Soul and Jazz and Funk Latest


Wednesday, 29 July 2015 14:42 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

Chris_Jasper1'Kiss Me' is the simple request in the title of CHRIS JASPER'S latest single. The tune was always one of the highlights on the sometime Isley Brothers last long player, 'The One'. 'Kiss Me' is a driving ballad and Chris is in fine form and, as with most of the man's work, there's a definite flavour of the Isleys about it... hardly surprising given his CV!

Chris Jasper's 'Kiss me' is out now on Gold City Records and you can learn more @



Wednesday, 29 July 2015 14:41 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

clFans of more esoteric jazz could do worse than check out a new album from Scandinavian husband and wife team, CAECILLIE NORBY and LARS DANIELSON. The 13 tracker is called 'Just The Two Of Us' and the songs range from the familiar (Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah') through to the self-penned – like the semi- classical 'Toccata'. Amongst the highlights is a version of Joni Mitchell's 'Both Sides Now'. The writer called her song "a meditation on reality and fantasy" and Caecillie's languid vocal and Lars' plangent bass deliver just that!

Jazz buffs will know that Ms Norby was the first European female artist to be signed to Blue Note while Mr. Danielson is considered one of Europe's' top jazz bassists.

CAECILLIE NORBY and LARS DANIELSON'S 'Just The Two Of us' is released on Act Music on September 18th.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 July 2015 14:49



Tuesday, 28 July 2015 18:45 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

Earl_Young_Trammps_Darryl_GrantLovers of the sounds of Motown and Philly could do worse than check out a brand new record by two veritable soul veterans.... EARL YOUNG and DARRYL GRANT. Earl, of course, was the leader of/ the drummer in The Trammps while Darryl fronted smooth soul vocal group, Spectrum.

The two have just crafted a new single called '(Don't Underestimate) The Power Of Love '. The song was written by Mervin and Melvin Steals ("Mystro and Lyric") – best known, of course, for the Spinners' 'Could It Be I'm Falling In Love' and the producer credits go to McKinley Jackson. The trio call the sound they've conjured up on the tune 'MoPhilly'... and a quick listen let's you know that that's a good description.

'(Don't Underestimate) The Power Of Love' is a steady mid-tempo groove with a passionate, soulful feeling created from the start by Young's semi-spoken, Barry White-flavoured intro and maintained by Grant's sweet lead. Their vocals are complemented by a track featuring an A list of Philly and Detroit musicians – amongst them bassist Jimmie Williams ('Ain't No Stopping Us Now'), keyboardist Alfie Pollitt (one time MD for Teddy Pendergrass) and the Detroit Horns. MoPhilly? You bet!

Earl Young and Darryl Grant – '(Don't Underestimate) - The Power of Love' - is out now via all the usual download platforms

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 July 2015 14:45



Monday, 27 July 2015 11:03 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

bobThe sad saga of BOBBI KRISTINA BROWN ended yesterday (Sunday, 26th July) when the 22 year old daughter of the late Whitney Houston died. Family spokesperson, Kirsten Foster said; "Bobbi passed away on Sunday surrounded by her family. She was finally at peace in the arms of God".

In January Bobbi was found unresponsive in a bath and placed in a medically induced coma from which she never regained consciousness.

Ms Brown, of course, was the daughter of Whitney (who herself was found dead in a hotel bath in 2102) and Bobby Brown. (The critically acclaimed Cissy Houston was her grandmother).

The Houston family posted a poignant photo of mother and daughter (which we have reproduced). The accompanying text read; "It is hard to say goodbye. On Sunday, July 26, Bobbi Kristina Brown made her transition peacefully. The family thanks everyone for their loving thoughts and prayers. As Bobbi Kristina would say: 'The wind is behind me and the sun is in my face."

Whitney's cousin Dionne Warwick posted: "She will be missed, that's for sure. She was a good girl. She was a good little girl. She really was."

Last Updated on Monday, 27 July 2015 11:08



Sunday, 26 July 2015 19:14 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

Mad_LadsWILLIAM BROWN a founding member of Stax vocal group, the MAD LADS died on Friday 24th July. Brown was 69 and he passed away at Quince Nursing and Rehabilitation Centre in East Memphis,. His health had been poor since he suffered a stroke.

Brown was born in Memphis and he founded his first group, the Emeralds in 1964 with school friends John Gary Williams, Julius Green and Robert Philips. He also worked in the Satellite Record store owned by Stax founder Estelle Axton and after convincing her to come and see his group perform she signed them to Stax's subsidiary, Volt. Ms Axton, it appears, wanted a harmony group on her roster to rival those scoring the hits on the big East coast labels. However, because there was already a group called the Emeralds, Brown's boys adopted a new name, The Mad Lads... either (depending on who you believe) because they were known as studio pranksters or in deference to local DJ, Reuben "Mad Lad" Washington.

Soon the group enjoyed local success with 'Don't Have To Shop Around' and 'I Want A Girl' but in '66 Brown and Williams were drafted into the army and sent to Vietnam. When they returned two years later the two other original members refused to take them back. They, it seemed, preferred working with their replacements – Quincy Blips and Sam Nelson (both later of the Nightingales). The Stax execs though insisted that Brown and Williams re-join. Dissent in the band's ranks was increased when Williams was arrested or ambushing a policeman in 1969, followed the next year by Green being imprisoned for fraud.

With the Mad Lads disintegrating around him, Brown began a career as an engineer and by 1973 the most successful group in Memphis were no longer. In the mid 1990s they reformed but like many of their contemporaries they were assigned to the oldies circuit.

Stax histories also reveal that William Brown's engineering side line brought him plenty of work as a Stax studio engineer – most notably working on the Isaac Hayes' 'Shaft' soundtrack. His engineering skills also took him to the Ardent and Royal studios. Indeed he composed several songs with Willie Mitchell. Brown also contributed backing vocals to dozens of other Stax recordings. He is survived by wife, Martha, three children, two adopted children, and a stepdaughter. John Gary Williams is now the sole remaining original Mad Lad.


Last Updated on Sunday, 26 July 2015 19:19




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