Soul and Jazz and Funk Latest


Wednesday, 24 August 2016 14:29 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

1rgFresh from his success scoring the soundtrack to Don Cheadle's Miles Ahead movie,  the prolific Grammy-winning keyboardist and composer, ROBERT GLASPER, is due to release a new album with his Experiment band called  'ArtScience,' which will be available from September 16th via Blue Note Records.A heady collision of jazz, soul, funk, hip-hop and disco flavours, it features twelve tracks and among them are covers by Herbie Hancock ('Tell Me A Bedtime Story') and the Human League ('Human').

Blue Note also release the sophomore long player by the group's bass player, DERRICK HODGE. The follow-up to 2013's critically-lauded debut, 'Live Today,'  it's called 'The Second' and its twelve songs continue in the evocative, cinematic vein that characterised the style of his first album.  It's available on 22nd August.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 August 2016 19:05



Tuesday, 23 August 2016 19:44 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

1ttotsBelgian jazz musician Toots Thielemans died on Monday August 22nd. He was 94 and his manager said he died in his sleep at a hospital in Brussels. Thielemans was considered one of the world's top harmonica players though he began his musical career as a guitar player.

Born in Brussels in 1922 with the given name Jean-Baptiste Thielemans, he first came into prominence working with Benny Goodman when he toured Europe in 1950. He then collaborated with Sidney Bechet and after a move to the USA Toots went on to work with people like Charlie Parker , Max Roach, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, and , back in Europe, Edith Piaf. In the 80s he successfully collaborated with Billy Joel on his 'An Innocent Man' long player. Thielemans also worked extensively with Quincy Jones - most famously on his 'Jook Joint' projects where Toots' emotive harmonica can be heard on tunes like 'At The End Of The Day (Grace)'

Amongst his most famous compositions is the accepted jazz standard 'Bluesette'. Veteran soul collectors will have fond memories of the 4 Tops' version that featured on their 'On Top' long player.

Thielemans also worked on numerous movie soundtracks including 'Midnight Cowboy', 'Jean de Florette', 'The Getaway', 'Cinderella Liberty', 'The Sugarland Express' and 'The Yakuza.' He also famously worked on music for 'Sesame Street'.

In 2001 Thielemans was honoured by Belgium's royal family when King Albert II gave him the honorary title of baron.

Health issues forced Toots to retire from music in 2014. Today Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel tweeted: "We have lost a great musician, a heart-warming personality. All my thoughts are with the family and friends of Toots Thielemans.''

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 August 2016 19:49



Tuesday, 23 August 2016 19:41 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

1swEarlier this year we were treated to the soulful vocals of SYMPLI WHITNEY via her 'Ryze Of The Phoenix' long player. Then there was the 80s Weekender flavoured double A side single, 'Fresh Love' and 'Get Enuff'. Produced by Wadz both tunes had that special crunchy, funky, electro soul feel that instantly brought to mind the best of people like Evelyn Champagne King, Kleeer, Kashif and the SOS Band.

This Friday Ms Whitney releases a  brand new single, which though a little gentler than her previous record, still offers a great 80s vibe. Song in question is 'The Best' (hence our awful headline!). The original CW mix has all the hallmarks of a modern soul classic while the CW (Colin Watson) Real To Reel mix goes right back to that special 80s vibe again, though the modern soul crew will, I'm sure, find much to connect with!


SYMPLI WHITNEY - THE BEST - CW MIXES –(DSG Records) -Released Friday 26th Aug 2016

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 August 2016 19:51



Monday, 22 August 2016 14:24 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

1dp'The Modernists' is the latest musical project from DRUW (Andrew Richardson) and PEREZ (Billy Reid). Hailing from London, they are probably best known as the brains behind Don E's hit 'Bonafide' . Druw has also worked with people like Noel McKoy, Kele Le Roc, Donna Gardier, and Allison David while under his "Sunwalker" alias he's enjoyed some success with his long player, 'Energize'. Perez is an in-demand DJ whose club nights at the Soul House in Farringdon have featured appearances from artists like Jocelyn Brown, the Reel People and Shaun Escoffery. After a chance meeting at the Notting Hill Arts club, Andrew and Billy realized that they shared the same musical vision... getting people out on the floor by "stimulating both the mind and the legs!"

The first fruit of their alliance was that aforementioned Don E cut but now they've just unleashed a full album, 'The Modernists'. Given their mission statement, no surprise that the 13 tracker is a full on call to the floor and , equally no surprises, helping them flesh out their ideas is a A list of UK soul names....Omar, Elisha Laverne, Noel McKoy, Don E and Allison David amongst them.

Grab the flavour of the music from the opening title cut. 'The Modernists' features pounding beats, electronic instrumentation and a big, big vocal from Elisha Laverne. That recipe (with subtle differences and varied voices, of course) is repeated throughout the set. Another immediate grabber is 'WOAH' . This one is a tad more percussive and rides a Latin undertow over which the very unique tones of Omar float in a laid back jazzy way.

Elsewhere, the Elesha Moses-vocalised 'Reach Out' is wild and frantic despite a deceptive string-driven intro. Then there's the more adventurous 'Truth Hurts'. It's the most experimental and exotic cut with a peculiar European flavour and a strong vocal from Earl 16. At the moment our fave is the soulful 'Rising Up'. Great bass line here while the beats might interest the modern soul crew and it's Ms. Moses on vocals again.



Last Updated on Monday, 22 August 2016 14:37



Monday, 22 August 2016 14:22 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

1threeThe evergreen THREE DEGREES enjoyed a 28 date UK tour earlier this year. With each date sold out, the ladies have just announced a new nationwide tour that takes in a further 15 venues this autumn.

The tour kicks off at Porthcawl Grand Pavilion on the 15th September and ends at Ferndown on 14th October and in between they visit all parts of the UK.

Full tour dates are available @




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