Saturday, 02 September 2017 17:34 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altDetroit's KATHY KOSINS is currently causing plenty of interest ... enough to get soul and jazz entrepreneurs Brian Hurst, Brian Powers and Gilles Peterson interested in working with her.

Indeed Mr Peterson licensed the lady's' 'Could You Be Like Me' for one of his Brownswood Bubblers compilations. Little wonder the tune (the lead cut from Kathy's 'Uncovered Soul' set and a collaboration with Paul Randolph) sat right on the cusp on Neo Soul and Nu Jazz and in the Opolopo mix it was even more interesting.

Now the ever resourceful Peterson has sorted out his own mixes – three of 'em... confusingly all called Simbad mixes. They're available in three different lengths... so take your pick! All available from September 8th.

Last Updated on Sunday, 03 September 2017 10:15



Saturday, 02 September 2017 17:32 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altGermany's TRAMP RECORDS have announced they're to start curating a new series of compilations.... 'COUNTDOWN TO SOUL'. The small label specialises in sourcing, licensing and reissuing obscure, esoteric and collectable music from the dozens of small US labels that thrived in the 60s and 70s and their series 'Movements', 'Feeling Nice' and 'Praise Poems' have been warmly welcomed by collectors.

The first 'Countdown To Soul' is set for release on September 22nd and the album features 17 cuts from a set of largely unknown performers ... people like Hank Hodge, Rita MacNeil, The Chances, The Fugitives and Jackie Johnson and the Backbeaters who kick things off with an atmospheric, harmonic 'How Tough It Was'.

Probably best known name on the set is Reuben Bell. He offers his twist on Wardell Quezerque's 'Superjock' ... tough, hard funk. Elsewhere there's' plenty of soul-jazz instrumentals like Ulysses Crockett's vibe-led 'Major Funky' and the album's rounded off with a very odd but haunting 'Sound Of The Wind' from a gent called John Brown.

'Countdown To Soul' comes in CD (all but one track appears CD for the first time), digital and as a double vinyl album complete with full background notes.



Saturday, 02 September 2017 17:29 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altPATRICK BRADLEY is an American jazz keyboardist and he's just released his fourth solo album, 'Intangible'. All ten tunes on the ten tracker have been written by Bradley in collaboration with long-time associate Jeff Lorber who also adds extra keyboard and synth bass textures to the album. Other sidemen include Paul Jackson Jr, Jimmy Haslip, Gary Novak and David Mann and with a team like that you'd expect polished, professional smooth jazz and that's just what 'Intangible' delivers.

The music on the set offers one extra dimension. Bradley believes fervently that music and creativity are gifts from God, along with love, faith and hope. All "intangible" says Patrick, hence the album title. He hopes the music herein will encourage people to look beyond the physical, so amongst the key cuts 'Winds Of Change' encourages reflection on the impact of rapid change and 'Out Of Bounds' is an ode to freedom of spirit. On a more temporal note 'Funky Greens' is a proper funky jazz salad while 'On Tap' is Bradley's homage to craft beer! Cheers!


Last Updated on Saturday, 02 September 2017 17:46



Saturday, 02 September 2017 10:55 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF



Rumours circulating about a new album from GREGORY PORTER devoted to the music of Nat 'King' Cole (see our previous news piece on his forthcoming UK tour dates) have turned out to be true.

On Thursday 31st August at St. Luke's LSO building in London, the California singer premiered seven tracks from his forthcoming new Blue Note/Decca opus. titled 'Nat King Cole And Me.' In front of a small invited audience composed of music biz movers and shakers, Porter was accompanied by a large orchestra conducted by the redoubtable arranger/composer, Vince Mendoza. He performed seven songs, six of which are inextricably associated with his childhood idol, Cole, which included 'Mona Lisa' 'Nature Boy,' 'Miss Otis Regrets' and 'Smile.' Porter also featured his band, who played on several tracks, included an epic, orchestrated version of 'The King Of Love,' a key song from his 2013 album, 'Liquid Spirit.'


After the showcase (pictured above), Blue Note president and Grammy-winning record producer, Don Was, climbed onstage to interview Porter about the background story to the new album. “He was one of a kind," stated Porter in regard to Nat Cole.  "He left such great music – such beautiful things to listen to that you can’t help but be influenced by that extraordinary timbre, style, and ultimate cool.”

'Nat King Cole And Me' is due for release on 27th October 2017.   

Here's the full track listing:

‘Nat King Cole & Me’

1. Mona Lisa

2. Smile

3. Nature Boy

4. L-O-V-E

5. Quizas, Quizas, Quizas

6. Miss Otis Regrets

7. Pick Yourself Up

8. When Love Was King

9. The Lonely One

10. Ballerina

11. I Wonder Who My Daddy Is

12. The Christmas Song


Read SJF's 2012 interview with GREGORY PORTER here:


Last Updated on Saturday, 02 September 2017 11:06



Thursday, 31 August 2017 18:36 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altNew York-born JOHNNY RIVERS was one of the first blue-eyed soul men. His roots were in 50s R&R but by the 60s he found soul and started his very own Soul City label which helped launch the Fifth Dimension and amongst its backroom staff at various times were Willie Hutch and a certain Jimmy Webb. Soul City was also home for cult soul man Al Wilson' Searching For The Dolphins'.

Rivers recorded prolifically in his own right (his is the original version of 'By The Time I Get To Phoenix') and reissue specialist BGO have made most of his key albums easily available. BGO has just reissued his 1975 album 'Help Me Rhonda' which, to cause a little confusion, was called 'New Lovers And Old Friends' in the States. 'New Lovers And Old Friends' is a country-tinged ballad and the American execs at Epic clearly felt that that was the track to give the album its identity. In the UK, though, the men in suits decided to go with the much more familiar 'Help Me Rhonda'.

Those two songs give you a clue to the album's make up... like most of Rivers' output 'Help Me Rhonda' was a mix of originals and covers of pop and soul classics. The soul songs on this set are 'It's The Same Old Song', 'Can I Change My Mind' and 'You Better Move On'. As he always did, Rivers offers his distinct, robust versions.

Helping him deliver on the long player was an A list of session players and guests. They include Larry Carlton, Michael Omartian, Tom Scott, Ned Doheny, Maxine Willard and Brian Wilson who's there on 'Help Me Rhonda'... but you probably guessed that!

JOHNNY RIVERS 'HELP ME RHONDA' is out now on BGO. . Find out more about the release @


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