Thursday, 07 October 2010 14:57 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

drumsSoulsters with a penchant for Latin rhythms need to investigate a new single on Cuban percussionist CHARO VELECIO. 'The Drums Of Auluya' is an irresistible mover built around a rolling Afrobeat groove, underpinned by jazzy keys, hypnotic chanting, a vocal from ABI HOLIDAY and an African spoken word passage. Those diverse elements are brought together perfectly by top New York producer/DJ BENJI CANDELARIO who releases the track on his own Transitori label. The uncluttered original 7" mix works best but for those who like the flavours a little different there's five other tweaks to choose from including a Bellyhouse Electro Mix, a Wildman Duce Club Mix and a second twist from CANDELARIO ('Strut Mix') that features a catchy sax hook.

BENJI CANDELARIO with CHARO VELECIO'S 'Drums Of Auluya' is released on Transitori Music on November 1st.



Thursday, 07 October 2010 09:16 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

sheila--jpeg-3Detroit's SHEILA LANDIS is one of jazz's best kept secrets. Introduced to jazz by the soundtrack of 'Lady Sings The Blues', LANDIS immersed herself in the songs of BILLIE HOLIDAY and later, while studying English at Oakland University, she got to know jazz artists like MARCUS BELGRAVE. She entered the jazz fray herself in 1973 performing with a group called THE VINEYARDS. Then in 1981, she formed her own record company, Shelan, and has been issuing an album on that label virtually every year since then.

 SHEILA met her musical and romantic soul mate, guitarist RICK MATLE, in 1990. They have worked together ever since in a variety of combinations; duo, trio, and their six to eight member band, BRAZILIAN LOVE AFFAIR. The latter is the main instrument to express LANDIS' long-standing romance with Brazilian music. The lady has also been ever keen to explore the link between poetry and jazz and on two of her previous albums - 'The Bird Inside' and 'Where Jazz Lives' she explored that relationship in some depth. 

SHEILA'S latest album – 'Heart Plaza' – continues that exploration. On the 13 tracker she works on a variety of themes – most notably the evolution of jazz. Her setting of ELIZABETH ROMATZ'S poem 'Jazz' sets the tone - but the two big set pieces are poet IRVINE BARAT'S tributes to DUKE ELLINGTON and ELLA FITZGERALD – 'The Duke' and 'First Lady' respectively.

Musically, LANDIS has an extraordinarily flexible voice. Throughout she scats, sings ballads and swings with a real verve. SHEILA has chosen to consider herself a Detroit artist, doing most of her work in and around the Motor City. In appreciation of this loyalty she has been the recipient of many area awards, including being named outstanding jazz vocalist for seven different years by Detroit Music Awards. She is a regular participant in Detroit music festivals, including the Ford Detroit International Jazz Festival, and performs regularly at a number of spots in the Detroit area. 

Find out more about SHEILA LANDIS, her extensive back catalogue and that new album 'Heart Plaza' by visiting



Last Updated on Friday, 08 October 2010 16:28



Friday, 01 October 2010 15:30 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

legend_and_rootsSinger/songwriter JOHN LEGEND returns on October 18th with 'Wake Up,' a sterling collaboration with the neo-soul/hip-hop group, THE ROOTS. The 12-track set, with its emphasis on socially conscious material, features contemporary reworkings of some of soul music's classic songs from the '60s and '70s. Kicking off with an impassioned revamp of 'Hard Times' – originally cut by Baby Huey & The Babysitters – the set includes fresh versions of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes' 'Wake Up Everybody,' Les McCann's Gene McDaniels-penned 'Compared To What,' Marvin Gaye's 'Wholy Holy,' Donny Hathaway's 'Little Ghetto Boy,' Bill Withers' 'I Can't Write Left Handed,' and the Nina Simone-associated 'I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free.' The album's final cut is a new version of Legend's own 'Shine.'

Here at SJF we've had a sneak preview of the album and can confirm that it's a deeply soulful concoction that's sure to be at the top of 2010's Best Album lists.

Look out for a full review of the album soon at SJF.



Thursday, 30 September 2010 18:57 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

ASWAD17052004The Metropolitan Black Police Association is presenting its annual 'Celebration Of Life Concert' on Friday October 22 at the Southbank's Royal Festival Hall. The concert will bring together some of the top names in contemporary music for a night of great entertainment whilst also raising awareness of the Association's anti-violence initiative Revival. 

Headlining this year's concert is the legendary UK reggae group ASWAD, featuring the ASWAD HORNS. The band, of course, are best remembered for their 1988 smash hit 'Don't Turn Around', but they debuted back in 1976 and are still recording ... their latest release being 'City Rock'. 

The show also features saxophonist COURTNEY PINE who will be joined by lyrical guitarist CAMERON PIERRE for a special duo set. An institution on the country's jazz scene, COURTNEY is a bandleader, composer, arranger, educator and performer on a number of different instruments. The bill is completed by the LIFEFORCE BAND who will be joined by guest vocalists GUVNA B (recently nominated for the Best Gospel act in the MOBO Awards), VULA MALINGA and KERSHA BAILEY who are all hotly tipped for 2010. The evening will be hosted by the inimitable CURTIS WALKER and signed throughout in British Sign Language by HETTY MAY BAILEY. 

For ticket info. go to  and for more details on the anti-violence initiative go to




Wednesday, 29 September 2010 18:35 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

gary_lewisGARY LEWIS is the son of zany (and occasionally very serious) US movie actor JERRY LEWIS. In the 60s - encouraged and supported by dad – young GARY broke into the music biz where he was drummer and vocalist in GARY LEWIS AND THE PLAYBOYS. Working with hotshot producer, SNUFF GARRET, the "band" chalked up a remarkable run of chart hits in the US (In actual fact, the recordings featured one PLAYBOY – GARY... the musicians on the tracks were the cream of the then LA session scene).

GARY meant little in the UK till the Northern Soul scene picked up on a couple of his sweet and banal but eminently danceable little ditties – 'This Diamond Ring' and 'My Heart's A Symphony' - and things were going well for our hero till UNCLE SAM beckoned and he was drafted into the Vietnam War.

On leave from the army GARY went into the studio again and recorded a new album with a more sophisticated sound. The LP, 'Listen,' was arranged by the legendary JACK NITZCHE and was described by the label's PR people as "psych pop". Sadly the album bombed ... GARY had to go back to the Army and he eventually became embroiled in legal disputes with the label (Liberty). So, 'Listen' was soon deleted and, of course, has now become an in-demand collectors' item. Now, Now Sounds (a subsidiary of Cherry Red) have made it easy for said collectors by reissuing the album in all its naive psych pop glory. It's certainly not soul – but its pleasing melodies and breezy West Coast optimism might appeal to those who enjoyed the man's two Northern faves. The reissue offers the album in stereo and mono mixes and you can find out more at



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