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LIVIN’ THE LIFE....

Saturday, 07 April 2018 12:57 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altUK soul connoisseurs will need no introduction to Ms ESHE ESCOFFERY. They'll know she's part of one of the UK's best-known soul families and that for 25 years she sang with her sisters 'The Escofferys'. Tutored by their father, George, and wearing stylish costumes made by mother, Millie, they enjoyed a worldwide hit 'Look Who's Loving Me'.

Now Eshe is breaking out on her own with a solo EP with imminent release on the KnuKosmicSoul label. The mini album's 'Life Live Be Here' and that alongside the label's name will give you a clue to the overall soundscape. The vibe on the four tracker is experimental but accessible.... there's a whiff of prime time Eryka Badu about proceedings.

Eshe says that the music "expresses my diverse styles and flavours and moods of fusionz of soul gospel hip-hop Drum n Bass reflecting my journey this far to bring joy, healing, beauty, life and soul to bring peace and happiness in this world".

Whatever... the music (as illustrated by the lovely 6 minutes of 'Reazon') has a lovely, lazy, jazzy undercurrent that is almost hypnotic

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 April 2018 13:06

 

JAZZ PIANIST CECIL TAYLOR DIES

Saturday, 07 April 2018 12:24 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

           altThe late Cecil Taylor was one of the most original and daring pianists in jazz - he regarded his instrument as  a set of "eighty-eight tuned drums" - has died at the age of 89. A pioneer of free jazz Taylor was also a controversial figure and his fiercely atonal music, deemed deeply challenging  by more conservative listeners, meant that there were times, especially in the 1960s and '70s, when he found it difficult to find places to perform his music.

Taylor, born in New York City in 1929, came from a family with a deep appreciation of music and at the age of sic was encouraged to learn the piano. Such was his talent that he went on to study music at college, first in New York, and later in Boston, where his main focus was composition. Taylor returned to the Big Apple in 1955 and formed a jazz quartet with saxophonist, Steve Lacy, making his first recording, appropriately titled 'Jazz Advance.'  As the 50s moved towards the 1960s, Taylor's music became increasingly exploratory and complex. He recorded with John Coltrane in 1958 and also released a groundbreaking album called 'Looking Ahead,' which showcased his highly percussive use of the piano and ultra-modernist approach to the jazz lexicon. Come the early 1960s, after Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy had legitimised free jazz, Taylor also sought to break new ground, rejecting orthodox notions of melody, harmony, and structure.  After a stint at United Artists and the independent Candid label, Taylor landed at Blue Note in 1966, recording two albums - Unit Structures and Conquistador! - that rank among his best work. Through the '70s, '80s, and '90s, Taylor proved to be a prolific recording artist. His output slowed down in later life and his final album, 'The Last Dance,' was issued in 2009.  

Though a divisive figure, Taylor was much admired for his brilliant originality and the fact that he never  compromised his art or diluted his music for mass consumption. Above all, he always stayed true to himself.

 

                      CECIL TAYLOR R.I.P. 1929-2018

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 April 2018 13:06

 

SUCH: ORDINARY PEOPLE....

Friday, 06 April 2018 18:42 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

alt'Ordinary People' is one of John Legend's most enduring songs; somehow it always manages to hit the spot , and to underline its longevity and relevance, the song's just won a revival from new-ish soulstress SUCH.

Don't know too much about SuCh, save that her real name's Su Charles and that she was a contestant on Season 11 of American Idol. She's released several singles and one long player – 'Trial and Error.'

We're told that this new (and lovely) version of 'Ordinary People' is from SuCh's upcoming album and though she doesn't stray too far from the original version her pure vocal makes it all worthwhile. The recording is available now via all the usual digital platforms and it comes highly recommended.

Last Updated on Saturday, 07 April 2018 12:09

 

FOR THE LOVE OF CHOCOLATE!

Friday, 06 April 2018 18:40 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altSOUL REVIVAL are a Kansas City musical duo - singer/songwriter Derick Pierre and producer/musician Desmond "D. Professor" Mason. Their name explains exactly what they're all about – crafting proper soul grooves as they were crafted back in the day. Last year, you may remember, they enjoyed soul chart mileage with 'Fall In Love' and 'Comeback' ... two great tunes.

Now SOUL REVIVAL follow up with a lazy soul meander, 'Chocolate Love'. The pair say the song is "most definitely a story about courtship" and they add "We're very excited for how this record turned out, and especially glad that Soul Revival could contribute to uplifting women of colour around the world."

The track features guest input from an up and coming Kansas City soul crooner, Church Boii and between them all the team create a great soul vibe – yes, old school but with a contemporary flavour.

Last Updated on Friday, 06 April 2018 18:57

 

BACK TO THE SIXTIES...

Friday, 06 April 2018 18:36 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altEveryone knows that 60s refuse to go away... yes, it was THE decade when everything kicked off... and to kind of add weight to that argument UK jazz crooner GARY WILLIAMS will be taking us back to that magical decade when he fronts three nights and Soho's swanky Brasserie Zedel in May.

To be more specific Gary will be focusing on 1968 and revisiting the music from that year of people like Frankie Valli, Burt Bacharach, Georgie Fame and Sergio Mendes and, Gary tells us, '68, of course was the year that Frank Sinatra recorded 'My Way'.

The shows are 23, 24 & 26 May and you can get more details from the venue. In the meantime you can learn more about Gary and his career by visiting www.youtu.be/I3PaCdFx-rg

 

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