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JAZZ HOROSCOPE

Friday, 13 June 2008 07:29 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

JAZZ HOROSCOPE

EMI's Stateside imprint has just re-issued one of the 70s most neglected jazz albums - CANNONBALL ADDERLEY'S Soul Zodiac'. Originally released in 1972, the thirteen tracker was one of the first concept albums - based obviously on the signs of the Zodiac. Each star sign had a track consigned to it and each one was linked with narration from RICK HOLMES. For the album, the senior ADDERLEY was joined by his brother NAT'S sextet - which at that time included GEORGE DUKE and ERNIE WATTS - and because the concept was seen by some as 'difficult' the album was long neglected. It found favour again with the Acid Jazz scene and has since become hugely collectable. Produced by DAVID AXELROD the full album is now available on CD. Same label has also issued a two CD set of some of the best of AXELROD'S productions with the two ADDERLEYS… that one's called 'Walk Tall - The David Axelrod Years'.

 

MORE UNSIGNED SOUL

Thursday, 12 June 2008 14:59 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

MORE UNSIGNED SOUL

PHIL DRIVER'S excellent Soul Unsigned set-up has just released its second four-track EP. Logically titled 'EP:02', the collection features some wonderful modern soul from a variety of sources. First up, there's MOSES MAYES' 'Tell Me.' The band are Canadian and their work, of course, is already known on the indie soul circuit. This busy, jazz-inflected little tune should bring them to a wider audience. Second cut comes from MOTHERGROOVE who hail from Barcelona, but their summery 'In 2 My Mind' will conjure up California rather than Catalonia. Third artists on the set are Germany's CANDYCREAM. Their contribution, 'Love What You Do' mines a bass-heavy, slinky groove and offers a counterpoint to the EP's lighter closer - LISA COUTO'S ' Live And Breathe'. LISA comes from Rhode Island and her tune has a catchy, jazz-fusion feel to it . More details about all this music on www.soulunsigned.com while Solar Radio listeners can check it all out on PHIL'S regular show.

 

QUESTING...

Tuesday, 10 June 2008 10:32 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

QUESTING...

Birmingham-born singer-songwriter BRYN CHRISTOPHER is being hotly tipped as the UK's newest soul star. 22 year old BRYN cites his influences as OTIS REDDING, STEVIE WONDER, MARVIN GAYE ALICIA KEYS and MICHAEL JACKSON, though his sound and style are very much his own. Fronting a soul band at secondary school, the young Brummie became infatuated with the music of REDDING and he devoured the great man's back catalogue. After two years at a London stage school, BRYN signed with Polydor and won a coveted place on AMY WINEHOUSE'S 2007 tour. Between gigs he began to put together his debut album - 'My World' - which is pencilled in for release later in the year. What is remarkable about the album is that the singer's team have managed to secure rights to use official samples from the mighty Stax back catalogue. It seems that the Stax guardians were convinced that BRYN'S vocal would do justice to tracks originally intended for the likes of EDDIE FLOYD and PRINCE CONLEY. In the meantime the youngster's debut single is almost with us. 'The Quest' - co-written and produced by Jarrad Rogers (of the SugaRush Beat Company) - is a powerful, edgy 21st. century soul tune with shifting rhythms and bristling brass. It's the vocals, though, that nail it, and anyone who's heard BRYN'S acoustic versions of 'I've Been Loving You Too Long' and 'Sunny' will understand.

 

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.

 

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