Soul and Jazz and Funk Latest


Tuesday, 25 October 2016 19:38 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altThe latest vinyl 7" from the ever reliable SOUL JUNCTION label features two superb modern soul cuts from Philly group THE COALITIONS. The group comprise Leonard Deans, Tony McFarland, Bruce Fauntleroy, Alan Williams and Tony Anderson and to confuse things, they sometimes appear as Rheel Men while they also go on the road as an incarnation of Philly veterans, The Intrigues (you know and love their 'In A Moment')!

The putative A side of this new Coalitions single is a gorgeous, brassy, mid–tempo groove called 'Nothin' Left To Do'. The song was recorded just last year and features typically sweet Philly harmonies ... little wonder, producer Craig White has worked extensively with Gamble and Huff while the uplifting brass comes courtesy of Henri McMillan's UGO Horn section.

The B side 'Didn't We Almost Make It' dates from 1979 with a slightly different Coalitions line up but the harmonies are still tight and tasteful. The brass riffling is impeccable, jazzy even and when the song surfaced on a 2013 long player it became an instant modern soul favourite.

THE COALITIONS; Nothin' Left 2 Do'/ 'Didn't We Almost Make It' is out now on SOUL JUNCTION RECORDS

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 October 2016 19:45



Tuesday, 25 October 2016 19:33 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altWith the vinyl renaissance now in full swing, reissue specialist ACE RECORDS have just released two wonderful vinyl soul albums.

First up is 'PIED PIPER...THE PINNACLE OF DETROIT NORTHERN SOUL'. Soul collectors will know that Pied Piper was a Detroit-based soul production company founded in 1965 by Shelley Haims. He recruited a small team that included Jack Ashford and Mike Terry – two disillusioned Motown men –and began recording local artists. He created his own label, Giant, but preferred to lease his material to bigger labels – most notably RCA, who were keen to get themselves deeper into the black music market. No Pied Piper production enjoyed much success but over the years the imprint has achieved an iconic status on the Northern and collectors' scenes. To satisfy this interest, the Ace/Kent label managed to gain access to the Pied Piper archive and over the last few years they've released a selection of wonderful Pied Piper CDs.

Now they offer 12 classic Pied Piper Northern flavours on vinyl. Amongst the gems are Lorraine Chandler's 'You Only Live Twice' (an obvious Bond feeling here!), the Hesitations' 'I'm Not Built That Way' (absolutely classic Northern) and the Cavaliers' 'We Go Together' (a totally different but equally luscious take of the song to the one that Ace put out on their Pied Piper CD) . By the way, for this release Ace have created a brand new label... Pied Piper!

altThe second new Ace vinyl collection takes us down to the Fame studios with a double album of gritty, heart-tugging Southern soul from Rick Hall's famed music stable. As with Pied Piper, Ace/Kent has already released lots and lots of Fame material but collectors can now enjoy at least some of the tunes the way they were meant to be heard. Featured artists include Jimmy Hughes, Clarence Carter, Arthur Conley and George Jackson, while there's also room for tracks from "back room boys", Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham. The Oldham track is 'Wish You Didn't Have To Go' credited to Spooner and the Spoons while our favourite right now is the old New Orleans classic, 'Fortune Teller', given a Fame makeover by the Del Rays. The double LP is called 'THIS IS FAME 1964-1968'.

Bath these albums are available now.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 October 2016 19:46



Sunday, 23 October 2016 16:10 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altBack in July we broke the excellent news that Universal were about to release another Motown collectors' 7" vinyl box set. Well after a few unforeseen delays, the box is now on the sales racks and if past history is to be relied on, it will probably sell out very quickly.

The box is simply called 'THE MOTOWN 7S BOX, RARE AND UNRELEASED VINYL, VOLUME 3' and it contains seven 7" discs that offer 14 cuts of classic Motown... songs that have all been long in demand by collectors. Compiled by Richard Searling, amongst the gems are Patrice Holloway's 'Touch Of Venus', David Ruffin's' 'It's Gonna Take A Whole Lot Of Doin'', The Spinners' 'Head Over Heels In Love With You Baby' and Marvin Gaye's version of the Tom Jones classic 'It's Not Unusual'.

The box comes complete with full sleeve notes courtesy of Mr S and there's the usual digital download voucher. Retailing at around £55, the collection's a must for anyone who cares about soul music. Go to our reviews section for a full review.

Last Updated on Sunday, 23 October 2016 17:32



Sunday, 23 October 2016 16:04 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altIt was always one of the most favoured dance tunes on DAVE HOLLISTER'S recent 'Manuscript' album and now the tune's being recycled via a lovely new mix from the oddly named NK-OKxAge Of Luna.

Can't tell you too much about NK-OKx bit but hotly-tipped Age Of Luna have gone on record as being big fans Blackstreet and on their working of 'Geometry' they give the tune a crisp, but edgy Blackstreet flavour (hardly surprising given Dave's CV) and keep it right and ready for the floor. There's even a tight, organic rap! Another diligent internet search will take you right to it!

Last Updated on Sunday, 23 October 2016 17:33


Droppin' Science - Saxophonist and MC Soweto Kinch talks maths and music...

Saturday, 22 October 2016 08:36 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF


"Really, this album is about unity in the face of division," says double MOBO-winning saxophonist, MC, DJ and radio presenter, SOWETO KINCH, explaining the concept behind his latest long player, 'Nonagram.' It's the Birmingham-based jazz man's fifth album and the follow-up to 2012's  epic double CD, 'The Legend Of Mike Smith,' which, incidentally, is soon to be revived as a travelling stage show. But 'Nonagram' finds this former Oxford scholar (he studied Modern History) exploring the relationship between geometry and sound.

"Essentially, it's about the connection between numbers, music and healing," states Kinch, "and the fact that you can't see music or numbers but you get the sense that they're there. There are sonic and fundamental laws that govern how we feel: that make us on edge or at harmony or peace. That was something that I was keen to explore on this album. Also, in this age of division and polarisation based on race, class and gender, there are some really fundamental, universal truths that I think that numbers and sounds hold for us."

While the main thrust of 'Nonagram's' conceit sounds a tad abstruse, perhaps, to the layman - especially those not conversant with geometry and mathematics - you don't have to be cognizant of the theorizing behind the music to truly appreciate what Kinch is doing. Just in terms of its listening appeal, Kinch has produced a very direct, down-to-earth collection of songs where post-bop jazz improv of the highest order and socio-political, 'conscious' hip-hop intersect in an accessible yet meaningful way.

In a revealing interview with Charles Waring's SJF, the 38-year-old Mercury Music Prize-nominated musician and radio presenter of BBC Radio 3's Jazz Now programme talks in depth about 'Nonagram' and other aspects of his career...

Last Updated on Saturday, 22 October 2016 08:53




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