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SUMMER ALBUMS BY FUSION HEAVYWEIGHTS

Saturday, 05 June 2010 09:52 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

SUMMER ALBUMS BY FUSION HEAVYWEIGHTS

Some of the biggest names in jazz-funk-fusion are lining up to release new albums. Just out is 'Now Is The Time' by Philly keyboard player, JEFF LORBER, and his band Jeff Lorber Fusion. Featuring the cream of the LA session fraternity - Paul Jackson Jr, Vinnie Colaiutu, Jimmy Haslip and Eric Marienthal to name a few - it's an example of what we've come to expect from Lorber in recent years: an album of smooth, jazz-lite instrumental grooves interspersed with a clutch of vocal cuts (listen out in particular for 'Sugar Free' featuring vocalist Irene B). A big surprise is the inclusion of the Lorber band's decent take on the edgy Wayne Shorter-penned Weather Report number, 'Mysterious Traveller.' The album's out via Heads Up.
Signed to the same company is another fusion keyboard maven, GEORGE DUKE, who has a new album due. 'Déjà Vu' finds the former Frank Zappa sideman revisiting his funk and soul roots, and also includes a Latin excursion, 'A Melody' that recalls his 'Brazilian Love Affair' period. Saxophonist Everett Harp guests alongside flautist Hubert Laws, the ubiquitous Paul Jackson Jr and singer, Lynne Fiddmont. The release date is 30th August.
Before that comes out, on July 12th Duke's old sparring partner, bassist extraordinaire and former Return To Forever member, STANLEY CLARKE, releases 'The Stanley Clarke Band' (which is also released by Heads Up). The set features the nimble-fingered keyboard skills of Japanese ivory tickler, Hiromi. Interestingly, Clarke's set is co-produced by his old Return To Forever colleague, drummer, LENNY WHITE, who also has a new solo project about to hit the shops. 'Anomaly' (released by Abstract Logix) fuses jazz with rock and features impressive line up of participants - ranging from Stanley Clarke, Victor Bailey and keyboardist Bernard Wright to soul singers Vaneese Thomas, Nicki Richards and Chris Williams.
Lenny White once led a band called Jamaica Boys, whose line up included bassist MARCUS MILLER. By strange coincidence, Miller also has a new long player out on the Dreyfuss Jazz label. 'A Night In Monte Carlo' was recorded live in France with Miller's band accompanied by L'Orchestre Philharmonique De Monte-Carlo. Trumpeter Roy Hargrove is a featured guest, as is singer/guitarist Raul Midon. There's also a studio bonus track in the shape of 'Strange Fruit,' a updated version of the old Billie Holiday number about lynching, which features Herbie Hancock on piano. The album's out on 14th June.

 

HERBIE'S BACK...

Friday, 04 June 2010 05:42 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

HERBIE'S BACK...

Legendary jazz keyboardist, HERBIE HANCOCK, who celebrated his seventieth birthday earlier this year, has a new album, 'The Imagine Project,' released on August 2nd via Sony Music. The set was recorded at different points around the globe and features colleborations with a host of stars from different musical genres - they include John Legend, Chaka Khan, Jeff Beck, James Morrison, Indie.Aria, Pink, Seal, Dave Matthews, Wayne Shorter and others.
Says Hancock in regard to the album: "Music truly is the universal language. 'The Imagine Project' will explore that concept across the globe, uniting a myriad of cultures through song and positive creative expression. My hope is that the music will serve as a metaphor for the actions taken by the inhabitants of this wonderful planet as a call for world harmony on all levels."


 

MORE ACES FROM ACE

Thursday, 03 June 2010 06:14 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

MORE ACES FROM ACE

Renowned for the superlative quality of its compilation packages, Ace Records has just unleashed a new batch of titles that should find favour with soul music collectors.
First up is a fascinating VICKI ANDERSON collection on Ace's BGP imprint called 'Wide Awake In A Dream,' which focuses on the James Brown protégé's pre-funk years, spanning the period 1965-1970. There are 23 tracks in all - the majority of which are helmed by Soul Brother Number One - and which appeared on the Smash, Fontana, Deluxe and King labels. The set includes duets with James Brown and Anderson's husband, Bobby Byrd, and also includes a previously unissued track.
Also look out for a superb collection devoted to the histrionic church-raised singer, FREDDIE HUGHES. 'Send My Baby Back' features the1968 Wand album of the same name (the first time it's ever had a bona fide reissue) and is bolstered by a slew of bonus cuts (14 in all), which include sides Hughes cut with The Soul Brothers.
Finally, Ace's Kent imprint unleashes a third instalment in their CD chronicle of obscure Memphis soul. 'Steppin' Stone: The XL & Sounds Of Memphis Story Volume 3' boasts 22 tracks, ranging from Willie Walker's 'If You Never See Me' to George Jackson's 'How Can I Get Next To You' and including rare sides by Erma Shaw, Louis Williams, The Minits, Dan Greer and The Jacksonians.

Look out for reviews soon at www.soulandjazzandfunk.com.

 

FORMER TEMPTATIONS' SINGER ALI-OLLIE WOODSON DIES

Wednesday, 02 June 2010 05:38 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

FORMER TEMPTATIONS' SINGER ALI-OLLIE WOODSON DIES

Former Temptations' singer, ALI-OLLIE WOODSON, has died aged 58 in California after battling with leukaemia for almost two years.
Woodson was born Ollie Creggett in Detroit in 1951 and joined The Temptations as lead singer in 1984 after a stint singing with Bill Pinkney's Original Drifters. He stayed with The Temptations until 1995 and was the lead voice on their big 1984 Stateside hit, 'Treat Her Like A Lady.' Woodson had a solo album released in 2001 on the UK Expansion label called 'Right Here All Along.'

 

LADIES OF THE 80S AND ROY AYERS REISSUED

Sunday, 30 May 2010 14:07 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

LADIES OF THE 80S AND ROY AYERS REISSUED

'Eighties Ladies,' the only album by the all female vocal quintet, LADIES OF THE 80s (led by singer, Sylvia Striplin) gets remastered and reissued for the first time by the UK-based Universal Sound label (an imprint of Soul Jazz Records). Originally produced by Roy Ayers for his own Uno Melodic label in 1980, the album became much sought after by collectors, who revered it for the cult Rare Groove track, 'Turned On To You.'
Also released by Universal Sound is the collectable ROY AYERS' album, 'Lots Of Love,' released on Uno Melodic in 1983. Key tracks are the Fela Kuti collaboration, 'Black Family,' and a hypnotic, moody groove called 'Chicago,' which has exerted a profound influence on the Detroit techno and house fraternity. The album's contributors include Brian Jackson, Lesette Wilson and James Mtume.
For more information go to: http://www.souljazzrecords.co.uk/index.php

 

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