Monday, 26 February 2018 14:01 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altBRENDA HOLLOWAY was (indeed is) a Motown legend - revered for her hits like 'Every Little Bit Hurts', 'You've Made Me So Very Happy' and the still fabulous 'When I'm Gone'.

Ms Holloway has worked steadily since the golden days of Motown - recording, touring and developing new artists and amongst those new performers is Alabama's RAGS MOODY III. Inveterate sleeve note readers might recognize Mr M's name from his contribution to PRESTON GLASS' latest album 'Love & Compassion'. He delivered the track 'Family Man'.

Right after that, Glass paired Rags with his mentor, Brenda, and the result is the simple, sweet old school duet ballad, 'Same Page' which has just been released on David Nathan's SoulMusic Records in association with Platinum Garage Recordings.

'Same Page' speaks of a different age – the age of Marvin and Tammi of Peaches and Herb et al....a simpler time when songs were less gimmicky and, maybe, more heartfelt.

Brenda Holloway & Rags Moody III- 'Same Page' is out now

Last Updated on Monday, 26 February 2018 14:08



Monday, 26 February 2018 13:59 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

alt(Stuart) MATHER is possibly the hardest working man in the UK soul business. He's one half of busy, busy, dynamic duo Mather and KIngdon, but he also chases his own successful solo career which he's punctuated with a fine, regular series of releases.

His latest offering gets an official release this Friday, 2nd March and it's a six track EP, 'Yours Truly', that was heralded by the single 'Invisible'. If you're a soul radio listener, you'll know the tune. Radio friendly, it was heavily rotated – easy to hear why –simple and straightforward Brit pop/soul. The EP's title cut offers more of the same - a classy, light dancer with a just a hint of Latin about it, it makes no demands but, be warned, it  is ultra catchy.

If that's your thing, then there's plenty more on the EP for you to enjoy. 'Can I Come Over Tonight' is equally sweet and unpretentious; 'I Will Be Your Friend' is another crisp dancer; and 'If He Really Doesn't Love You' is even more energetic. With more Latino garnishes  and a minimum vocal, it's a throwback to the golden days of smooth soul/jazz.

The EP's big surprise though is a cover of major Harris's 'Love Won't Let Me Wait'. Stuart strips it right down to allow the lovely tune to do all the work, creating a haunting effect, heightened by the sax solo. Recommended

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 March 2018 14:47



Monday, 26 February 2018 13:56 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altNu soul/jazz duo BLUE LAB BEATS (NK-OK and Mr D.M) have been around for a year or two now, steadily building up a fan base and a profile via a series of clever, catchy yet adventurous singles. The pair's long-awaited long player is, we're told, with us in April but in the meantime, there's another single to enjoy.

The new release pairs 'Oooo La La' with 'My Dream'. The former is classy jazz-soul instrumental with some mean horn alongside crystalline vibes. The latter is an ethereal vocal with a hip hop flavouring. For both, maybe, think those early groundbreaking Guru solo albums.

Last Updated on Monday, 26 February 2018 14:09



Sunday, 25 February 2018 10:15 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF


       altRenowned for presenting a jaw-dropping array of talent year after year, this year's forthcoming North Sea Jazz Festival looks to have outdone itself with a mind-blowing line-up that draws from the adjoining musical worlds of jazz, R&B, funk, and blues. The Rotterdam-based festival - which has been going since 1976 and is dubbed the largest indoor event of its kind in the world - is scheduled for the weekend of 13th  to 15th July and promises a smorgasbord of musical delights.

There's much to enamour the hardcore jazz buffs but those who are aficionados of supergroups, then they're in for a treat. They'll be able to hear Hudson featuring Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield, John Medeski and Scott Colley; Pat Metheny in the company of Antonio Sanchez, Linda Oh and Gwilym Simcock; drummer Billy Hart and his Quartet with special guest Joshua Redman; Vijay Iyer Sextet in whose ranks are Graham Haynes, Mark Shim, Steve Lehman, Stephan Crump and Jeremy Dutton; ‘R + R,’ an exciting combo with Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin, Christian Scott, Taylor McFerrin, Derrick Hodge and Justin Tyson; and ‘Queen of Sheba’, a symphonic project from Ibrahim Maalouf & Angelique Kidjo. And if these acts aren't enough to satiate your jazz palate, singer Cécile McLorin Salvant, the Mingus Big BandPharoah SandersMarcus MillerBADBADNOTGOOD and veteran pianist/composer Carla Bley are all booked to perform.  

For those desiring something earthier, funkier, and more danceable, then the presence of R&B man Khalid along with The O’Jays, Earth Wind & Fire and Nile Rodgers & CHIC should hit the spot. And if it's blues you're after, Gary Clark Jr, is the man for you.

 The icing on the cake, perhaps, is a keenly-antipated concert by man of the moment, jazz's capped crusader, Gregory Porter, who will appear backed by the redoubtable Metropole Orkest under the baton of acclaimed arranger, Vince Mendoza.

Day tickets for North Sea Jazz Festival are on sale now and all-in tickets are available from the end of April at



Last Updated on Sunday, 25 February 2018 19:17



Saturday, 24 February 2018 16:58 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altLong time member of UK soul group THE REAL THING, EDDY AMMO has died. Though details are sketchy it seems that Eddy, who was 73, died suddenly whilst in Australia.

Born to Ghanaian parents in Toxteth, Liverpool, Eddy's first forays into music were in the 60s when he was part of vocal group, The Chants. The Chants boasted a classic harmony group line up and played the Liverpool club circuit – at times using the Beatles as their backing band. They recorded for Pye and many of their singles are now hugely collectable – notably a doo-wop flavoured version of 'I Could Write A Book'.


When the Chants folded Eddy joined his younger brother, Chris in a new group, The Real Thing. After a successful run on TV talent show, Opportunity Knocks, the group became David Essex's backing singers which helped them to secure a recording contract. Working with writer/ producer Ken Gold, the Real Thing enjoyed huge success with hits like 'You To Me Are Everything', 'Can't Get By Without You', and 'Can You Feel The Force'. Amongst their albums was the hugely influential 'Four From Eight' which was inspired by their experiences in Toxteth.... Liverpool 8. Amongst the album's tracks was 'Children Of The Ghetto' which was eventually covered by people like Philip Bailey, Courtney Pine and Mary J Blige.

After the hits dried up, The Real Thing continued to tour and, indeed still do though it's been confirmed that all remaining 2018 dates have been cancelled. A spokesperson for the band said:"It is with great sadness that we share the passing of our brother and inspiration, Eddy Amoo. Eddy was a showman, a songwriter, and a legend in British music."


Last Updated on Sunday, 25 February 2018 19:23


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