Saturday, 14 August 2010 17:05 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

joseEarlier this year Minneapolis-born, London-based jazz vocalist JOSE JAMES released his second solo album, 'Black Magic' – a left-field collection of jazz workouts , nu-soul grooves and one delightful old school soul swayer – 'Promise In Love', which is still proving one of the year's best cuts. Now Mr. J is set to release his third album – as different to 'Black Magic' as that one was to his debut set, 'The Dreamer'. The new LP is a collaboration with Belgian pianist JEF NEVE and is a nine track collection of songs from what is now always referred to as "The Great American Songbook". The tunes include 'Autumn In New York', 'Body And Soul', 'When I Fall In Love', 'Lush Life' and 'For All We Know' – the song which furnishes the album with its title.

The project came together spontaneously after JAMES and NEVE performed together on a Belgian TV show. They decided it would be good to record together – so a studio was booked and they cut the whole thing in just six hours – with no producer, no other musicians and no overdubs. The result is a hugely honest and pure album on which the silence is an important component. Equally the simplicity allows the beauty of the songs, the warmth of JAMES'S voice and the clarity of NEVE'S playing to shine through

JOSE JAMES and JEF NEVE'S 'For All We Know'' is released in September on Verve/Impulse.

Last Updated on Saturday, 14 August 2010 17:11


New albums due by MAVIS STAPLES, KENNY G and SOULIVE

Thursday, 12 August 2010 17:00 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

MavisSoul legend MAVIS STAPLES has a new album out on Anti- Records on September 13th. Called 'You Are Not Alone,' it was produced by guitarist Jeff Tweedy and blends traditional gospel songs with Mavis's interpretations of songs by Pops Staples, Randy Newman, Allen Toussaint, John Fogerty, the Reverend Gary Davis and Little Milton.

Soprano sax warbler KENNY G releases his 13th studio album on August 23rd via Concord. Entitled 'Heart & Soul,' it's helmed by hot shot producer Walter Afanasieff and features vocal cameos by Robin Thicke (on 'Fall Again') and Babyface (on 'No Place Like Home').

Look out for a tremendous new album called 'Rubber Soulive' by US band SOULIVE, which pays homage to The Beatles. The funky New York jazz trio – comprising organist Neal Evans, guitarist Eric Krasno and drummer Alan Evans – put their own inimitable spin on Fab Four immortals like 'Eleanor Rigby,' Help,' 'Day Tripper,' 'In My Life' and 'Something.'  The new record is their third long player for indie label Royal Family Records. Previously the band has recorded for Velour, Blue Note and Concord and in 2005, they added soul, reggae and pop elements to their sonic palette for their one-off Stax album 'No Place Like Soul.'

'Rubber Soulive' is out in September.



Monday, 09 August 2010 17:48 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

lee_rLong known as the guitarists' guitarist, LEE RITENOUR lives up to that nickname with his brand new recording project – '6 STRING THEORY'. The album (out August 23rd on Monster Music) sees LEE join forces with 20 other guitarists on a remarkable cross-genre celebration of the world's most popular musical instrument. The LP features players like GEORGE BENSON, BB KING, SLASH, STEVE LUKATHER, JOHN SCOFIELD, ROBERT CRAY, JOE BONAMASSA and TAJ MAHAL.

Alongside all the star names though, RITENOUR gives valuable recording experience to some new and up and coming players – like SHON BOUBIL (the 16 year old winner of a Yamaha-sponsored guitar competition) and JOE ROBINSON (the 18 year old winner of Australia's Got Talent).

Depending on individual tastes, everyone will have their own highlights. Here at SJF we liked the GEORGE BENSON solo 'My One And Only Love' and his soul-jazz collaboration with Hammond maestro JOEY DEFRANCO on 'Moon River'. Also of note is BB KING'S swinging new version of 'Why I Sing The Blues' and TAJ MAHAL and KEB' MO'S take on 'Am I Wrong'.



Monday, 09 August 2010 17:21 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

drifters2It will come as no surprise to learn that the legendary DRIFTERS are returning to the UK for another lengthy tour. This time, though, the tour is a little different because for the first time in a long time the group will be promoting new material. In September Sony Music are releasing a new greatest hits collection... but the set will include two new tracks recorded by the current line-up - MAURICE CANNON, DAMIAN CHARLES, MICHAEL WILLIAMS AND RYAN KING. The two new cuts are 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For' and 'Do You Dream Of Me'

The 14 date tour kicks off at Wentworth on September 4th then goes on to venues all across the country. Go to  for precise details. Though, through the years over 60 vocalists have featured in the DRIFTERS, the group's heritage, values and traditions have been sympathetically handled by the TREADWELL family who have been involved with he group since their inception in 1953. As ever, the TREADWELLS are keen to point out that their DRIFTERS are the only performers with any official links to the great line ups of the past. In every way the new foursome are carrying the flame borne by the likes of CLYDE MCPHATTER, BEN E KING,  RUDY LEWIS and JOHNNY MOORE


Last Updated on Monday, 09 August 2010 17:26



Sunday, 08 August 2010 18:36 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

Roy-Ayers-PicROY AYERS, the hardest working vibes player in show business, re-enters the recording fray with a brand new collaboration with JULIAN BENDALL'S BAH SAMBA outfit. The new recording 'Positive Vibe' is an uplifting slab of modern soul dominated by ROY'S optimistic lyrics and warm dancing vibes – the set of vibes used on the recording, by the way, is the very instrument used on BBC's 'Strictly Come Dancing'. Add to that some tasty guitar licks and upbeat backing vocals from the BAH SAMBA crew and you have a great late summer groove. The original mix comes in both 7" and 12" formats and watch out for mixes by ASHLEY BEEDLE, ANDY WARD, SEAN McCABE and the SUPER-PHONICS.

ROY AYERS and BAH SAMBA'S 'Positive Vibe' is out now on Favouritizm Records.



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