Saturday, 28 July 2012 15:22 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

chairA newly minted incarnation of the CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARD is currently working on a brand new album which is set for release early next year. In the meantime the trio have just issued the first taster from the LP – a sophisticated, soulful dancer called 'You'. The beats are tight, the hook's a real ear worm and the harmonies are superb – but you'd expect that from a band carrying the CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARD banner. The new band – made up of KEN KNOX, THOMAS HUNTER and RICHIE FIGUERO - have done a great job in recapturing the sound of the original CHAIRMEN and if you're doubting their provenance the new outfit has the full support of DANNY WOODS and the estate of GENERAL JOHNSON. The usual internet outlets will allow you to investigate.



Saturday, 21 July 2012 19:38 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

arethaBBR records continue with their programme of reissuing ARETHA FRANKLIN'S Arista albums by releasing her debut for CLIVE DAVIS' label. Originally released in 1980 the eponymous LP was produced by the veteran ARIF MARDIN and the then hot shot CHUCK JACKSON. DAVIS spared no expense, allowing the producers to use the cream of LA session men including JAMES JAMERSON SR, BERNARD PURDIE, RICHARD TEE, CORNELL DUPREE, JEFF POCARO, DAVID FOSTER, LOUIS JOHNSON and DAVID SANBORN. He even brought in the original SWEET INSPIRATIONS to provide backing vocals.

The album yielded three US singles – the sweet ballad 'United Forever', the deeper 'Come To Me' and a great version of the DOOBIE BROTHERS' 'What A Fool Believes' complete with great sax solo from DAVID SANBORN. A cover of OTIS REDDING'S 'I Can't Turn You Loose' was also released as a 45 in the UK. 'Aretha' was/is a great album and proved to the doubters that for the Queen of Soul there was definitely life after Atlantic.

This reissue includes the original LP's 9 tracks along with a quartet of bonus cuts – essentially edits of the singles.

Last Updated on Saturday, 21 July 2012 19:48



Thursday, 19 July 2012 18:35 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

countryKent Records have just released a pair of sizzling Southern soul compilations. Proper soul fans have always acknowledged the link between soul music and country and western, but if anyone doubts that thesis then the first of the new Kent collections will soon put them right. 'Behind Closed Doors', you see, is a wonderful 23 track assemblage of soul classics which were originally recorded by country artists. The set features some big soul names – amongst them SOLOMON BURKE, PERCY SLEDGE, ESTHER PHILLIPS, AL GREEN, JAMES CARR and CANDI STATON – as well as lesser known artists (like TONY BORDERS, THE LIMELITES and COOKIE JACKSON) but they all offer heart-rending renditions of one-time country hits. Amongst the highlights are ANN PEEBLES' 'Hangin' On', BETTYE SWAN'S 'Don't Touch Me' and LITTLE MILTON'S 'Behind Closed Doors' which gives the album its title. The clever Kent compilers have also chosen some less obvious selections: so instead of offering us BROOK BENTON'S 'Rainy Night In Georgia' we get Mr B's 'She Even Woke Me Up To Say Goodbye' and where you might have expected JOE SIMON'S version of 'The Chokin' Kind' we get Z Z HILL'S take... and to keep the anoraks happy the sleeve notes tell you all you need to know about each song's provenance.

gemsKent's second Southern soul set is another dip into the archive of the Sounds Of Memphis label. Collectors will be delighted to have access to previously unreleased material from artists like DAN GREER, WILLIAM BOLLINGER, RUDOLPH TAYLOR and BARBARA AND THE BROWNS. There's also material like GEORGE JACKSON'S 'Things Are Getting Better' which was licensed to Chess and with music from the 60s, 70s and 80s, there's more than enough to satisfy all serious soul collectors and again the thorough sleeve notes (courtesy of DEAN RUDLAND) take you through everything. The collection's appropriate title is 'Lost Soul Gems'.



Friday, 13 July 2012 19:21 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

p_wax_finalIn august Barely Breaking Even Records (bbe) will release a splendid 16 track compilation of super rare disco and boogie music. 'Private Wax' (for that is its title) has been put together by renowned crate digger ZAF ZAFSMUSIC who describes himself as "a disco weasel of the highest order". He says he's got it bad - losing sleep and suffering physical maladies from the want of certain must-have pieces of stamped vinyl.

He works out of Reckless Records on Berwick Street, London's hotbed of vinyl commerce and amongst the gems he's assembled for 'Private Wax' is MR. FOX'S deservedly scarce 'Party Track' which kinda sums up the mood of the album. Another perfect party track is the offering from SPECIAL TOUCH – 'This Party's Just For You' ... a midtempo sureshot if ever there was one . Another goodie is GREGORY JOLLY'S sassy 'What 'Em Doing Is My Business'. It nicks its bass line inspiration from JAMES BROWN, and turns it into a slap-happy, southern-fried sizzler. Standout cut though is CHUCK STRONG'S delicious take on the WILLIE HUTCH penned boogie standard made famous by GWEN MCRAE, 'Doin' It.' For disco denizens it's a must have cut on a must have set.

PRIVATE WAX is out in August  on bbe Records –more info –

Last Updated on Friday, 13 July 2012 19:27



Friday, 13 July 2012 19:20 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

bossaEl Records (a division of Cherry Red) have just released a 32 track compilation of classic Brazilian bossa nova music. The story of this simple yet sophisticated "new trend" in music begins in the late fifties and coincides with a period of democratic freedom and economic development in Brazil. A new president, JUSCELINO KUBICHK, was determined to modernize his country and promised his people "fifty years of progress in five". At the same time work began on a new federal capital, Brasilia, there was renewed foreign investment in the country, the arts began to flourish ... and the country's football team (featuring a teenage PELE) won the World Cup for the first time.

In this heady, encouraging climate, musicians thrived – developing a new, futuristic music that captured the mood of what was perceived in Brazil as a Golden Age. Songwriter ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM, poet VINICIUS de MORAES and guitarist JOAO GILBERTO were the principle architects of the new music which was soon to be embraced world-wide

'Festival Of Bossa Nova' collects together 32 bona fide bossa nova classics, all recorded between 1957 and 1960. Featured artists include WALTER WANDERLEY, JOAO GILBERTO, BADEN POWELL, LUCIO ALVES and a young SERGIO MENDES.



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