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INDIE SOUL ...

Friday, 27 March 2009 13:11 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

INDIE SOUL ...

Despite the credit crunch (or maybe because of it) the independent and self-financed soul scene continues to flourish. There's lots of great indie soul around at the moment and here at www.soulandjazzandfunk.com we're grateful to our colleague at www.soulwalking.co.uk for pointing us to a very strong trio of new albums. First up there's 'These Five Words' from TRISH ANDREWS. You can find out more about TRISH by scrolling back through our news pages, where you'll find an in-depth interview with the lady in which she reveals the real meaning behind the songs on the set. Of those songs, the album's opener, 'Comfort Zone', is currently winning lots of support on the modern soul scene but 'You Know What You Do To Me' and 'Jumpin' And Bumpin' are snappy dancers too. Ballad lovers will connect with 'On My Mind' and 'Makin' Love' but repeated plays will reveal that the album's title cut is the real highlight. Plenty of real soul highlights too on 'If These Walls Could Talk' from DARIEN. The opening cut - 'Just Can't Wait' - will leave you in no doubt about what's in store - proper, tuneful, groove-laden modern soul of the highest order. 'Showya' is another steady foor-tapper; 'Where It's At' has a real lazy, harmonic vibe; and the LP's semi-autobiographical title tune reveals a deeper side to young DARIEN. Bags of depth too on MATT CUSSON'S eponymous 12 tracker. The album offers plenty of variety but 'Could' (an enigmatic duet with SHOSHANA BEAN) has immediate appeal. 'Every Step' is another outstanding cut - sweet and lovely - while a short acappella interlude will make you think you've strayed into a TAKE 6 album. On some cuts there's a feel of JAMES TAYLOR to the music (CUSSON has toured regular with TAYLOR) but overall the sound will recall ROBIN THICKE (without the R&B posturing) or even ROBERT JOHN. For fuller reviews on these three albums go to www.soulwalking.co.uk. For those, now, who like to investigate the harder-to-find-soul, then try www.myspace.com/dorianjames . We can't find out too much about the young Atlanta-based singer. His 'my space' space doesn't feature too much but we've gleaned that he's had a fair share of music biz downs. The ever-tenacious DORIAN currently has a three tracker on offer which shows some real soul potential. 'Nice And Slow' is a crisp mid-tempo beater with a hint of USHER style R&B to it, while 'What's Missing' is a pleasing and melodic cut with a catchy hook and a clever ending.

 

URIEL JONES DIES ...

Wednesday, 25 March 2009 12:14 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

URIEL JONES DIES ...

More sad soul news … Motown drummer URIEL JONES has died in Dearborn, Michigan from post heart attack complications… he was 74. JONES, who was born on 13th June, 1934 in Detroit, joined the Motown family in 1964 after touring with the MARVIN GAYE road band. He was GAYE'S drummer of choice on studio hits like 'Ain't That Peculiar' and 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine' and his playing soon won the ear of NORMAN WHITFIELD who used him extensively during his tenure as producer for the TEMPTATIONS. JONES was one of three regular Motown Snake Pit drummers. Along with BENNY BENJAMIN and 'PISTOL' ALLEN, his drumming became an integral part of the Motown session band sound. The sessioneers were soon dubbed 'THE FUNK BROTHERS' and true Motown anoraks can easily pick out by ear which drummer played on which track. Motown arranger PAUL RISER was particularly fond of JONES' easy style - "Uriel's drum sound was the most open and laid-back, and he was the funkiest of the three guys we had. He had a mixed feel and did a lot of different things well." JONES - and indeed all the Motown studio musicians - remained largely anonymous until the release in 2003 of the 'Standing In The Shadows Of Motown' movie. The film, of course, focused on the artistry and accomplishments of the FUNK BROTHERS and, on the back of the movie, those of the band still alive toured extensively to huge critical and popular acclaim. JONES' death leaves just four original FUNK BROTHERS alive.

 

EDDIE BO PASSES ...

Monday, 23 March 2009 10:38 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

EDDIE BO PASSES ...


One of New Orleans' most-underrated soul musicians - EDDIE BO, has died aged 79. Local New Orleans press agencies reported that EDDIE died from a heart attack on Wednesday 18th March after a day spent in that city's shopping centre. The pianist/vocalist was born EDWIN JOSEPH BOCAGE on September 20th, 1930. His family were noted Big Easy musicians and after a stint in the army EDDIE enrolled himself at the Grunewald School of Music where he immersed himself in the jazz style of ART TATUM but on graduating he soon learned that playing good time R&B brought more bookings. He joined the house band at the famed Club Tijuana where he played under the name SPIDER BOCAGE. He made his recording debut in 1955 and over the years he released more singles than any other New Orleans musician save FATS DOMINO. In the 60s - now calling himself EDDIE BO, and with numerous production credits under his belt too - his playing style became funkier and he scored his biggest hit in 1969 with the two parter 'Hook And Sling' which was eventually followed by 'Check Your Bucket' in '71. EDDIE worked only sporadically after that - concentrating more on his construction business - even converting an old office into a café - neatly named Check Your Bucket. In the 80s he recorded with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and as the demand for oldies started to flourish he began touring again and became a popular player on the festival circuit - a circuit he continued playing right up to his death.

 

GET CLOSER...

Friday, 20 March 2009 10:27 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

GET CLOSER...

Keen followers of the MOBO awards will know all about YOLANDA BROWN. In 2008, you see, she picked up the 'Best Jazz' MOBO accolade. The award was based around her live work and the acclaimed EP 'Finding My Voice' which she now follows with another mini-album, 'A Step Closer'. This new 7 tracker features more of her innovative sax playing that has already won her gigs playing with artists as diverse as the Temptations and Soweto Kinch. YOLANDA'S jazz is hard to pin down but in it there are flavours of soul, R&B, gospel and reggae and even on the tight grooves of 'Just Say' there's an other-worldliness that may call to mind JOHN KLEMMER. The lady's working on a full album and has a full touring schedule in her diary…. Find out more at - www.yolandabrown.co.uk

 

TRAIN A-COMING...

Friday, 20 March 2009 10:25 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

TRAIN A-COMING...

TV and cinema ads have been responsible for breathing new life into many an old soul chestnut. Latest tune to be revitalised in this way is DON THOMAS'S 1974 recording of 'Come On Train'. THOMAS recorded the stomper for the NUVJ label and on release it did very little - till the good ol' Northern scene espoused it and, latterly, copies of the single have been changing hands for sums approaching £100! The ad men seized the tune to front a Visa ad but first had hot shot mixer IAN PARTON add some 21st century tweaks to it. The result is still infectious and the beats perfectly complement the ad visuals which feature disabled performance artist BILL SHANNON'S crutch-dance shopping spree. Let's hope, en route, he picked up a reissue copy of DON THOMAS' 'Come On Train' (original and remix) … the reissue label is New State, by the way.

 

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