Soul and Jazz and Funk Latest


Sunday, 01 February 2015 19:11 Bill b E-mailPrintPDF

bobbiOn Saturday 31st January, the daughter of late soul diva WHITNEY HOUSTON was found "unresponsive" in a bathtub and taken to a hospital. The incident was confirmed by police in Atlanta Georgia.

They reported that Bobbi Kristina Brown (aged 21) was found by her husband, Nick Gordon, and a friend and given cardiopulmonary resuscitation. When police arrived, they gave Brown additional care until she was taken alive to North Fulton Hospital. The incident remains under investigation, police said.

Brown is the only daughter of Houston and R&B singer Bobby Brown.

Whitney Houston, of course, was found dead in a hotel bathtub on February 11, 2012, in Beverly Hills, California. The 48-year-old singer, its said, had struggled for years with cocaine, marijuana and pills, and her behaviour had become erratic. Authorities examining Houston's death found a dozen prescription drug bottles in the hotel suite. They concluded that Houston accidentally drowned. Heart disease and cocaine use were listed as contributing factors in Houston's death. Houston left her entire estate to her daughter.


Last Updated on Sunday, 01 February 2015 19:16



Friday, 30 January 2015 16:30 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

neo_labelOne of last year's biggest tunes was the revitalised 'Your Smile' from NEO. The tune – a collaboration between French pianist Stephane d'Esposito and US soul man Rudi Wilburn had been around since 2005 but had never really taken off. Fast forward to last autumn when, of course, the song was remixed by Drizabone's Billy Freeman and the rest, we know, is news.

'Your Smile' became an instant anthem – the staple of every modern soul room and a mainstay on the playlists of the best soul stations. To guarantee extra mileage more remixes followed but the one the collectors really wanted was the elusive "CW Unlimited Gold Mix" remix that channelled all the big Barry White influences – the drawn out intro and the full 'Love's Theme' thing.

Good news for those soul starved collectors is that that remix is all set for release on a very limited edition 7" single via Expansion Records. The disc's a double A sider. One side is the Drizabone remix but the CW tweak on the flip is the one that everyone wants.... be warned though... it is a limited edition and demand is bound to outstrip supply. If you want it you know what you need to do!

Last Updated on Friday, 30 January 2015 16:41



Friday, 30 January 2015 16:27 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

slyA Los Angeles Supreme Court has awarded pioneering soul singer SLY STONE $5 million in unpaid royalties. Last Tuesday, 27th January, Stone emerged victorious after a protracted four year legal battle. His lawyers had successfully argued that his former manager and entertainment lawyer Jerry Goldstein and Glenn Stone had misled him as to exactly what his role was in a music company which he actually owned, Even St.

Defence lawyers argued that the royalty monies had been used to pay the musician's tax debts. They claimed that the singer had approached their clients to revitalize his career and promised to make comeback records that he never recorded. The jury rejected the claims.

Nicholas Hornberger, one of Stone's lawyers said,"Sly's a deeply religious guy and he loves everybody and they just took him. It's sad that people would treat other people like that. This is endemic of the entertainment industry. There are bad people who leech off people and this has got to stop." He added, "It's a good day for Sly, it's a good day for entertainers in general. This was an important verdict for people that are artists, entertainers, music composers".

Stone, now aged 71, was reported to have fallen on hard times and it's rumoured he was living in a van prior to the court case


Last Updated on Friday, 30 January 2015 16:41



Friday, 30 January 2015 13:49 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

Mel_remixedOn the back of her astounding second album, 'No Deal' - released last Spring and which had UK critics raving so much that it resulted in the singer's appearance on Jools Holland's Later TV programme - jazz-influenced Belgian singer/songwriter/flautist MELANIE DE BIASIO follows it up with a 'new' long player which will released on February 23rd 2015. As its title - 'No Deal Remixed' - reveals, it represents a re-envisioning of her 2014 album by a bevy of celebrated mix-meisters. The project has been curated by British DJ, tastemaker and label boss, Gilles Peterson, and features newly deconstructed versions of key songs from 'No Deal' by Toshio Matsuura, the Cinematic Orchestra, Eels, Seven Davis Jr, Hex, Jon Wayne and Chassol.

Belgium-born Di Biasio - who became the recipient of a Best Session Award at the 10th Worldwide Awards for her performance on Gilles Peterson's BBC6 radio show - has been earning plaudits for her spellbinding live performances as well as her recordings. Here, on the eve of her new LP, the charismatic chanteuse talks at length to SJF's Charles Waring about the original 'No Deal album plus her formative years and key influences...


Last Updated on Friday, 30 January 2015 14:11



Thursday, 29 January 2015 13:57 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

nackChicago music entrepreneur, CHARLES "MACK" McMILLAN died on Monday January 26th. He was 81.

Born in North Carolina in 1933, his first employment was as a teacher of physical education in Chester, Pennsylvania. There he became the first African-American Director of the Chester Boys Club from 1956-1969, mentoring and teaching young men in health and physical education.

In 1969 McMillan moved to Chicago and changed career tack, forming Entertainment Consultants Inc, taking over the management of soul legends Jerry Butler, the Impressions and Curtis Mayfield when the latter went solo. His other clients included (at various times) Gene Chandler, Chuck Jackson, Ben E. King, The Temptations, Nancy Wilson, Diane Cannon, Richard Roundtree, Jessie Jackson, George Foreman, Blue Magic, The Dramatics, Jeffery Osbourne, The Chi-Lites, Reba McIntyre, Flip Wilson, Dionne Warwick, Shirley Reeves, Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, Thelma Houston, Cissy Houston, Phyllis Hyman, Patti Labelle and the Dells. Quite a list!

Jerry Butler in particular has always been strong in praise of the man his artists knew as "Mack". In his autobiography, the Ice Man wrote, "By 1983 I was spending so much time attending to the affairs of my beer business (a Butler side line) that I literally let the entertainment side go. Consequently my bookings began to dip. Had it not been for my long-time manager, Charles 'Mack' McMillan, my singing career probably would have been over years ago. He kept me working and my name before the public."

Interestingly McMillan also appeared as an extra in a number of movies – most notably in Steve McQueen's 'Bullitt'. In later years McMillan returned to Chester and was again active in mentoring students and helping run activity clubs for teenagers.

Charles McMillan is survived by his two sons Karlton and Andre, his sister Loretta and numerous grandchildren.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 January 2015 14:08




My Account

To comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.


Sign up to our syndication feed to keep up to date with the latest news and reviews.