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FRIENDS REUNITED

Friday, 06 June 2008 06:23 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

FRIENDS REUNITED

Last year NONA HENDRYX intimated to www.soulandjazzandfunk.com that the wonderful LABELLE were about to get back together. Well it's now all happening. After 33 years the Marmalade Ladies are back! PATTI LABELLE, SARAH DASH AND NONA HENDRYX have put previous differences behind them, placed solo commitments on hold and reunited. They are currently hard at work on a new album to be released this autumn. LENNY KRAVITZ is producing some of the cuts, and the ladies will reunite with GAMBLE AND HUFF on the project as well. One of the tunes, we're told, is a remake of the SYLVESTER disco classic, 'You Make Me Feel Mighty Real'.
Other old friends getting it on together again are Minneapolis' THE TIME! MORRIS DAY, JEROME BENTON, JIMMY JAM, TERRY LEWIS, MONTE MOIR and JESSE JOHNSON are coming together for a series of shows in Las Vegas at The Flamingo. The shows are happening this summer June 24th- August 2nd. No details of new recordings are available the moment.

 

BO DIDDLEY PASSES

Thursday, 05 June 2008 15:05 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

BO DIDDLEY PASSES

BO DIDDLEY, one of the key figures in the development of modern popular music, died on June 2nd, aged 79. His work at Chess Records was widely copied and the rhythms he evolved became one of the foundations of rock and pop. Sadly, despite that huge importance, Diddley spent much of his career struggling to get people to acknowledge what he'd achieved. Indeed though he latterly won numerous awards and inductions into various music foundations he was candidly honest, "Those awards didn't put no figures in my cheque book. It just told people they thought enough of Bo Diddley for me to be honoured by putting my name on something, which was really great. But it didn't put no bucks in my kitty."

Born OTHA ELLAS BATES in McComb, Mississippi in 1928, the infant was adopted by his mother's cousin GUSSIE MCDANIEL, and it was with that new surname that he grew up in Chicago. He first chose boxing as a way out of ghetto poverty and as a pugilist he earned the nickname "Bo Diddley". But the 'nothing' which that nickname indicates suggests that his boxing skills were limited. He liked the name though, and when he turned to music that became his moniker.

In 1955 he signed to the Chess subsidiary, Checker and his first single, the eponymous 'Bo Diddley' was an instant hit. On it he launched his uniquely distinctive style - grinding guitar, raw vocals, and an infectious bump 'n maraca rhythm driven by his sidekicks - JEROME GREEN (his cousin) and the DUCHESS (his sister). The hits continued through the fifties and into the early sixties and his sound was soon espoused by British beat groups like THE ROLLING STONES, THE YARDBIRDS and THE ANIMALS - who actually recorded a tribute to the man.

In the mid sixties BO's hits dried up but he continued to tour and he was always held in awe by British blues fans. In 1973 he recorded in London and he opened for the CLASH on their 1979 US tour. Ten years later he performed at GEORGE BUSH'S Presidential inauguration and even made ads for Nike shoes. DIDDLEY always claimed that he made little money from his music and in 1994 a Los Angles judge awarded him $400,000 from the estate of his dead manager.

In May 2007, DIDDLEY suffered a stroke after playing a gig in Council Bluffs, Iowa, but within a month had recovered sufficiently to be discharged from a hospital near his home in Archer, Florida, where he lived with his fourth wife, SYLVIA PAIZ. Further heart attacks debilitated him and he died on June 2nd. MICK JAGGER was one of the first to offer tributes … "We will never see his like again"… too true.

 

JIMMY McGRIFF DIES

Wednesday, 28 May 2008 11:08 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

JIMMY McGRIFF DIES


On Sunday 25th May, the Philadelphia-born blues/jazz organist, JIMMY McGRIFF, died aged 72 after battling with multiple sclerosis for several years.
Although McGriff (born April 3rd 1936) learned to play the piano as young as five years old in his local Baptist church, he did not initially pursue music as a career - in fact, he served in the US army in Korea, and upon his return, went on the beat as a policeman in his native Philadelphia for two years. However, his passion for music eventually got the better of him and he gave up law-enforcement to study music at New York's Juilliard School of Music. Turned on to the Hammond B-3 organ by its use in gospel music, McGriff broke into the US R&B Top 10 in 1962 with his blues-soaked instrumental reading of Ray Charles's R&B classic, 'I've Got A Woman' on Sue Records. He also had US chart entries in the '60s with 'All About My Girl,' 'Kiko,' and 'The Worm.' In the late-1970s, McGriff experimented with jazz-funk-fusion before returning to bluesy organ jazz in the 1980s and '90s. His final album was last year's 'Live At Smoke.'


 

PHILLY TREASURE TROVE

Friday, 23 May 2008 07:50 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

PHILLY TREASURE TROVE

Legendary Philly label Jamie-Guyden has some wonderful material lined up for release in the coming months. First up is a 2 CD, 32 track retrospective on the wonderful BARBARA LYNN. Essentially a southern soulstress, between 1962 and 1966 BARBARA found an outlet for her recordings at Philadelphia's Jamie label where she scored the hits 'You'll Lose A Good Thing' and 'Oh Baby We Got A Good Thing Going'. They're at the heart of this collection along with her other Jamie singles, her 1962 album and two previously unissued cuts. Jamie is also working on a BARBARA MASON retrospective, and bringing things right up to date, July will see a new release on JOHN ELLISON. ELLISON, of course, was the founding member of the SOUL BROTHERS SIX and this new collection will feature a re-recording of their 'Some Kind Of Wonderful'. All the other songs on 'Back' are brand new and with mixing and mastering by TOM MOULTON, it looks like it'll be one of 2008 big albums.

 

GET FUNKATIZED

Friday, 23 May 2008 06:20 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

GET FUNKATIZED

Those who feel the funk could do worse than check out German band FUNKATIZED. The outfit's a duo - DEE GEE and EN BEE and they share the same mission - to keep the funk alive. Based in Berlin, the pair have married old school funk feeling to 21st century technology and created a hybrid that has elements of Acid Jazz, Electro, and Soulful House. They describe their self-titled album as "a rather unique mix of anachronism and zeitgeist" … We don't know about that, but it's certainly a foot-tapper. Check out the review on our reviews pages and for more info go to www.funkatized.com.

 

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