VARIOUS: Expansion Soul Sauce 25 (Expansion)

Monday, 31 October 2011 14:39 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

soulsauce_25The title's the big give away here. Yes, this ab fab 16 tracker is part of Expansion's 25th anniversary celebrations and as with all good music parties there's plenty of exciting new stuff and lots of cherished oldies.

A trio of stunning new cuts opens the collection. They are the Shirley Jones/Jean Carne collaboration, 'Whatever It Takes'; 'Luv is Comin' Up' from Tom Glide; and 'Step By Step 'from Leon Ware... and before you say, "hang on the Tom Glide tune isn't new"... well, yes, the song isn't - but this remix is. Here, good old Chris Bangs gives it his best Drizabone sound-alike shot and creates an instant, irresistible modern soul classic. Same description applies to the other two... though with those artists you wouldn't expect anything else would you? On any other album they'd be the absolute standouts, but here, there's so much more it seems that Messrs Tee and Searling are really spoiling us. Other choice brand new cuts come from Kloud 9 ('Sweet Sensation'), Soul Talk (the Cool Million mix of 'Really Don't Mind'), Manchester's very own Victor Haynes ('From The Bottom Of My Heart') and James Day ('Young Hearts (Will Never Be Lonely))' – a fine down tempo moment with vocal from Chauncey Matthews).

Then, there's stuff that - though not brand new - is still of recent vintage – like Keni Burke's 'So Real', Sheree Brown's 'Just A Simple Love' and Kindred The Family Soul's 'Magic Happen'.

Add to all that a wonderful smattering of oldies – Maysa Leak's 'The Bottle', James King's 'Memory', Kuh Ledesma's 'Dreaming' and Leo's Sunship's 'Give Me The Sunshine' and you have all the ingredients that make this the best modern soul compilation of the year.

(BB) 5/5

Last Updated on Sunday, 02 October 2016 18:30



Sunday, 30 October 2011 19:33 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF


The redoubtable continental reissue specialist, Holland's Vinyl Masterpiece and its PTG imprint, has just revived some collectable '80s soul and funk titles on CD. Pick of the bunch is 'On Target,' the 1983 RCA album by the Philly songbirds, THE JONES GIRLS. The set was co-produced by Fonzi Thornton and features the uptempo title cut (a Top 50 US R&B chart entry) and '2 Win You Back.'

Another tasty platter comes from LA singer, JERRY KNIGHT, who started out as the bass player in RAYDIO. 1983's 'Love's On Our Side' was originally released by A&M and contains 'She's Got To Be A Dancer.'

Released a few years earlier was 'Saturday, Saturday Night' by the LA octet, ZOOM. The title track was a US R&B chart entry as was the song 'Love Seasons,' which was a Stateside Top 40 hit in 1982.

Also hailing from Los Angeles were the LA BOPPERS led by singer/drummer, Vance Tennort. Their 1981 Mercury album, 'Bop Time' featured a hit revamp of the Delfonics' 'La La Means I Love You' and is reissued for the first time.

The same goes for the eponymous Mercury debut by released by forgotten Texas band, PHYREWORK in 1978. Helmed by Con-Funk-Shun main man Michael Cooper, the album found the seven piece band delivering some scorching Bar-Kays-style earthy funk and slick ballads. Highlights include the strutting down-home funk of 'Put Your Hands Up,' the breezy 'Do You Feel The Same' and 'Make It Last,' a sophisticated mid-tempo cut with an addictive churning groove and super-soulful vocal from Clarence Pitts.

Anyone remember SELECTION? The early '80s group was studio creation masterminded by Italian producers, Claudio Donato and Franco Donato (in the mould of the CHIC-influenced bands CHANGE, BB&Q BAND and HIGH FASHION). The group's self-titled album originally surfaced on Full Time Records in 1980 and makes its CD debut via PTG. The key tracks are 'I'm So Glad,' 'Ride The Beam,' and 'Rebel On The Run.' As well as the original album, the new reissue contains five bonus extended remixes.

For more info, go to


WIN ... WIN ... WIN...

Saturday, 29 October 2011 08:50 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

BNHsIn a recent new story (see below) we reported on three brand new MUSIC CLUB/RHINO albums. They were 'THE ESSENTIAL CHAKA KHAN', CHIC ... MAGNIFIQUE – THE VERY BEST OF ... and 'THE BRAND NEW HEAVIES –THE BEST OF TWENTY YEARS'... splendid albums all!

Well, our good friends at MUSIC CLUB/RHINO are offering readers of the web's biggest and brightest soul site ( , that is) the opportunity to win copies of each of those three albums. We have five copies of each album to give away and to win one - or indeed all three – simply answer one (or all three) of the questions below and get your answers in by the closing date – WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9th – and we'll do the rest. Send you answers via the contact button at the top of the page.

CHAKA KHAN: What's CHAKA'S real name?

CHIC: NILE RODGERS and BERNARD EDWARDS were, of course, at the core of CHIC... but who was their drummer?

BRAND NEW HEAVIES: Who made the original hit version of the BNH'S 'Midnight At The Oasis'?

Good luck... and don't forget the closing date is WEDNESDAY, November 9th.



Saturday, 29 October 2011 08:47 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

dramaticsConcord Music Group are currently doing a wonderful job with their stewardship of the mighty Stax back catalogue and they've just reissued three classic albums as part of their Stax Remasters Series.

First there's 'Watcha See Is Watcha Get' from THE DRAMATICS. The 1971 LP was a watershed in Stax's history – with TONY HESTER and DON DAVIS crafting a sublime uptown sound for the great Motor City vocal group. The album yielded 2 R&B number 1's with the title track and the classic 'In The Rain'. This new reissue features the full 8 LP tracks along with 10 bonus cuts including the lovely 'Fell For You'.

The second new Stax reissue is SHIRLEY BROWN'S 'Woman To Woman'. The original 1974 LP was another blockbuster and though it's been reissued many times in the past, this new edition contains five bonuses tracks including a smouldering version of 'Ain't No Way' ... written, of course, by CAROLYN FRANKLIN for her sister ARETHA.

The third new reissue is maybe a little less of a milestone – but, nevertheless, still important. RUFUS THOMAS was a Memphis veteran when, in 1970, he exhorted us all to 'Do The Funky Chicken'. The self-penned number reignited his career and the album of the same name became a steady seller. Here Concord offer the album's full 11 tracks along with 8 bonuses including the wonderful EDDIE FLOYD song 'Funky Mississippi' which – like most on the music on the set – features the full Stax crew.

Full reviews on all these albums here @SJF very soon.



Saturday, 29 October 2011 08:44 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

Quentin20Moore20-The self-styled "last Mohican of Southern soul", QUENTIN MOORE is currently making a name for himself in and around his home town – Austin, Texas. Apart from the geography, QUENTIN justifies his nickname by trying to use only live instrumentals in his recordings – like they did "back in the day". He's toured with ALI OLLIE WOODSON and CHAKA KHAN and runs his own label and distribution company , through which he's currently pushing his two latest recording projects.

They are the 16 track album 'Vintage Love' and 'Quentinized' – a 22 track "mixtape" concept album which allows listeners to sample what he considers to be his best work. There's a certain rustic, organic quality to MOORE'S music which in these days of air-brushed recordings is refreshing. His music's available on both iTunes and cdbaby and his web site is


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