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POPCORN WYLIE PASSES

Tuesday, 16 September 2008 16:13 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

POPCORN WYLIE PASSES

Though his name would mean nothing to the average music lover, RICHARD 'POPCORN' WYLIE was revered by the soul cognoscenti. Sadly, the great man died on 7th. September - aged 69. Details surrounding his passing are unclear but he died at his Detroit home and his daughter PATRICE NELSON said that he'd been suffering from congestive heart problems for some time. The iconic artist, keyboardist, writer and producer was born RICHARD WAYNE WYLIE in Detroit in 1939 and he earned his distinctive nickname at High School, where he was a valued member of the football team. During games he developed the habit of suddenly "popping" out of the team's bonding huddles - hence "popcorn". It was at school that he teamed up with people like JAMES JAMERSON and that pair played together in a number of youthful bands. It was natural that they'd find their way to the embryonic Motown set up and WYLIE played on some of the label's groundbreaking first hits including 'Money', 'Shop Around' and 'Please Mr. Postman' as well as recording in his own right as POPCORN AND THE MOHAWKS. BERRY GORDY held him in such esteem that WYLIE was singled out as the band leader for the first nation-wide Motown revues. He left Motown in 1962 and signed with Epic but he also worked as a producer and writer with labels like Ric Tic and Golden World. POPCORN eventually founded his own Pameline label but by 1971 he was back at Motown leaving in '75 for ABC Records. A fallow period followed, though in the '80s and '90s, like many ex-Motowners, he threw in his lot with IAN LEVINE. Much of his work - as artist, writer and producer - is held in huge esteem by those who really know soul and though his achievements are numerous, the man himself claimed that his best work was 'With This Ring' - a big hit, of course, for the PLATTERS. He was so damn proud of it simply because he wrote it for his wife….

 

GOING OUT TONIGHT...

Saturday, 13 September 2008 08:00 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

GOING OUT TONIGHT...

Expansion's latest offering is 'Going Out Tonight' from Euro duo FRANK RYLE and ROB HARDT - collectively known as COOL MILLION. FRANK hails from Denmark where he founded the soul site www.soulportal.dk seven years ago while ROB comes from Germany where he's an in-demand musician, mixer and producer. Love for all kinds of soul - especially the great sounds of the 80s - brought the pair together and their first collaboration 'Naughty Girl' was one of the standouts on Expansion's 'Soul Togetherness 2007' set. That track's success encouraged the pair to cut more tunes with variety of vocalists and musicians and it was natural that RALPH TEE'S Expansion set up should release the finished LP. The album has a generous 15 tracks and all have the potential to become modern room anthems. Full review on www.soulandjazzandfunk.com very soon.

 

BLUE NOTE BONANZA...

Thursday, 11 September 2008 11:50 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

BLUE NOTE BONANZA...


Good news for jazz fans - September sees the reissue of a slew of vintage titles from Blue Note, the legendary jazz label set up by German-Jewish émigrés, Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff, in 1939.
On September 15th, ten titles are reissued in the company's ongoing RVG remaster series. These include 'Leapin' And Lopin'' by SONNY CLARK, 'Lou Takes Off' by LOU DONALDSON, 'The Opener' by CURTIS FULLER, 'Evolution' by GRACHAN MONCUR III, 'J.R Montrose' by J.R.MONTROSE, 'Dimensions & Extensions' by SAM RIVERS, 'Plays Fats Waller' by JIMMY SMITH and 'Dearly Beloved' by STANLEY TURRENTINE. Arguably the pick of the bunch are two superb titles by saxophonist HANK MOBLEY - 1956's 'Hank Mobley Quintet' (only previously available in Japan and as part of an expensive limited edition Mosaic box set) and 1958's 'Peckin' Time.'
Available from September 22nd are six titles in Blue Note's 'Rare Groove' series. These are:
'Heritage' by EDDIE HENDERSON, 'Fancy Dancer' by female flautist BOBBI HUMPRHEY, 'Howling For Judy' by JEREMY STEIG, 'Set Us Free,' a sterling soul-jazz set from Hammond hero, REUBEN WILSON, and 'Soul Symphony' by THE THREE SOUNDS. The group also appears on leader GENE HARRIS'S opus 'Elegant Soul.' All CDs are mid-price.

