Monday, 23 May 2011 08:54 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

BlaIZETheir label calls them "the most famous UK group you never knew you knew". Confused? Well, THE TOMMY BLAIZE BAND may not be household "names" but their voices and playing have, I'll wager, been heard frequently in almost every UK household. You see THE TOMMY BLAIZE BAND are essentially the core of the musicians who play regularly on BBC TV's 'Strictly Come Dancing'!

Lead singer is TOMMY BLAIZE. Apart from being the lead male vocalist on 'Strictly', he's also worked with STEVIE WONDER, AMY WINEHOUSE and others. DAVID ARCH is the keyboardist, PAUL DUNNE and ANDY CAINE play guitar while TREVOR BARRY (bass) and IAN THOMAS (drums) are in the group's engine room. Together, they've just released their debut album – 'Don't Ya Love Life'.

TOMMY and his gang have spent 18 months putting the album together and working with hot producer, STEVE PRICE, they've crafted as set stuffed with catchy pop/soul. The sixsome are augmented by a full string and brass section and some stellar backing vocalists, including the ever-wonderful MADELINE BELL.

Twelve of the fourteen tracks are original songs – penned by BLAIZE with various collaborators. The two covers are memorable versions of 'My Girl' and 'I Wish You Love'. 'My Girl' is particularly beautiful – a stripped down piano-accompanied version of SMOKEY'S classic with a touch of string sweetening.

THE TOMMY BLAIZE BAND'S 'Don't Ya Love Life' is out now......

Last Updated on Monday, 23 May 2011 09:01



Friday, 20 May 2011 16:07 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

stax-records-logoThe mighty Stax label has for some time been owned by Concord Music Group and two of the group's executives – NICK PHILIPS and CHRIS CLOUGH – have just embarked on a project to reissue key albums from the Stax archive. The series is to be called "STAX REMASTERS". Not only is the music masterful but it's also been remastered and each release will come with rare bonus tracks, new liner notes and archive photos.

The first three releases in the series hit the racks on July 4th. They are – BOOKER T AND THE MGS 'McLemore Avenue', THE STAPLE SINGERS' 'Be Altitude' and JOHNNIE TAYLOR'S 'Taylored In Silk'. Full reviews on SJF very soon.



Wednesday, 18 May 2011 11:17 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

SOUL-CHESS-RECORDSEagle-eyed readers of SOULANDJAZZANDFUNK, the web's biggest and brightest independent soul site, will have noticed a new ad at the bottom of each of our perfectly formed pages. It's for the UK's leading online customised T shirt seller –  . The company now offers a great range of soul-themed T shirts. Some feature classic and discreetly placed label logos – MOTOWN, STAX, CHESS, etc; others feature iconic artists like MILES DAVIS, GEORGE BENSON and ISAAC HAYES. Take a peek at their range by clicking on the ad and going to the "music" tab on their home page.

More interestingly, maybe, is the fact that  also offers a spectacular custom T shirt service. By using their simple, online template you can design your own unique shirt. So whether you dig CURTIS MAYFIELD or KING CURTIS or even VAN McCOY or McCOY TYNER, they can sort you out with a T shirt so that you can display your impeccable tastes for all to see. Labels, artists, genres, album covers, slogans, witticisms... the range is as limitless as your imagination.

Find out more by clicking on the link in the ad panel or go directly to

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 May 2011 11:22



Wednesday, 18 May 2011 11:15 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

Shane_Philips_-_Hooked_Into_YouSoul Unsigned Records have just released their second digital single. It's 'Hooked Into You' by Canadian soul man SHANE PHILIPS. PHILIPS works in and around Ontario and the track is taken from his recent album 'Selling Out'.

The PR blurb describes 'Hooked Into You' as an "uplifting slice of modern soul". We'd add that it's big, brash, brassy, strong and strident ... and yes, it is thoroughly modern but it achieves a distinct 60s/70s flavour via a trilling organ solo midway through. Find out more by going to   ... where you can also learn about the label's first digital only release, the wonderful 'Hanging On' from Liverpool's DOWN TO US.



Thursday, 12 May 2011 19:02 Bill Buckkey E-mailPrintPDF

marvinMay 21, 2011 sees the 40th Anniversary of the release of MARVIN GAYE'S 'What's Going On'. Back in '71 label boss, BERRY GORDY had serious misgivings about the LP, but, of course, it went onto become an acknowledged classic and it's regularly cited as one of greatest albums in the annals of popular music. To celebrate the anniversary, Motown/UMe has announced the release of 'What's Going On – Super Deluxe Edition', on May 31, 2011.  This new edition includes two CDs and one vinyl LP. There are unreleased tracks, lots of rarities and an oversized booklet with two essays and rare photos from the original cover shoot.  The set comes in a double-gatefold 12x12 package and it's all newly remastered.

The first CD in the pack features the original album along with outtakes and demos from sessions that led up to the recording of the LP. There's also the mono mixes of the album's three singles. Disc 2 of 'What's Going On – Super Deluxe Edition' features music recorded just after the original was released. It includes instrumentals that GAYE recorded with guitarists RAY PARKER JR. and WAH WAH WATSON, and the 20-year-old bassist MICHAEL HENDERSON. The rest of the disc includes GAYE'S final sessions in Detroit; among the few tunes he recorded was a sequel of sorts to the album, the politically tinged non-LP single 'You're The Man,' which hit the R&B top 10 in spring 1972.  Also included are two rare alternate takes of the song.

The album's vinyl disc is the first ever 12-inch vinyl LP of the "Detroit Mix" of 'What's Going On'. This is considered a darker mix than the authorized release, which, of course, featured overdubs recorded in Los Angeles.

The LP-sized booklet has rare photos from the sessions, the original lyrics, detailed recording annotations and two essays: one by GAYE biographer DAVID RITZ describing the "Why" MARVIN GAYE created his first-ever self-produced album, and another detailing the "How" by BEN EDMONDS, author of 'What's Going On: Marvin Gaye and The Last Days Of The Motown Sound.'

The anniversary will also be marked on stage this summer when RICKEY MINOR, STEVIE WONDER AND FRIENDS (including special guest JANELLE MONÁE) perform a July 24 Hollywood Bowl concert concluding with a tribute to 'What's Going On'. In May of next year, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA with JOHN LEGEND and THE ROOTS will collaborate for a special 'What's Going On' concert to note the 40th anniversary of GAYE'S legendary performance at that venue.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 May 2011 19:08


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