Friday, 04 February 2011 13:38 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

Merry_coverSoul fans should look out for a clutch of mouth watering new reissues and compilations. Those among our readers who are romantically inclined – and who are in need of ideas for Valentine's Day gifts - should check out a new ROBERTA FLACK collection called 'Love Songs.' It features 18 evergreen performances from the North Carolina chanteuse, including classic duets with Donny Hathaway and Peabo Bryson.

Like Flack, singer MERRY CLAYTON – who has a more strident vocal style and used to be in the group Sisters Love - honed her singing in church. Out of print for many years, her two excellent early '70s albums for Ode, 'Gimme Shelter' and 'Merry Clayton,' are reissued by the German-based Repertoire label.

Another soul singer with a distinctive voice was ESTHER PHILLIPS. After finding commercial success at Creed Taylor's CTI label in the '70s, she joined Mercury for a four-album stint. None of those albums have ever been reissued on CD – until now. David Nathan's imprint has just reissued a couple of terrific 'twofer' sets comprising Philips' late-'70s/early-'80s Mercury albums 'You've Come A Long Way, Baby,' 'All About Esther,' 'Here's Esther Are You Ready,' and 'Good Black Is Hard To Crack.'

Also look out for the first time reissue of 'Ridin' High,' the album by cult Chicago group, FAZE-O. The title track is much sought after by disciples of Rare Groove. It's reissued by UK label, Get On Down. So too are 'Splashdown,' a 1980 album by jazz-funk septet BREAKWATER plus the self-titled 1982 set by Washington DC boogie-funk outfit, KLEER (the group's 1984 LP, 'Khemistry' is also reissued by Get On Down).

For those that are partial to jazz-tinged soul with an exotic, Caribbean twist then a couple of vintage albums by Virgin Islander JON LUCIEN should hit the spot. Both 1970's 'I Am Now' – originally issued on RCA – and 1973's classic 'Rashida' are reissued by Big Break Records.

Watch out for reviews of some of these titles soon at SJF.



Friday, 04 February 2011 12:36 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

bootsy02Mascot Records have announced that the incomparable BOOTSY COLLINS will be releasing a brand new studio album at the end of April. With typical understatement, Mr COLLINS claims that 'Tha Funk Capital Of The World is "the best thing I've ever done". We will, of course, have to wait and see – or more specifically, listen, but what we do know for sure is that the album features a whole host of guest artists and "celebrities" including scholar DR. CORNELL WEST, activist REV. AL SHARPTON, the actor SAMUEL L. JACKSON, rappers ICE CUBE, SNOOP DOGG and CHUCK D, one time P-FUNKERS - GEORGE CLINTON and BERNIE WORRELL, percussionist SHEILA E, soul legend BOBBY WOMACK and guitarists BUCKETHEAD and CATFISH COLLINS. CATFISH – BOOTSY'S brother sadly passed away during the making of the album. 

'Funk Capital' is BOOTSY'S first new studio album of original funk material since 2002's Play With Bootsy'. The album artwork, we're told, features a specially commissioned 3D sleeve. Full review on SJF very soon.



Friday, 04 February 2011 12:33 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

yetundeNigerian-born YETUNDE (JOHNSON) is the newest UK soulstress to grab lime light as a potential "next big thing". Since signing to Greengarden Records in 2008, she's been working on her debut album and the set – 'Favourite Things' – is set for release on March 7th. Album collaborators include ANITA McLOUD (who's worked with USHER), CHRIS ARMS, BENNY BIZZIE and DANNY SCHOGGER. 

YETUNDE describes the album as "an outlet of emotions which draw from personal experiences, conversations and humorous situations witnessed in my everyday life." Most of the album's songs, therefore, are originals but there is one classic soul cover – a version of the STYLISTICS' 'You Are Everything', though YETUNDE says she was more familiar with the GAYE/ROSS version.

The album has been heralded by the single 'Mr. GQ' which caused decent sized ripples in the R&B world. It's currently available in the usual plethora of mixes, with the stripped down 'Lounge Mix' probably the best bet for soul people.

Last Updated on Sunday, 06 February 2011 20:10



Monday, 31 January 2011 15:08 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

reelWith Valentine's Day just around the corner, REEL PEOPLE have just issued a lovely romantic dance floor swayer – 'Tell Me Why'. The cut is taken from the band's upcoming 'Golden Lady' album and features a fabulously engaging vocal from the wonderful TONY MOMRELLE. TONY has worked with people like GLORIA ESTEFAN, SADE, WHITNEY HOUSTON, TAKE THAT and , of course, INCOGNITO. He's been providing vocals for REEL PEOPLE since 2007 and 'Tell Me Why' is one of his best efforts with the smooth song perfectly suited to his warm, soulful tones.

REEL PEOPLE'S 'Tell Me Why' (featuring TONY MOMRELLE) will be available on Reel People Music from February 14th.



Friday, 28 January 2011 17:21 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

Gladys3GLADYS HORTON, co-founder of Motown girl group THE MARVELETTES, has died at the age of 65. Her son, VAUGHN THORNTON, said she died on Wednesday January 26th in a nursing home in Sherman Oaks, California, where she had been recovering from a stroke.

GLADYS formed the group at high school in the Detroit suburb of Inkster with friends WANDA YOUNG, KATHERINE ANDERSON, JUANITA COWART and GEORGINA DOBBINS. Originally called the CASINYETS ("Cant Sing Yet"!), they soon became the MARVELS and were signed to the fledgling Motown empire. Soon dubbed the MARVELETTES, they provided GORDY with his first no.1 pop single – 'Please Mr. Postman' and during their time at Motown different line ups of the MARVELETTES achieved a further 23 pop hits ... yet , sadly too many people see the group as Motown second stringers!

In 1962 COWART and DOBBINS left the outfit, leaving the MARVELETTES as a s trio. In the mid 60s SMOKEY ROBINSON took over responsibility for the group and he insisted that new member WANDA YOUNG take over lead vocals from GLADYS because he wanted their records to have a softer, more sophisticated sound. Then in '67 Ms. HORTON quit to look after her disabled son, SAMMIE. "I didn't want to travel," she said in a 1985 interview... "I had to spend my time caring for my son. I'm an orphan, so I don't have any family I could leave him with while I was carrying on with my singing career."

GLADYS eventually moved to the Los Angeles area and performed periodically in the 1980s and '90s, though for complicated legal she couldn't use the MARVELETTES' name. RON BREWINGTON of the Los Angeles chapter of the Motown Alumni Assn. said in tribute , "I never heard her say anything about frustration. It was always 'Sammie, Sammie, Sammie. What does he need? What's he doing? What can I do for him?' That's a mother, a real mother....She loved people, loved to sing. That was her pride and joy was to sing. She just loved to sing and to make people happy."

TheMarvelettes1966"GLADYS was a very, very special lady, and I loved the way she sang with her raspy, soulful voice," Motown founder BERRY GORDY said in a statement. "We will all miss her, and she will always be a part of the Motown family."

GLADYS HORTON, who was born May 30, 1945, is survived by her sons, SAMMIE COLEMAN and VAUGHN THORNTON; and two grandchildren.


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