Monday, 28 February 2011 08:23 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

lizz_wrightGospel-reared chanteuse LIZZ WRIGHT - who excited both jazz and soul fans with her gospel-infused debut platter, 'Salt,' back in 2002 - has just released her fourth long player for Verve. Entitled 'Fellowship,' the set features striking cameos from Me'shell Ndegeocello, African singer Angelique Kidjo and Dr. Bernice Reagon from Sweet Honey In The Rock. The set is also co-produced by singer/songwriter Toshi Reagon, who worked on Georgia-born Wright's last album, 2008's 'The Orchard.'  In terms of its material, the new album blends traditional gospel numbers – like 'Amazing Grace' and 'I've Got A Feeling' – with songs penned by rock stars Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, though all are rendered in Wright's inimitably soulful vocal style.

Look out for a full review soon at SJF



Monday, 28 February 2011 08:18 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

MarshaFormerly one-half of the neo-soul duo Floetry, singer/songwriter MARSHA AMBROSIUS makes her long-awaited solo debut with an album 'Late Nights & Early Mornings' released on February 28th on J Records via Sony Music. Produced by the 33-year-old Liverpool-born singer alongside co-producers Peter Edge, Trevor Jerideau and J. Erving, the set features 13 songs, including the single 'Hope She Cheats On You (With A Basketball Player)' and a remix of 'Butterflies,' the track Ambrosius wrote with Andre Harris for Michael Jackson. Pick of the album for us at SJF is 'I Want You To Stay,' a glistening mid-tempo beat ballad.

Look out for a full review soon at SJF.



Saturday, 26 February 2011 14:16 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

smokyobamaIn his lengthy career BERRY GORDY has won countless accolades and honours but here@ SJF we have a sneaky suspicion that the show he helped put together on Thursday, 24th February

On that auspicious day PRESIDENT and MRS. OBAMA hosted a tribute to Motown at the White House. MC for the evening was JAMIE FOXX and Motown luminaries STEVIE WONDER and SMOKEY ROBINSON performed live to an ecstatic audience. Other Motowners in attendance included DUKE FAKIR, MARTHA REEVES and, of course, GORDY himself, while JOHN LEGEND, SEAL, SHERYL CROW, NICK JONAS and JORDON SPARKS offered their version of Motown classics.

It's been a tradition that every two years the White House holds an 'In Performance' concert and the reason for the Motown special was two-fold. First - the show was part of the celebrations for Black History Month and, second, because MR OBAMA is a huge Motown lover –quipping that his wife wouldn't have married him if he hadn't been a long-time fan of Motown.

Various web sites are currently showing wonderful footage of the show – all the best search engines will help you find them.

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 February 2011 14:19



Saturday, 26 February 2011 09:45 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

gwenSoul veteran GWEN McCRAE has just released a brand new single – 'Now I Found Love'. The record is out on Plain Truth Entertainment and the sound marks something of a departure for the lady who gave us soul classics like 'Keep The Fire Burning and 'Funky Sensation'. 'Now I Found Love', you see, is aimed squarely at the electronic dance audience. The beats are distinctly Europop and - for whatever reason – it seems our girl's having a tilt at LADY GA GA! That said, the voice is still sensational. 

The logic behind the release seems to be that Plain Truth enjoyed a huge European hit last year with 'My Feelings For You' from an artist called AVICII. That one sampled GWEN'S 'All This Love That I'm Giving', so it seemed logical for the label to put out something on the lady herself. Written by DAVID SEAGAL and produced by STEVE SOLA, GWEN McCRAE'S 'Now I Found Love' is out now and available from all the usual outlets.



Saturday, 26 February 2011 09:43 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

breaksTime was when hardly a month went by without the release of a soul/jazz/funk compilation stuffed with tunes whose breaks had been sampled to death by the hip-hop generation. In recent years they seem to have dried up, but if you're having withdrawal symptoms then check out the new Harmless 2CD set – 'The Breaks'. Compiled by DEAN RUDLAND as part of the label's fifteenth anniversary celebrations, it's claimed that each and every one of the set's generous 31 tracks has at some time been sampled by the b-boys and the rappers.

Included on the album are classics like 'The Champ' from THE MOHAWKS, 'It's A New Day' by THE SKULL SNAPS and CYMANDE'S 'Bra' and 'The Message'. But with music from (amongst) others like AL GREEN, THE AVERAGE WHITE BAND, THE FIVE STAIRSTEPS, MFSB, JEAN PLUM , HAROLD MELVIN and the BLUE NOTES, INSTANT FUNK and WILLIE MITCHELL (check his gorgeous version of THE YOUNG RASCALS' 'Groovin'') it's essentially a lovely little soul compilation. Even rarity collectors will find plenty to interest them – notably TAANA GARDNER'S 'Heartbeat' and LIQUID LIQUID'S 'Cavern' – the source of GRANDMASTER MELLE MEL'S ' White Lines', by the way.



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