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ANDRE WILLIAMS DIES...

Tuesday, 19 March 2019 19:30 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altSoul veteran ANDRE WILLIAMS died on Sunday 17th March in Chicago. He was 82 and it's reported that he had been suffering with colon cancer. His manager said: "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of legendary artist Andre Williams. He was diagnosed two weeks ago with colon cancer that spread to his lungs and brain. After that his body started shutting down pretty quickly".

Zephire "Andre" Williams was born in Bessemer, Alabama in 1936 but after relocation to Detroit he became part of that city's 50s and 60s musical renaissance. His first pro group was The Five Dollars who morphed into Andre Williams and the Don Juans. The band scored hits like 'Bacon Fat' which featured Williams' unusual "sing-talking style". He joined Motown in the early 60s but failed to enjoy any real success despite writing songs for Stevie Wonder and the Temptations. Moonlighting from Gordy he wrote and produced the hit 'Twine Time' for Alvin Cash but his most successful spell was at Chess where in the mid 60s he scored with things like 'The Stroke' and 'Cadillac Jack'.

Williams went onto work sessions with people as varied as Mary Wells and Parliament – even, eventually, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. He worked constantly and in the 90s his music and style (he was a flamboyant dresser and performer and was prepared to try almost any genre) won a new audience. In 1998 he released an album to satisfy this new demand. 'Silky' saw Williams backed by garage rock band The Gories who added punk flavours to his old school soul! His, next album, 'Red Dirt', however embraced country flavours. He continued to record and perform through the noughties and his last album was 2016's 'Don't Ever Give Up.' Always outspoken and colourful, in 2012, Williams was eventually inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 March 2019 19:38

 

SPREADING HIS WINGS: Grammy Winning Birdman Soundtrack Composer Antonio Sanchez Talks Drums, Bad Hombres, And Pat Metheny Ahead Of His May Barbican Concert

Monday, 18 March 2019 18:15 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

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There's never been a movie soundtrack quite like the one that Antonio Sanchez created for the 2014 Hollywood movie, Birdman (Or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance), helmed by the much-lauded Mexican director, Alejandro G. Iñárritu. That's because it consisted solely of improvised drum patterns played by its composer, who used the instrument's array of percussion sounds to reflect the many moods and mindset of the film's troubled central protagonist, Riggan Thompson. Superbly played by Michael Keaton, Thomson is an actor famous for his portrayal of a masked, crime-fighting superhero character (Birdman) but doesn't want to be typecast and instead desires to be taken seriously by drama critics. The film, a mordant black comedy with some surreal fantasy elements sprinkled in it, charts Thomson's attempts to become a bona fide thespian by starring in his own Broadway stage adaptation of a Raymond Carver short story.

If you've seen the film - which deservedly garnered a plethora of awards, including four Academy Awards - you'll know that Sanchez's drum soundtrack is an essential component of the whole Birdman experience. On Saturday May 4th at London's Barbican venue - as part of the capital city's keenly-anticipated Latin music festival called La Linea - the British public will get an opportunity to see the Mexican-American drummer/composer play the complete soundtrack live in sync with a screening of the film. It promises to be nothing less than a singular immersive spectacle and to tell us what to expect when he takes to the Barbican stage, Antonio Sanchez talked exclusively to SJF's Charles Waring...

Last Updated on Monday, 18 March 2019 19:48

 

SPEND SOME TIME...

Monday, 18 March 2019 15:43 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

alt'Spend Some Time' is the lead track from veteran UK soul man VICTOR HAYNES' upcoming album. The LP is 'Take It To The Top' and on the evidence of the lush, full-on production of 'Spend Some Time' the album will be well worth investigating. Victor rarely delivers a dud and the sweet and danceable 'Spend Some Time' is right up there with his best.

 

MANCHESTER UNITED!

Monday, 18 March 2019 15:39 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altUK musicologists regularly debate what the UK's "second music city" is. There's unanimity on the first – Liverpool by a country mile! But what's second? London.... Sheffield.... Glasgow? Well, this new, intriguing 2 CD, 45 tracker from Ace Records make a convincing argument for Manchester.

'MANCHESTER – A CITY UNITED BY MUSIC' begins with Ewan McColl and Peggy Seeger's classic paean to industrial decline, 'Dirty Old Town' and ends with the swagger of Oasis' 'Rock And Roll Star'. In between there's all kinds of everything – bubbling 60s beat, whimsical prog rock, pop-classics, a touch of punk, a flash of comedy, melancholic new romance and lashings of that famous "Madchester" sound.

From our perspective there's not a lot (obviously) but Leigh's Georgie Fame gets a track ('In The Meantime'), Elkie Brooks (a mid 60s soul wannabbe) offers a sultry version of 'Nothing Left To Do But Cry', UK mod comes courtesy of Wynder K Frog's take on 'I'm a Man', John Mayall flies the blues flag with 'Crawling Up A Hill', harmony group Sweet Sensation deliver 'Mr Cool', Lisa Stansfield and Blue Zone are represented by 'Thinking About His Baby' and Simply Red channel their blue—eyed soul with 'Come To My Aid'.

Sequenced chronologically, truly there's lots more to enjoy here and yes, I'd say, the collection proves that Manchester has made major contributions to the UK music scene. Purists might point to what's missing (no Morrissey, thankfully, but Johnny Marr) but celebrate and enjoy what's here.... fab and varied sounds from the UK's "second music city" ... definitely.

Last Updated on Monday, 18 March 2019 15:51

 

NIGHT TO REMEMBER – MIXED UP

Monday, 18 March 2019 15:34 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altYou may remember back in February we recommend to you an 8 track EP from the TERRI GREEN PROJECT. We loved 'Giving It Up' but the focus track was the Chic-flavoured 'Night To Remember' (no, not the Shalamar song!). Right now the German-based band (Terri hails from Washington DC, by the way) are wowing audiences throughout Europe and preparing a new album.

In the meantime, 'Night To Remember' is just out again in 9 (!) new mixes. In truth, they're aimed firmly at the dance fraternity – some are harder and tougher than others, but soul heads might want to try the Earth Days mix or the edgy, electro flavours of the Burwall mix. Out now!

 

    

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