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YULETIDE JAZZ AND SOUL

Friday, 28 November 2008 04:40 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

YULETIDE JAZZ AND SOUL

The season of goodwill and festive cheer will soon be with us and to coincide with Santa's arrival down the chimney, veteran soul and jazz man, AL JARREAU, is about to release his first Yuletide album. 'Christmas' is a 13-track collection that finds the 68-year-old Grammy-winning singer tackling a mixture of traditional festive songs and Christmas carols - ranging from 'Winter Wonderland' and 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' to 'Hark The Herald Angels Sing' and 'Oh Come All Ye Faithful.' The participating musicians include bassist Chris Walker, percussionist Lenny Castro and former Seawind members Jerry Hey and Larry Williams (the latter is the album's co-producer). Vocal group Take 6 have a cameo role on 'I'll Be Home For Christmas.' The album's available via Rhino.
Swedish jazz and funk trombonist, NILS LANGREN, also releases a festive album, 'Christmas With My Friends II,' on ACT Records. Amongst the 15 tracks are versions of 'A Child Is Born,' 'Ding Dong Merrily On High,' 'Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem,' and - of interest to soul fans - a tasteful remake of Donny Hathaway's 'This Christmas' featuring vocals from Jessica Pilnas.
Interestingly, 'This Christmas' is also the title tune of ARETHA FRANKLIN'S first ever Yuletide long player released in the States via DMI Records on December 9th. Advance reviews have been very mixed, with some US critics stating that Aretha's voice shows signs of a marked decline. Most of the production is handled by Tena Clark - who's previously worked with Natalie Cole and Chaka Khan - although Aretha produces three cuts herself. The 11 tracks include 'Silent Night,' 'Ave Maria' and ''Twas The Night Before Christmas.'
Finally, the team behind the 'Verve Remixed' albums have persuaded top ranking DJs and mix-meisters like Christian Prommer, Wax Taylor and The Orb to put a contemporary dance floor spin on vintage Christmas tunes by some of jazz's most revered artists. 'Verve Remixed Christmas' features radical remixes of songs by Louis Armstrong (including 'What A Wonderful World'), Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Jimmy Smith, Mel Tormé, Shirley Horn and Dinah Washington. It's in the shops now.

 

'80s Revival

Friday, 21 November 2008 09:48 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

'80s Revival

Fans of '80s soul are in for a treat with the first ever reissue of singer MILLIE SCOTT'S highly regarded 1986 Island/Fourth & Broadway album, 'Love Me Right,' which spawned the UK chart entries 'Ev'ry Little Bit' and 'Automatic.' The album's reissued by the Dutch label, PTG/Vinyl Masterpiece, which is also putting out 'Glasses,' the Michael Stokes-helmed 1983 LP by the Nashville aggregation, OZONE. From the same label there's also a new compilation called 'Masterpiece Volume 7,' a 13-track collection of classic '80s 12-inch mixes - these include Mtume's 'Prime Time,' the O'Jays' 'Love You Direct,' Brandi Wells' 'Watch Out,' The Whispers' 'Tonight' and Michael Wycoff's extended version of 'Tell Me Love.'
Look out for full reviews soon at www.soulandjazzandfunk.com
For more information go to www.vinyl-masterpiece.com

 

Marva Goes Down Under...next year!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008 11:39 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

Marva Goes Down Under...next year!

Sadly, Marva Whitney's proposed Australian tour - as recently reported at www.soulandjazzandfunk.com - has been postponed until next year.

2009 also sees the publication of Marva's long-awaited autobiography 'God, The Devil & James Brown: Confessions Of A Funky Diva,' which will be published by Bank House Books.


Ms. Whitney would also like it known that she is now on the books of the Personality Productions Inc, a Las Vegas booking agency run by Ms. Jean Bennett that also includes on its roster The Buck Ram Platters.
For those wishing to book Marva Whitney e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone ++1-702-648-3514.


 

MARY AND PAIN

Wednesday, 19 November 2008 03:26 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

MARY AND PAIN

MARY J BLIGE completists will need to know that the feisty lady is featured on rapper T. PAIN'S new album, 'Thr33 Ringz'. Ms. BLIGE takes lead vocals on 'Change' - which draws heavily on TOMMY SIMMS' wonderful 'Change The World'. As is often the case with rap albums there are numerous other guests, including MUSIQ SOULCHILD and RAHEEM DE VAUGHN. They add vocal support to a tune called 'Reality Show'.

 

MOTOWN AT 50

Monday, 17 November 2008 15:37 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

MOTOWN AT 50

As previously reported on www.soulandjazzandfunk.com Motown will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary with the release of a special album compiled via a music fans' internet poll. The idea was for Motown fans to select their favourites in order that the album would reflect public opinion. The poll, which ran for several months, has now closed and the results have just been announced with the top 50 choices making up a triple CD set to be released in January and - surprise, surprise… there are no surprises. MARVIN GAYE'S 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine' topped the poll worldwide with the next four being DIANA ROSS -'Ain't No Mountain High Enough', THE SUPREMES - 'You Can't Hurry Love', DIANA ROSS - 'I'm Still Waiting' and STEVIE WONDER with 'Superstition'. Any music fan worth his soul salt could probably guess the other 45s… yes …'This Old Heart Of Mine', 'Tears Of A Clown', 'ABC', 'My Guy', 'My Girl', 'Reach Out I'll Be There', etc etc… However to create some real soul interest, the third CD in the set will contain ten 'previously hard to find cuts'. … cover versions by Motown stars of classic pop and soul hits. So along with the voted-for top 50, you can enjoy stuff like STEVIE WONDER'S version of 'Light My Fire', a take on 'Everybody's Talking' by THE FOUR TOPS and MARTHA REEVES & THE VANDELLAS' reading of 'I Say A Little Prayer'.

 

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