On the new release front, Blue Note also has noteworthy new releases from Windy City chanteuse PATRICIA BARBER, whose follow up to 2006's 'Mythologies' is 'The Cole Porter Mix,' which offers radical reinterpretations of classic songs from the pen of the legendary tunesmith, Cole Porter. Also look out for 'Symphonica,' a grandiose new album by saxophone colossus JOE LOVANO, who teams up with the WDR Orchestra for a majestic seven-track large ensemble offering featuring six original Lovano compositions. Both albums are available from September 15th.

 

SOULSCAPE. . .RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARCHIVES

Thursday, 11 September 2008 11:48 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

SOULSCAPE. . .RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARCHIVES

When it comes to bona fide, rare-as-hen's-teeth antique soul - especially the gritty Southern variety - look no further than the current catalogue of the UK-based indie label, Soulscape. Set up by soul aficionado Garry J. Cape a couple of years ago as the successor to his well-regarded Grapevine imprint, Soulscape has found a niche as a company that specialises in exhuming the lost and forgotten recordings of soul music's most obscure cult figures from the '60s and '70s. The label has several fine new releases just out on the shelves. Of interest to fans of blues-inflected soul is a compilation dedicated to the '70s output of gutsy singer GEATER DAVIS, whose raspy voice sounds like an amalgam of James Carr and Bobby 'Blue' Bland. 'I'll Play The Blues For You: The Legendary House Of Orange Sessions' features 16 tracks and includes his collectable LP, 'Sweet Woman's Love.' Another fine collection devoted to an obscure Southern soul man is 'Lay Another Log On The Fire,' a sterling set from C.L. BLAST (aka Clarence 'Junior' Lewis). 'The Complete Juana Sessions: 1976 to 1984' focuses on Blast's work with producer Frederick Knight.
A singer also revered by the soul cognoscenti is DORIS ALLEN, whose declamatory, gospel-reared voice shines brightly on an excellent 23-track set called 'Shell Of A Woman: The legendary Playground Sessions', which features some previously unissued sides from the 1980s as well as the singer's brilliant late '60s solo 45s (her popular duets with Big John Hamilton are also included).
Look out too for an exciting September Soulscape release that focuses on the highly coveted work of falsetto-voiced Southern soul singer SAM BAKER. 'I Believe In You' is a 22-track compendium spanning the years 1965-1969 and features all the sides Baker cut for John Richbourg's legendary Nashville label, Soundstage 7. For more information go to www.garryjcape.com

 

BOBBY'S BACK ...AND HERBIE TOO

Wednesday, 10 September 2008 10:34 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

BOBBY'S BACK ...AND HERBIE TOO

Considering his importance and stature, there are surprisingly few BOBBY 'BLUE' BLAND albums currently available. Hopefully, that will start to change with the upcoming Universal/Island release of a "Best Of..." on the great man. Clearly put together on the back of the recent MICK HUCKNALL tribute set, this collection boats 27 cuts from BOBBY'S period at Duke Records and all his classics are included - notably the sublime 'Cry, Cry, Cry' and the soulful 'Share Your Love With Me'. By coincidence, one of BOBBY'S best songs - 'Turn On Your Love Light' is one of the key note cuts on an EMI release from HERBIE GOINS AND THE NIGHTIMERS. A US serviceman based in the UK, GOINS became a mainstay on the 60s British live circuit where he helped keep the soul flag flying with energy-packed, cover-heavy shows that kept the soul-starved British mods more than happy. Taking its title from HERBIE'S own mod anthem, 'Number 1 In Your Heart', the album has 22 tracks and will be available at the end of September.

 

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