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STAY COOL....

Wednesday, 06 September 2017 13:16 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altNot heard too much from the COOL MILLION crew for some time now, that's because the duo have been busy putting together their very own 'Best Of...' album and with such a quality laden back catalogue, that's some job!

Anyway as a taster for the set Cool Million have just released a stunning modern soul single, 'That's My Lady'. The cut, on their Sed Soul label, features a soulful vocal from a gentleman called Gregers and you can enjoy the tune in the original "Berlin" mix or the slightly more electro-tined "Boogie" mix.... both are stamped all over with everything you've come to know and love about Cool Million.

Once the 'Best Of... ' has come and gone Rob and Frank are going to get stuck into a tenth anniversary album. Yep, hard to believe but by 2018 Cool Million will have been turning out quality modern soul for ten years... and to celebrate there's going to be a very, very special album!

 

THE SONGBIRD SINGS ....

Wednesday, 06 September 2017 13:13 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altIf your soul taste buds crave something a little different from time to time, then you may want to check out a new tune called 'Songbird'. Released on DSG Records on 22nd September, the cut is a collaboration between Jacnique Nina, Philip Ingram and trumpeter Willie Bradley and the producer is Preston Glass.

Ms Nina is a West Coast soulstress who won the Best Urban Soul Artist category in the 2011 Los Angeles Music Awards, while Ingram is the brother of James and soul folk with a long memory will remember him from his days with Switch.

The upcoming release of 'Songbird' is in a Nigel Lowis mix and it's being played across all kinds of genres.... including soul and jazz while it's also garnering favour over in the Balearics!

 

COURTNEY’S BLACK NOTES

Wednesday, 06 September 2017 13:10 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altGarlanded UK jazz man COURTNEY PINE CBE is set to release his 19th album at the end of October. The ten tracker is 'Black Notes From The Deep' and features guest appearances from a stellar cast that includes bassist Alec Dankworth, Robert Mitchell on piano, Rod Young on drums and Omar. Mr. Lyefook MBE adds his silky soulful tones to four tunes that include Pine's reading of Herbie Hancock's 'Butterfly'. The three other songs are 'Rules', 'Darker Than Blue' and 'In Another Time' – this lovely Latin shuffle is an album highlight.

Other highlights include 'Rivers Of Blood' and 'A Change Is Sure To Come'. The former references Enoch Powell's notorious speech that stirred tension amongst those who became known as "The Windrush Generation" – which numbered Pine's own parents while the latter, a light waltz, takes Sam Cooke's famous anthem as its inspiration – here offering optimism and hope.

COURTNEY PINE; BLACK NOTES FROM THE DEEP is released on Freestyle Records on October 27th

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 September 2017 13:22

 

LOTTA BOTTLE!

Tuesday, 05 September 2017 18:05 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altGil Scott Heron's 'The Bottle' has to be one of soul's most covered tunes. I guess we all have our favourite versions. Many still love Brother 2 Brother's take; then what about Joe Bataan's Spanish Harlem style rendition? Don't forget Maysa's wonderful reading too.

Now we can add another version to the list – from CHRIS KINGDON – who'll you'll remember from his work as half of Mather and Kingdon and via his own tunes - notably 'Cuba' and 'Free Your Mind'.

Kingdon's new reading has just been released on DSG Records and it's a late-flowering summery version of the familiar tune.... Herbie Mann style flutes, jazzy keys and chiming vibes are all part of the intriguing mix.

 

STEELY DAN'S WALTER BECKER DIES

Sunday, 03 September 2017 18:34 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

 

        altIt has been announced that STEELY DAN'S multi-instrumentlist co-founder WALTER BECKER has died at the age of 67.  News came through via Becker's own website earlier today with a tribute from the musician's songwriting partner and fellow Steely Dan member, DONALD FAGEN, who wrote: "Walter Becker was my friend, my writing partner and my bandmate since we met as students at Bard College in 1967," Donald Fagen wrote ia tribute to Becker. "He was smart as a whip, an excellent guitarist and a great songwriter. He was cynical about human nature, including his own, and hysterically funny."

Becker and Fagen met a college in New York in the '60s and with their shared love of jazz became fast friends and later collaborated as songwriters. They moved to California in the early '70s and formed Steely Dan, which was originally a quintet and kicked off their career with the album, 'Can't Buy A Thrill,' which spawned the classic cut, 'Do It Again.' 

But as the '70s progressed, Becker and Fagen, who were the band's chief songwriters and considered perfectionists, began to call the shots and with the mid-'70s albums 'The Royal Scam' and Aja' took control, essentially reducing the band to a duo and utilising the skills of LA's session mafia to bring their unique musical visions to life. Blurring the boundaries between rock, pop, soul and jazz, Steely Dan made music that was slick and sophisticated but didn't lack edge or bite, largely because of the duo's sardonic lyrics.  

After 1980's 'Gaucho,' Becker and Fagen disbanded Steely Dan and two years later, Fagen established himself as a solo artist with the successful LP, 'The Nightfly.' Becker, too, eventually cut a solo album in 1994 but was mainly in demand as a producer during this period. 

In 2000, after a twenty-year hiatus, Steely Dan reconvened as both a recording act and live entity and recently were on tour in the USA, though Becker was unable to take part due to an unspecified illness. 

 

                       WALTER BECKER R.I.P.  1950-2017

Last Updated on Monday, 04 September 2017 20:42

 

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