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SOLOMON BURKE DIES....

Sunday, 10 October 2010 19:04 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

solomon-burke-colorSOLOMON BURKE – universally acknowledged as one the greatest true soul singers – has died. It's been reported and confirmed that BURKE died on October 10 at Schipol Airport, Amsterdam. He was flying to the Dutch city for a gig with Dutch band De Dijk with whom he'd recently recorded an album. It's unclear whether the singer died on the plane or after landing, and no further information is available at present.

BURKE was born in Philadelphia in March, 1936 (some biographies suggest, unrealistically, 1940!) and he came to soul – like so many before and after – via the Church. He was ordained into his family's church at an early age and was soon preaching and singing, eventually hosting his own gospel radio show. He signed to the Apollo label in the late 50s where he recorded gospel, but after pacting with Atlantic he soon embraced the devil's music - crafting a unique soul style that melded gospel, pop and country and though his music was often surrounded by sophisticated, "uptown" arrangements (most notably when working with BERT BERNS) BURKE'S emotionally charged delivery was 60's soul personified.

Throughout the 60s BURKE enjoyed a wealth of R&B chart successes – 'Just Out Of Reach', 'Cry To Me' and 'Got To Get You Off My Mind' amongst his very best – but unlike other Atlantic soul stars he failed to make any major pop breakthrough and after leaving Atlantic he recorded for a whole host of different labels eventually earning himself a niche as one of the last great soul men and becoming an in-demand live attraction, particularly in Europe. In 2002 his album 'Don't Give Up On Me' earned him a Grammy and its combination of BURKE'S passionate delivery and songs from some leading contemporary writers (ELVIS COSTELLO, TOM WAITS etc) set the tone for his future releases.

SOLOMON BURKE was a big man in every sense. He had a huge appetite for life and his huge bonhomie enthused everyone around him. .. not the least his family; it's said that BURKE had 21 children and 90 grandchildren. The self styled "King Of Rock And Soul" was a huge influence on all kinds of performers. In their early days THE ROLLING STONES always acknowledged their debt to the big man – they even covered his songs – 'Cry To Me', 'If You Need Me' and the classic 'Everybody Needs Somebody To Love'. Ironically that song became better known to the general public via the coverage given to it by the cinematic band, THE BLUES BROTHERS – but even they admitted their debt to the "King". Record biz guru, JERRY WEXLER once claimed that SOLOMON BURKE was "the best soul singer of all time".... some might argue with the definitiveness of WEXLER'S assertion, but few would argue that SOLOMON BURKE was assuredly one of the very, very best.

SOLOMON BURKE 1936 – 2010 RIP

Last Updated on Sunday, 10 October 2010 19:22

 

BY INVITATION ONLY....

Sunday, 10 October 2010 15:55 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

invitationsTo soul collectors, vocal group The INVITATIONS means two big tunes – 'What's Wrong With Me Baby' and 'Skiing In The Snow'. Both appeared on the Dynovoice label though the boys also recorded for MGM where their 'Watch Out Little Girl' became an in-demand item. In the 70s the band recorded for Diamond, Silver Blue, Red Greg and they also became regular visitors to the UK where they often toured as "THE AMERICAN DRIFTERS". In 2009 the veteran outfit formed their own Invite Records on which they issued an album 'Missing You'.

The UK's resourceful SOUL JUNCTION label has taken two of that album's cuts to release a new 7" vinyl single. The tunes in question are 'It Was A Woman' and 'Heavenly Love'. The former is a real old school harmony effort with a lyric preaching respect for women; the latter is a sparser affair – almost a slowie, it boasts a lovely, catchy chorus. Good to know that real soul is still being produced.

You can find out more about the release – and indeed all the SOUL JUNCTION catalogue – on the label's new web site www.souljunctionrecords.co.uk  ... It's just been launched and is well worth checking out.

 

IT’S NOT THE DRINKING....

Friday, 08 October 2010 16:13 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

Lauren-Prichard-Not-The-Drinking-USHotly-tipped LAUREN PRITCHARD releases her new single 'Not The Drinking' on October 18th. The tune is a plaintive builder that ticks all the right boxes in the contemporary pop/soul format. What really makes it work, however, is the conviction in LAUREN'S voice. Producer EG WHITE (who's worked with DUFFY and ADELE) knows exactly how to present it – and it's a clear standout on the lady's debut Long Player, 'Wasted In Jackson'. The album's title, of course, alludes to LAUREN'S home town – Jackson, Tennessee where she lived and worked before relocating to New York. Now residing in London, she's worked with PAUL WELLER, PROFESSOR GREEN and JAMES MORRISON.

LAUREN PRITCHARD'S single 'NOT THE DRINKING' is released on Split Milk/Island.

Last Updated on Friday, 08 October 2010 16:32

 

BEAT THAT DRUM ...

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.

 

SHEILA LANDIS – POETIC JAZZ....

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 www.sheilalandis.com

 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 08 October 2010 16:28

 

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