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HOW DO YOU DO, MAYER?

Friday, 07 October 2011 15:50 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

mayerwww.soulandjazzandfunk.com  were proud to be amongst the first media outlets to champion indie soul maven, MAYER HAWTHORNE (check out our 2009 interview with him). Now comfortably signed with Universal/Island, the man who has consistently wowed both tastemakers and soul lovers alike throughout the past two years is all set to drop his brand new LP – 'How Do You Do'.

The 12 tracker is stuffed with MAYER'S unique take on the sounds of classic soul. Echoing through the album are flavours of THE DELFONICS, CURTIS MAYFIELD, THE ESQUIRES and many more. There's a few surprises too – a BEATLE flavour here, a hint of STEELY DAN there and all topped with a guest appearance from SNOOP DOGG.

It's all most intriguing and typified by the lead single – 'The Walk'. The catchy and seemingly innocuous 60's soul groove is underpinned by a vitriolic lyric. Full review of the album on SJF very soon.

 

PHILLY @ 40...

Friday, 07 October 2011 14:29 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

Philadelphia-International-Records-logoPHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL RECORDS is forty years old! HARMLESS RECORDS are kick starting the celebrations with the release of a two CD, 21 track re-mix project – 'Philadelphia International: The Re-Edits'. The label has brought in top international remixers and producers to tweak some venerated Philly war horses and thankfully people like DJ APT ONE, JIMMY THE TWIN, J*SKI, and the MORNING STAR team have approached the matter with total respect for the originals.

The first CD in the pack is labelled 'Uptempo Good Time Philly ' and features classics like 'Satisfaction Guaranteed', 'Message In Our Music' and 'Life On Mars' while the second CD is tagged 'Mellow Slinky Philly'. Here you'll find the new takes on stuff like 'Was That All There Was', 'Nights Over Egypt' and 'Darlin' Darlin' Baby'.

The compilation will be followed by a comprehensive 'Philadelphia International 40th Anniversary Box Set' .... and there's lots more in the 2012 pipeline. You can see an outline of the 40th anniversary activities and releases by going to www.gamble-huffmusic.com

Last Updated on Friday, 07 October 2011 14:38

 

RONNIE MAC'S BACK ...

Friday, 07 October 2011 14:27 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

ronniemcEveryone's favourite soul singer RONNIE McNEIR is all set to release a brand new album 'Living My Life'. The album is stuffed with RONNIE'S unique soul style and previews reveal that songs like 'Pontiac', 'Letter From A Fool' and 'Tell Me You're Not Fooling Me' are all set to become McNEIR classics. The set also includes RONNIE'S very special versions of THE IMPRESSIONS' 'Gypsy Woman' and MARVIN GAYE'S 'I Want You'.

Apart from his solo career, RON, of course, is still a member of the legendary FOUR TOPS. His connections with the band go way back but he's been an official and integral part of the group for 12 years now. He sees no problems with running two musical careers in parallel and is more than happy in both roles. He'll be coming over to Europe with the TOPS next Spring, but in the meantime we can all enjoy his own very personal take on soul with 'Living My Life'... full review on SOULJAZZANDFUNK very soon.

 

25 NOT OUT...

Wednesday, 05 October 2011 19:36 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

soulsauce_25Ever-dependable EXPANSION RECORDS is celebrating its 25th anniversary with three corking new compilations. The label was formed in 1986 by JON ANDERSON and RICHARD SEARLING and it was originally going to be called Impact; then the duo thought about Windy Weather – before (thankfully) deciding on Expansion. The idea was to release in-demand tracks that had made names for themselves in the hipper soul clubs and on soul radio shows (like ROBBIE VINCENT'S). After a short time RALPH TEE came on board and his management and administration skills saw the fledgling label really take off... and now there's plenty to celebrate.

The first of the label's new compilations is EXPANSION SOUL SAUCE 25. The name is shared with RICHARD SEARLING'S legendary radio shows and, of course, 'Soul Sauce' was the title of Expansion's first compilation series. This new set features 15 tracks that give just a flavour of the label's heritage. There's classics from favourites like LEO'S SUNSHIP, JAMES KING and MAYSA LEAK along with lots and lots of brand new soul including a duet between Philly legends SHIRLEY JONES and JEAN CARNE and a KENI BURKE/COOL MILLION collaboration.

The second super new set is LUXURY SOUL. This is a double CD 30 tracker which has been specially complied by RALPH TEE. It's a wonderful look back to the magic sounds of the mid 70s and early 80s and features memory-jerkers from people like PHYLLIS HYMAN, NOEL POINTER, BEAU WILLIAMS, THE GAP BAND and ATLANTIC STARR. RALPH'S sleeve notes make relevant comments about musical longevity, downloading and illegal file sharing.

The third of Expansion's terrific trio is the annual SOUL TOGETHERNESS beano. The quality is as remarkable as ever and the set offers classics old and news from the likes of REEL PEOPLE, MARY MARY and those wonderful Aussies ELECTRIC EMPIRE... who - you may remember - got their first non-Australian media coverage right here at SOULANDJAZZANDFUNK – which is where you'll get the very best and most carefully considered reviews of these three new Expansion sets.

 

COMIN’ ON STRONG ...

Wednesday, 05 October 2011 19:34 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

CDCover_delovelyANTHONY STRONG is a fast rising new star on the British jazz scene. The singer/pianist has played sell-out shows at the London and Cheltenham Jazz Festivals and MICHAEL PARKINSON has already drawn a comparison with JAMIE CULLUM while CULLUM has himself championed STRONG, describing him as "a great singer... a great pianist".

STRONG is currently in the middle of an 8 concert mini tour taking in places like Basingstoke, Hastings, Birmingham, Milton Keynes and Manchester and if you're anywhere near those places it's well worth checking out local listings.

In the meantime ANTHONY has just issued a five track EP which typifies his style and sound. Four of the tracks are covers of standards like 'It's Delovely' and 'Tea For Two' while the fifth cut is a lovely, light original song called 'Going Nowhere'. Listening, it's easy to why SIR MICHAEL made the CULLUM comparison but there's also shades of MICHAEL BUBLÉ and HARRY CONNICK in STRONG'S sound. Find out more @ www.anthonystrong.com or www.facebook.com/anthonystrongmusic

 

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