Soul and Jazz and Funk


Friday, 28 April 2017 13:54 Bill E-mailPrintPDF

altYou wouldn't know it but Austin-based soulstress CANDACE BELLAMY sings just for a hobby! By day Ms Bellamy's a doctor! Twelve years ago she started singing as a pastime – working with covers bands and in musical theatre and now she's just released her debut recording – a five track EP, 'Undone'

Sonically the set's at the rockier end of the soul spectrum...a mix of say Tina Turner and Janis Joplin with a hint of the blues, though since the provenance is Austin, Texas, you could have guessed that.

The lead single is the meandering 'Trigger' and a simple internet search will, allow you to, investigate.

Last Updated on Friday, 28 April 2017 13:59



Friday, 28 April 2017 13:33 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altThe early/mid 60s girl group sound is one of the most enduring and distinctive sounds in pop history and if you're a fan you'll need to know that US reissue specialists REAL GONE MUSIC have just released wonderful 19 track snapshot of the genre.

'HONEYBEAT.... GROOVY 60s GIRL POP' cherry picks 19 gems from across nine different labels - Columbia, Date, RCA Victor, Epic, Bell, OKeh, Sound Stage 7, Groove, and Amy . Eschewing the obvious, the compilers have gone for real collectors' items. Indeed a half a dozen of so of the tracks have never been reissued before while one cut, Dorothy Jones' 'Talk That Sweet Talk' is previously unissued anywhere! That one's a brill Brill Building gem from the pens of Goffin and King and anoraks will know that Dorothy Jones was a sometime member of the Cookies.

The collection boasts another Goffin/King item... Skeeter Davis' 'I Can't Stay Mad At You'... a sonic definition of the girl group genre if ever there was one! Amongst the other featured writers is the ever-dependable Van McCoy. His 'Baby You're Mine', sung by Sandi Sheldon is an album highlight.

Amongst the other featured artists are Little Eva, The Sweet Things, The Lollipops, The Glories, Linda Carr and the Avons and along with all the others they deliver sweet, naive, innocent pop/soul. Yes the world has changed beyond belief since this music was recorded and it does speak of a different age..... but it's also oddly timeless. And, as ever, with Real Gone albums, the sleeve notes and accompanying essay (courtesy of Sheila Burgel) tell you everything you could possibly need to know

Last Updated on Friday, 28 April 2017 13:39



Friday, 28 April 2017 13:31 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altRemember Imagination? Sure you do... right, they were probably more camp-pop than soul but main man LEEE JOHN had a mean soul falsetto. And if you're a fan you'll be delighted to know that Leee is all set to release a brand new long player in June.

Maybe confusingly, it's titled 'Retropia – Imagination featuring Leee John' and our man says the album will be his "penultimate" recording! Mr John says that he had so much fun recording the 12 tracker that he knew that he'd have one more go after it. So with a follow up already planned and nothing after that (he says) , Leee can safely assert that this indeed is his penultimate effort.

... and what does it sounds like? Well, it's as if time has stood still. The sound of 'Retropia' is chiefly the sound of classic Imagination and there's no escaping Leee's totally distinctive voice. Best cut to these old soul tuned ears is a quite lovely mid-tempo groove called 'The Best I Could'.... and after that if you still doubt that Leee doesn't cut the soul cake grab a listen to his cover of the Temptations' 'Tell Her Love Has Felt The Need' – here he gives the Tempts a real run for their money! And with input from people like Loose Ends' Steve Nichols and Bluey Maunick, 'Retropia' might well surprise a few people... though I'll pass on Leee's version of AC/DC's 'Highway To Hell'.

The album also offers a final, "hidden" track mash up. Not that well hidden actually – versions of Stevie's 'Visions', 'Police and Thieves' and 'Just An Illusion'.

LEEE JOHN 'Retropia – Imagination featuring Leee John' is out on June 9th

Last Updated on Friday, 28 April 2017 13:39



Friday, 28 April 2017 11:29 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

alt'To Love Somebody' is the title of a new Ace compilation that looks at the considerable song writing talents of the BEE GEE Brothers, Barry, Maurice and Robin. The 24 track collection is the latest instalment in the label's celebration of the great tunesmiths and clearly, on the evidence here, the Gibb boys are right up there with the best.

Soul-wise you can enjoy the defining version of 'How Do You Mend A Broken Heart' from Al Green, 'I've Gotta Get A Message To You' from Percy Sledge, 'Words' from Bettye Swan, Nina Simone's version of 'I Can't See Nobody', The Staples Singers' take on 'Give A Hand Take A Hand' and, the real bonus, a wonderfully mournful version of 'To Love Somebody' from James Carr.

Pop-wise, there are inclusions from people like the Marbles, Tommy Roe, Los Bravos, Sandie Shaw and Lulu. Her inclusion is a gospel flavoured 'Bury Me Down By The River'. At the time she was, of course, married to Maurice Gibb and anoraks will need to know that the cut was recorded at the Criteria Studios in Miami.

Last Updated on Friday, 28 April 2017 11:37



Thursday, 27 April 2017 18:42 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altJAY KING (front man of Club Nouveau) had a club and radio hit at the start of the year with the ultra cool 'Good Kind Of Loving'. It was taken from his album, 'Helen's Son' – a sort of belated homage to his mother who passed ten years ago. The album was welcomed by the soul media (see our reviews archive) but for all kinds of reasons it only wins a UK release on Expansion on May 19th.

In the meantime, Jay has just released the second single from the album, 'Runnin''. It's a mid tempo soul shuffle offering the same laid back ambience as 'Good Kind Of Lovin'. And we're told that when the album arrives it will offer a Boogie Back remix of the tune!

Last Updated on Friday, 28 April 2017 10:28




My Account

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