Wednesday, 01 December 2010 14:19 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

nevillesNew Orleans wonderful NEVILLE BROTHERS officially came together in the 70s. Before then AARON was a solo performer (remember his classic 'Tell It Like It Is'?), ART and CYRIL were at the core of the METERS and CHARLES was an in-demand sax man. They eventually got round to recording as a unit in 1978, but didn't really break through till 1989's 'Yellow Moon'.

Just prior to that release the foursome played San Francisco's Warfield Theatre and, remarkably, the show was recorded to be issued years later as a bootleg. Hip-O Select – through a deal with A&M – have just released the set (officially) and it's a perfect little time capsule. The double CD offers a generous helping of New Orleans classics – and, of course, 'Yellow Moon', along with a mighty Rock N Roll medley which the boys performed as an encore. The album is out now but in a limited edition.



Monday, 29 November 2010 22:13 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

JB_XmasJust out is a funky festive collection from the late Godfather of Soul himself, JAMES BROWN. Entitled 'The Complete James Brown Christmas Collection' and released by reissue experts,, the 37-track 2-CD two set features three complete yuletide albums by Mr Dynamite: namely 1966's 'Christmas Songs,'1968's 'A Soulful Christmas' - featuring the funk classic 'Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto' and a long version of the non-festive, militant Black Power anthem, 'Say It Loud - I'm Black And That I'm Proud' - and 1970's 'Hey America,' which was JB's final Christmas long player until a yuletide album he released in 1999. As well as three complete albums, the double set features seven bonus tracks including a couple of previously unreleased songs. The music is accompanied by fascinating liner notes provided by ex-Brown staffer, Alan Leeds, in a photograph packed booklet. We at SJF firmly believe that the album is a sure-fire stocking filler.

Talking of Christmas albums, American jazz singer LEA DELARIA has just released a festive collection entitled 'Be A Santa,' which is available through Warner Jazz. Produced by acclaimed UK jazz pianist, Janette Mason, the set features sassy, swinging versions of Christmas classics like 'Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,' 'Winter Wonderland,' and 'White Christmas.' Interestingly the album also contains an original tune called 'A Modern Christmas Tale.' Says DeLaria: "It's our Trojan Horse of a track. You listen to it and you think you've heard it before. You ask, 'who wrote that one?' Well, we did. We just snuck it in."



Thursday, 25 November 2010 19:23 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

take6With Christmas still a month away the record racks are starting to croak with the weight of Christmas albums – some new, but many simply re-hashed compilations. If you're to buy just one this year, the SJF vote would go to a pretty little effort from premier vocal group TAKE 6. Simply entitled 'The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year', the album is released on the outfit's own label via a deal with Heads Up.

The LP's title cut is one of the standouts along with great a cappella versions of 'White Christmas', 'Sleigh Ride' and 'I'll Be Home For Christmas'. One track, though, marks a little departure for TAKE 6. On the famous 'Charlie Brown Christmas song' – 'Christmas Time Is Here' - the lead vocal is taken by SHELEA FRAZIER who also adds a subtle piano into the mix. The LP's other oddity is a version of DR SEUSS' 'You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch'... you don't hear that one too often these days!



Thursday, 25 November 2010 19:21 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

salsa_funkNascente Records are set to release a pair of albums that prove that funk recognizes no boundaries. First up is an enigmatic 22 tracker put together by top French DJ and muso, KID LOCO. His 'French Funk Experience' features a whole raft of varied sounds that veer from the poppy 'Pepper Box' from The PEPPERS through to the wild Afrobeat of MANU DIBANGO'S 'Africadelic'. The music is drawn chiefly from French "library music" – the stuff designed for advertisers, radio producers and TV people to use and therefore, till now most of the stuff has been very hard to get hold of.

The second album has been put together by international DJ and self-proclaimed Latin expert LUBI JOVANOVIC and is snappily titled 'Salsa Funk Experience'. The music on the 18 tracker comes from across the globe - even good old London, with tracks from UK bands SPITERI, GONZALEZ and MENTECA. Amongst the highlights are WILLIE BOBO'S ultra cool spin on WAYNE HENDERSON'S 'Keep That Same Old Feeling' and ARMANDO PERAZA'S almost cinematic take on 'Funky Broadway'.



Tuesday, 23 November 2010 19:47 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

shapesAs 2010 draws to an end the imaginative little TRU THOUGHTS label releases its second 'SHAPES' compilation of the year. Put together by head man Robert Luis, it offers a sparkling 30 tracks from right across the label's output, but like all previous 'Shapes' sets, it's not just a re-hash of old cuts. The set, you see, boasts more previously unreleased and exclusive cuts than any earlier 'Shapes' albums, while many of the tunes here have only ever been available on limited edition vinyl.

There are lots of highlights and what you choose may well depend on your mood – with the first CD being a little more laid back and the second aimed more at the dance floor. My hat-trick picks would be The Lanu Remix of Kylie Auldist's 'Community Service Announcement', the reggae-infused Boub tweak of Alice Russell's' 'Hurry On Now' and a lovely, simple acoustic remix of the Bamboos' 'Like Tears In The Rain' (featuring that Auldist girl again!).

Those with more energetic feet and more adventurous ears will find their own faves.... the album – SHAPES 10:02 – from TRU THOUGHTS hits the racks on December 6th.


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