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LAUREN EASES THE PAIN

Thursday, 10 June 2010 15:12 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

LAUREN EASES THE PAIN

Born in Jackson, Tennessee, but based in London, LAUREN PRITCHARD has just released her second EP - 'Painkillers', a four tracker which is set to consolidate the reputation which her first set created. The title cut is self-penned, but was produced by EG WHITE and it has all the best features of ADELE'S 'Chasing Pavements' and DUFFY'S 'Warwick Avenue' - WHITE, of course, was involved in both. The original version of 'Painkillers' is ultra radio friendly; the 'Body Language Mix' is a touch chillier, while the 'Flotilla Remix' is a lot looser. All three, plus the country-soul ballad 'Try A Little Harder' show why PAUL WELLER was so impressed with LAUREN'S voice that the invited her to duet with him on a version of 'Howe Sweet It Is' for his Radio 2 In Concert Show. If you missed the broadcast, catch the cut as the B-side to WELLER'S new single. In the meantime LAUREN PRITCHARD'S 'Painkillers' EP is available via all the usual outlets.

 

MARVIN ISLEY DIES

Wednesday, 09 June 2010 06:26 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

MARVIN ISLEY DIES

It was announced yesterday (Tuesday 8th June) that MARVIN ISLEY, who played bass on all The Isley Brothers' hit records from the '70s - including 'That Lady' and 'Harvest For The World' - has died at the age of 56 from diabetes complications. In fact, Isley had been suffering from diabetes for some time and officially quit the band as long ago as in 1997 as a result of the disease (later, as his condition worsened he had to have both legs amputated).
In the mid-1980s, Marvin Isley left the group briefly to form a trio with his brother, Ernie, and cousin Chris Jasper, which went under the name ISLEY-JASPER-ISLEY. They recorded three albums for CBS and enjoyed a US R&B number one with the song, 'Caravan Of Love,' later a UK Christmas chart topper for the Hull-based indie-pop band, The Housemartins.

 

SUMMER ALBUMS BY FUSION HEAVYWEIGHTS

Saturday, 05 June 2010 09:52 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

SUMMER ALBUMS BY FUSION HEAVYWEIGHTS

Some of the biggest names in jazz-funk-fusion are lining up to release new albums. Just out is 'Now Is The Time' by Philly keyboard player, JEFF LORBER, and his band Jeff Lorber Fusion. Featuring the cream of the LA session fraternity - Paul Jackson Jr, Vinnie Colaiutu, Jimmy Haslip and Eric Marienthal to name a few - it's an example of what we've come to expect from Lorber in recent years: an album of smooth, jazz-lite instrumental grooves interspersed with a clutch of vocal cuts (listen out in particular for 'Sugar Free' featuring vocalist Irene B). A big surprise is the inclusion of the Lorber band's decent take on the edgy Wayne Shorter-penned Weather Report number, 'Mysterious Traveller.' The album's out via Heads Up.
Signed to the same company is another fusion keyboard maven, GEORGE DUKE, who has a new album due. 'Déjà Vu' finds the former Frank Zappa sideman revisiting his funk and soul roots, and also includes a Latin excursion, 'A Melody' that recalls his 'Brazilian Love Affair' period. Saxophonist Everett Harp guests alongside flautist Hubert Laws, the ubiquitous Paul Jackson Jr and singer, Lynne Fiddmont. The release date is 30th August.
Before that comes out, on July 12th Duke's old sparring partner, bassist extraordinaire and former Return To Forever member, STANLEY CLARKE, releases 'The Stanley Clarke Band' (which is also released by Heads Up). The set features the nimble-fingered keyboard skills of Japanese ivory tickler, Hiromi. Interestingly, Clarke's set is co-produced by his old Return To Forever colleague, drummer, LENNY WHITE, who also has a new solo project about to hit the shops. 'Anomaly' (released by Abstract Logix) fuses jazz with rock and features impressive line up of participants - ranging from Stanley Clarke, Victor Bailey and keyboardist Bernard Wright to soul singers Vaneese Thomas, Nicki Richards and Chris Williams.
Lenny White once led a band called Jamaica Boys, whose line up included bassist MARCUS MILLER. By strange coincidence, Miller also has a new long player out on the Dreyfuss Jazz label. 'A Night In Monte Carlo' was recorded live in France with Miller's band accompanied by L'Orchestre Philharmonique De Monte-Carlo. Trumpeter Roy Hargrove is a featured guest, as is singer/guitarist Raul Midon. There's also a studio bonus track in the shape of 'Strange Fruit,' a updated version of the old Billie Holiday number about lynching, which features Herbie Hancock on piano. The album's out on 14th June.

 

HERBIE'S BACK...

Friday, 04 June 2010 05:42 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

HERBIE'S BACK...

Legendary jazz keyboardist, HERBIE HANCOCK, who celebrated his seventieth birthday earlier this year, has a new album, 'The Imagine Project,' released on August 2nd via Sony Music. The set was recorded at different points around the globe and features colleborations with a host of stars from different musical genres - they include John Legend, Chaka Khan, Jeff Beck, James Morrison, Indie.Aria, Pink, Seal, Dave Matthews, Wayne Shorter and others.
Says Hancock in regard to the album: "Music truly is the universal language. 'The Imagine Project' will explore that concept across the globe, uniting a myriad of cultures through song and positive creative expression. My hope is that the music will serve as a metaphor for the actions taken by the inhabitants of this wonderful planet as a call for world harmony on all levels."


 

MORE ACES FROM ACE

Thursday, 03 June 2010 06:14 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

MORE ACES FROM ACE

Renowned for the superlative quality of its compilation packages, Ace Records has just unleashed a new batch of titles that should find favour with soul music collectors.
First up is a fascinating VICKI ANDERSON collection on Ace's BGP imprint called 'Wide Awake In A Dream,' which focuses on the James Brown protégé's pre-funk years, spanning the period 1965-1970. There are 23 tracks in all - the majority of which are helmed by Soul Brother Number One - and which appeared on the Smash, Fontana, Deluxe and King labels. The set includes duets with James Brown and Anderson's husband, Bobby Byrd, and also includes a previously unissued track.
Also look out for a superb collection devoted to the histrionic church-raised singer, FREDDIE HUGHES. 'Send My Baby Back' features the1968 Wand album of the same name (the first time it's ever had a bona fide reissue) and is bolstered by a slew of bonus cuts (14 in all), which include sides Hughes cut with The Soul Brothers.
Finally, Ace's Kent imprint unleashes a third instalment in their CD chronicle of obscure Memphis soul. 'Steppin' Stone: The XL & Sounds Of Memphis Story Volume 3' boasts 22 tracks, ranging from Willie Walker's 'If You Never See Me' to George Jackson's 'How Can I Get Next To You' and including rare sides by Erma Shaw, Louis Williams, The Minits, Dan Greer and The Jacksonians.

Look out for reviews soon at www.soulandjazzandfunk.com.

 

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