Tuesday, 30 July 2019 18:25 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altThey've been in the business for an incredible 30 years, but the BRAND NEW HEAVIES are still going strong. In their career the band has scored sixteen Top 40 hits and three million album sales and with a new long player on the way in September, those sales stats are all set to grow.

The upcoming album is 'TBNH' (via Acid Jazz) and the set is being heralded by the single 'These Walls'. The Kendrick Lamar song is given a big, Latino treatment and was produced by someone called Mark Ronson.... a self confessed BNH uber-fan! He says the band helped turn him onto soul and he had them play at his 40th birthday bash. 'These Walls', by the way, features long-time band collaborator N'Dea Davenport on vocals. Ms D is just one of many guest vocalists joining Simon Bartholomew (guitar) and Andrew Levy (bass) on the 14 tracker. Amongst the other guest vocalists are Beverley Knight, Siedah Garrett, Angela Ricci and Angie Stone... quite a line up!

To promote the album the band is on the road through October and November – a diligent web search will give you the details.

In the meantime we look forward to the album. Sneak previews reveal it's a corker – stuffed with that unique and classic BNH sound and right up there with their very best. One track in particular, 'Getaway' is sure to set dance floors alight. It features a sample from the Emotions' 'Best Of My Love' and has N'Dea Davenport out front... brimming with optimism, it's a winner all the way – mark my words. Full review of the album here @ SJF very soon.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 July 2019 18:34



Tuesday, 30 July 2019 18:21 BIll B E-mailPrintPDF

alt'You're Rich' is the latest single from UK song bird SHAILA PROSPERE and it's the official follow up to her winning 'Plus One' from earlier in the year. The tune is a proper old fashioned stomper and Ms P belts it out with a real soulful passion. Lyrically, it makes sense too.... just think about what's important... what really makes you rich?

Shaila wrote the song alongside Wayne Jones while producers Roy Williamson and Rickardo Reid (Family Reunion) create a big, big sound - bright horns and string patterns and full BVs.

'You're Rich' is out on 9th August on Attention Records.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 July 2019 18:34



Sunday, 28 July 2019 15:17 BillB E-mailPrintPDF

altNot that well-known in the UK and Europe, L.A./Toronto combo MONKEY HOUSE has been together for 25 years. They are singer/songwriter/keyboardist Don Breithaupt, drummer Mark Kelso, bassist Pat Kilbride, and guitarist Justin Abedin. Their longevity has resulted in a tight sound and an obvious musical empathy. The band is all set to release their fifth album, 'Friday'- a sophisticated 12 song mix of melodic jazz-tinged blue eyed soul with a subtle AOR undertow tied up in clever, intriguing lyrics and storylines.... very much like classic Steely Dan....

... and surprise, surprise the LP's big cover is a Steely Dan song – well, not exactly. 'Book Of Liars' is in fact a Walter Becker solo effort (from his first, 1994 solo album). Breithaup says: "As a lifelong Steely Dan fan, Walter's death hit me hard. I thought it'd be a nice gesture to do one of his."

That love of Becker and Fagen is self-evident throughout 'Friday' and helping Monkey House deliver that very special sound is Steely Dan alumnus trumpeter Michael Leonhart alongside guitarist Drew Zingg (Boz Scaggs), François D'Amours (Gino Vannelli), and Snarky Puppy guitarist Mark Lettieri. Lucy Woodward adds on point BVs while Manhattan Transfer make a welcome appearance on a quite lovely, 'The Jazz Life' - a track that could've come from any Steely Dan album.

Another album highlights is the enigmatic closer 'Islands Off The Coast Of America' and though I can't really say why, the intro on 'Welcome To The Rest Of The World' reminds me of Al Stewart's 'Year of The Cat'. And that's the charm of 'Friday'... it's full of intrigue and interest.

Don Breithaupt says: "If you think of 'Friday' on a compass, it has moved a few degrees towards R&B, soul and blues as opposed to some songs on earlier albums that were more poppy or Beatles-derived." See if you agree when the LP wins release on Alma Records on August 2nd.

Last Updated on Sunday, 28 July 2019 15:24



Sunday, 28 July 2019 15:11 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altJazz baritone NICOLAS BEARDE is set to release his latest album – 'I REMEMBER YOU' – a celebration of Nat King Cole's music in tribute to the legend's 100th Birthday. Nicolas has long appreciated the music of Nat Cole, one of his earliest influences...  and though the ten songs on this project are familiar, Bearde offers new perspectives whilst retaining the original romantic charm.

As part of the launch of 'I Remember You', Nicolas will be appearing at Pizza Express Soho on Wed. August 21st... Full details from the venue.

Last Updated on Sunday, 28 July 2019 15:30



Sunday, 28 July 2019 15:08 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

alt'Shades of Blu' is the latest project from guitarist / technologist, JUEWETT BOSTICK, (pronounced Ju wet, and affectionately called 'JU' by family and close friends). Bostick, for whatever reason, records infrequently. I think 'Shades of Blu' is his first album since 2003's 'It's Not That Easy' and the man's new sound is very different – a quirky mix of traditional music skills and technological savvy. He says: "'Shades of Blu' is the evolution of converging forces. The times we're in, the technology at our disposal and a life long association with musicians, singers and artists. It's an innovative new direction in Jazz!"

For sure the long player is different. The set is a 17 tracker but there are only (I think) 9 separate tunes with the other cuts being alternative/extended/re-imagined versions of the originals whilst on some cuts, it appears the players and the vocalists are in melodic conversation. The set list a mix of Bostick originals and tunes by Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan, Thelonious Monk and Jimi Hendrix. That should give you the measure of the album's variety and intrigue.

'Shades of Blu' is out now and if you're an avid sleeve notes reader you might have noticed the name of Juewett Bostick on albums by people like Norman Connors, Grover Washington, Jr. Bobby Brown, The Temptations and Nancy Wilson and that soul/jazz experience shines through on 'Shades of Blu'.


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