE. This "twofer" pairs two '83 outings - 'Journey To A Rainbow' and 'Eyes Of The Veiled Temptress'. The music on them is (like all MANGIONE'S work) hugely melodic –though there's an enigmatic and spaced out feeling in there too.

Both these new releases will be available from October 31st.

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 September 2011 11:23


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