Wednesday, 24 July 2019 19:16 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altIn the last few days two more soul stalwarts have passed away – ART NEVILLE and LENNY PAKULA.

New Orleans icon, Neville died on Monday 22 July. He was aged 81 and his death was announced by his long-time manager, Kent Sorrell. No cause of death was given.

Every self-respecting funkster will know all about Art Neville. Born in 1937, Neville grew up in the Big Easy and his career began in the mid-50s when he joined the band the Hawketts on keys. Their song 'Mardi Gras Mambo' was a template for future New Orleans funk. After the Hawketts he worked with the Meters (alongside George Porter Jr., Leo Nocentelli and Zigaboo Modeliste). Their biggest hits were the much loved 'Cissy Strut', 'Look-Ka-Py-Py' and 'Sophisticated Cissy.' In 1977 he formed the Neville Brothers with his three siblings (Aaron, Charles and Cyril). They recorded prolifically for over 30 years; their most celebrated recording was 'Yellow Moon'. The Funky Meters was Neville's last band and included some members of the original group. Neville toured with The Funky Meters until late last year.

Art Neville won multiple Grammy Awards, including the organization's Lifetime Achievement Award, over the course of his more than 50-year career. It's believed that he'd been in poor health for some time. He had suffered a stroke as well as complications from back surgery in 2001.

altMaybe less well-known, Lenny Pakula was also an influential soul keyboardist. Born in Philadelphia, Lenny learned to play in the United States Naval School of Music before earning a living in the numerous Philly recording studios. He built up a close relationship with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff who made him an integral part of their Philadelphia International sound. He played on countless hits on all the major Philly stars and also recorded in his own right as well as part of MFSB. His best known solo outing was 'Mr Record Company Man'. In 2016, Lenny was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee as part of the Sigma Sound Rhythm Section.

Sadly in recent years Lenny has fallen on hard times. He was a diabetic and had lost his left leg to the disease. It is thought that he was homeless for some time, relying on the Aids For Friends charity to survive.

Lenny died on Friday 19 July. He was 73.

Last Updated on Friday, 26 July 2019 15:12



Monday, 22 July 2019 18:24 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altEverybody's favourite soul-jazz guitar man U-NAM (Emmanuel Abiteboul) has enjoyed great success with his latest long player – 'Future Love', a Billboard top 25 jazz charter no less!

Our man is readying the album for Japanese release and for them he's added an extra, "bonus" track – a groove heavy, foot tapper, 'Soul Walkin''. With a hint of 'Breezin' and a snatch (I'm sure) of the swirling strings from George Jinda's version of 'Just My Imagination', it sounds like a winner!

The good news is that 'Soul Walkin'' will be included in a de-luxe version of 'Future Love' coming very soon!



Friday, 19 July 2019 17:50 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altBritish/Nigerian singer/songwriter OLA ONABULE releases his latest album at the end of August. The 14 tracker that is 'Point Less' is the follow up to Ola's successful 2015 outing 'It's The Peace That Deafens'.

The new LP focuses on issues of social injustice with tracks that deal with issues like violence, immigration, betrayal of dignity and (so relevant, given what's happening right now) xenophobia. At the same time, Ola insists that the LP is a celebration of life. He says that the protagonist in the songs enjoys a joyous, positive life but is beset by events – mainly outside his control. An interesting concept for sure...

Full review here at SJF very soon.



Thursday, 18 July 2019 19:09 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

alt'Trying To Find My Way Back' is the latest album from veteran (he's 84!) blues man GUITAR SHORTY. Shorty debuted way back in 1957 with the Willie Dixon collaboration 'Don't Treat Me Right' for the Cobra label and he then went on to record prolifically and work with some of the biggest names in the business. His people tell us he's worked with (amongst others) Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, T-Bone Walker, Big Joe Turner and Little Richard! Legend has it that the young Jimi Hendrix was so enamoured with Shorty's playing, that he often went AWOL from his army base to catch him perform. Shorty let Hendrix borrow one of his wah-wah pedals and the rest is, as they say, history.

The new album is produced by Jerry Williams Jr./Swamp Dogg and features Larry "MoogStar" Clemon, from the legendary funk group Cameo. Between them they cook up a proper old school, electric blues festival. It's bluesy (obviously), funky, gritty. soulful and contemporary and it's out now!



Wednesday, 17 July 2019 19:09 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altGood news for lovers of classy modern soul in general and the wonderful CORNELL CARTER in particular...... CC is readying a new long player – due in September!

In the meantime, he's prefacing it with a sweet, new single – the stomping 'I See Love' (available from August 9th). Lush and soulful, Mr C's vocal is as powerful as ever and... well..... bring on the album!


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