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HANG ON IN THERE BABY

Friday, 27 November 2009 07:26 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

HANG ON IN THERE BABY

Back in September 2003, keyboardist DON GRUSIN led an all star band in a one-off, one night performance in Los Angeles. The band included NATHAN EAST, PETE ESCOVEDO, ABRAHAM LABORIEL, HARVEY MASON, NELSON RANGELL, LEE RITENOUR, SADO WATANABE, ERNIE WATTS and DON'S brother DAVE. Vocalists for the evening were PHIL PERRY, PATTI AUSTIN and NATALI RENE and the whole concert was recorded for both audio and video. On US release the audio CD - 'THE HANG' - was Grammy nominated for "Best Contemporary Jazz Album". The album's music incorporates real variety - Latin, African, smooth and straight ahead jazz. PATTI AUSTIN takes lead on 'Wait For Me' and 'Oo The Carnival' while PHIL PERRY handles 'Woman' with all his usual soul flair. The set culminates with everyone on stage for a full out jam - 'She Feels Good'. The album has now won a European release via German label - C. A. R. E. The packaging is lavish and includes the DVD recording of the concert.

 

TOP TRIO FROM KENT ....

Tuesday, 24 November 2009 14:55 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

TOP TRIO FROM KENT ....

Over the last couple of months, Ace Records' Kent subsidiary have released a trio of stonking soul archive compilations… all essential for lovers of classic soul.
First up there's a generous 24 track tribute to one of the UK's longest running soul clubs - the 6T's Rhythm 'N' Soul Club - based (chiefly) at the 100 Club. For the soul night's fifth anniversary - back in 1984 - the leading lights decided to issue a commemorative vinyl 45 and that anniversary tradition continued for the next 25 years. Here ADY CROASDELL has lovingly assembled and annotated the sounds that were issued as those highly collectable 45s. Highlights abound - and naturally there's lots of energetic dancers but for those who like things a little more mellow there's CHUCK JACKSON'S wonderful 'What's With This Loneliness' and JOHN EDWARDS' ever-popular 'Ain't That Good Enough' while the simple rustic sound of THE SAN FRANCISCO TKOs' 'Make Up Your Mind' is a real left-field delight.
Secondly, Kent are offering their final volume of recordings from New York's GWP label along with productions they licensed out elsewhere. Again the set offers plenty for the dancers but in DEBBIE TAYLOR'S 'Never Gonna Let Him Know' and THE PERSIANS' Here It Comes' the album boasts two superb sweet soul ballads while harmony group fans will be delighted to have 'Go Away' from THE HESITATIONS on CD for the first time - classic 60s soul - as is their (included) version of BARBARA MASON'S 'Yes I'm Ready'.
Kent's third compilation focuses on the Carnival label - formed in the mid 60s by one-time Motown session player and travelling revue bandsman, JOE EVANS. Some time ago Kent released three CDs of Carnival material and this new one - 'Carnival Northern Soul' - cherry picks the cuts that have the most appeal to the Northern fraternity. Obviously there's more than a hint of Motown about the music with 'I Need A Guy' from THE LOVETTES possessing that beautiful, finger-clicking Detroit mid-tempo ambience. Label mainstays, THE MANHATTANS, are well represented as is PHIL TERRELL who also features on that 6Ts Tribute album. For more details go to www.acerecords.com

 

ALEX GOES D. I. S. C. O.

Thursday, 19 November 2009 11:19 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

ALEX GOES D. I. S. C. O.

The UK's top Latino piano man, ALEX WILSON has temporarily eschewed the cha cha cha and the rumba for disco! The unassuming salsa specialist was recently invited by top library music specialist West One to record an album of disco tunes and our boy's risen to the task. Prosaically-titled 'Classic Disco', WILSON has skilfully recreated the sparkling, zipping sounds of those fondly-remembered glitter ball days. The beats and flavours are authentic and the slamming vocals (from top session singers) really do reel in the years. West One's music is, of course, aimed at the media industry - advertisers, TV and radio stations use their music for themes, stings, trailers and fillers - but the album can be bought by the general public too… most directly via i-tunes music store. Tantalisingly ALEX also tells us that he's currently working on a 60's Motown and Soul set.

 

ROD'S ROOTS ....

Thursday, 19 November 2009 11:18 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

ROD'S ROOTS ....

Soul superstars and top session players and singers abound on ROD STEWART'S new album, 'Soulbook'. For the 15 tracker the veteran Scots rocker returns to the sounds that inspired him in his youth when he was, first part of LONG JOHN BALDRY'S HOOCHIE COOCHIE MEN and then, the legendary STEAMPACKET. Here ROD offers his own takes on songs first made famous by the FOUR TOPS, SAM COOKE, JACKIE WILSON, BROOK BENTON, the TEMPTATIONS and more. To add real soul spice ROD is joined by MARY J BLIGE on 'You Make Me Feel Brand New', by SMOKEY ROBINSON on 'The Tracks Of My Tears' while on 'My Cherie Amour' STEVIE WONDER adds his distinctive harmonica. Amongst the standouts is a take on the JERRY BUTLER/BETTY EVERETT hit 'Let It Be Me' with JENNIFER HUDSON recreating BETTY'S part. Two more BUTLER songs - 'Never Give You Up' and 'Only The Strong Survive' round off the album on which featured players and backing vocalists include RAY PARKER JR, BOB BABBITT, TOM SCOTT, GEORGE BOHANON, CHUCK FINLEY, DEAN PARKS, CHARLES HODGES, WAYNE JACKSON, WILLIE MITCHELL, DARRYL TOOKE, WILL WHEATON, NATHAN EAST, RICKY LAWSON and LYNN FIDMONT. The album's out now on J Records.

 

ROZALLA BREAKS FREE ....

Wednesday, 18 November 2009 15:47 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

ROZALLA BREAKS FREE ....

Anyone familiar with the heady dance days of the 90s will know the name of ROZALLA MILLER. In the early years of the decade the big-voiced Zimbabwean enjoyed a string of chart and club hits of which 'Everybody's Free' became her anthem. Now - some ten years later - the lady's back with a new album and a new sound - gentler, jazzier, yet just as soulful. The LP - 'Brand New Version' - has been put together in collaboration with Jazz FM and features ten original songs recorded in an acoustic, organic way. The set includes a wonderful, lazy, stripped down version of that hit, 'Everybody's Free'. Full review of the album on www.soulandjazzandfunk.com very soon.

 

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