Wednesday, 16 August 2017 14:21 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altFollowing on from our recent story on the upcoming STAX seven 7" singles box set (see our archive); the BBC has announced that on 1st September, as part of their historic proms concerts, they'll be celebrating the music of the legendary Memphis soul label.

In this Late Night Prom, Jools Holland and His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra pay tribute to the pioneering label and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stax/Volt Revue's first tour of the UK. The concert will feature some of the label's greatest surviving artists ... people like Booker T. Jones, Sam Moore, Steve Cropper, William Bell and Eddie Floyd will appear alongside Sir Tom Jones, a confirmed Stax fan, Beverly Knight and Ruby Turner.

The show takes place at the Albert hall and we're told that seated tickets for this Prom are now on return only. But no BBC Prom is ever truly sold out as you can still "Prom", queuing on the day for a standing ticket. Promming tickets are only £6.

The show will be broadcast on BBC 4 on the night of the concert.



Wednesday, 16 August 2017 13:58 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altThe last few days saw the passing of two musicians – neither was big "names" nor mightily lauded, but both made contributions to black music that will endure.

On Monday 14th August ROBERT YANCY died. Robert was the son of Natalie Cole (mother and son pictured above) and Independents singer and songwriter Marvin Yancy. Of course, he was the grandson of Nat King Cole too. Robert Yancy was just 39 and died of a heart attack – like his father who suffered similarly aged just 34.

Robert Yancy was himself a musician, having worked with his mother and other soul music artists, including SWV. A spokesperson said that Robert had been working on a documentary about his mother at the time of his death, adding that he still seemed deeply upset about losing her.

altMulti-instrumentalist and songwriter BENARD IGHNER died the same day. Bernard will be best remembered for writing the song 'Everything Must Change'. He was 72 and had been suffering lung cancer and spinal stenosis.

Born in 1945, Benard was a self-taught musician, proficient on piano, guitar, bass, drums, flugelhorn, alto and soprano saxophones and flute. He recorded as sideman on albums in the 70s and 80s on several labels, and worked with such artists as Sarah Vaughan and Marlena Shaw. But he will be most remembered for the song  'Everything Must Change'. First recorded by Quincy Jones and Ighner on Jones's 'Body Heat' album in 1974, the song went on to be covered dozens of times by artists ranging from like Nina Simone, Judy Collins, Nancy Wilson, George Benson and James Ingram. Ighner himself re-recorded 'Everything Must Change' as the last track on his only solo album, the 8-song 'Little Dreamer'. The album was released on Japan's Alfa imprint in 1978 and later became hugely collectable.

This week singer/songwriter Brenda Russell posted: "We lost another gifted angel...the writer of the timeless, classic song 'Everything Must Change.' We met in the 70's. He was a friend to me who left an indelible mark on the world with this one song alone. I was in awe of his talent, and how he taught himself to play multiple instruments. Listen to his profound lyric and killer vocals on this track, recorded when we used live strings. Benard was gorgeous inside and out. R.I.P. Benard, kind & gentle genius."

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 August 2017 14:27



Friday, 11 August 2017 17:05 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

                         altThe UK's Acid Jazz label have just announced that they will be releasing a retrospective devoted to cult soul man, LEROY HUTSON, which includes both his Curtom and Elektra material. Titled 'Anthology 1972-1984,' it features 19 tracks including his classic sides, 'All Because Of You,' and 'Lucky Fellow.' Two previously unreleased tracks are also featured, one of which is 'Positive Forces,'  which is instantly available as a download for those people that pre-order the album from Acid Jazz's website (the track is also available via Acid Jazz as a 45).  

Though he was born in New Jersey, LEROY HUTSON, who was a roommate of Donny Hathaway's at Howard University and co-wrote The Ghetto and several other songs with him,  has a strong association with Chicago Soul. He was recruited as Curtis Mayfield's replacement in The Impressions in 1971 before embarking on a successful solo career for Curtom Records  between 1973 and 1979. In 1982, he joined Elektra for the album, 'Paradise,' before dropping off the radar.

Along with the new compilation, Hutson is also due to play at London's Jazz Cafe on December 27th.


Pre-order here:

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 August 2017 18:19


RISING STAR - MOBO winner Zara McFarlane to release third album, 'Arise.'

Friday, 11 August 2017 13:52 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

                     altOn September 29th, the silky-voiced Dagenham-born chanteuse, ZARA McFARLANE, releases 'Arise,' her third album for Gilles Peterson's Brownswood label. The 33-year-old singer/songwriter, who won a MOBO award in 2014 for Best Jazz Act, has teamed up with producer/drummer Moses Boyd (of Binker & Moses fame) and expanded her musical palette by fusing jazz with reggae and Caribbean folk music.

What results is a glorious sun-drenched confection whose highlights include the infectious self-penned reggae groove, 'Fussin' And Fightin'' (which sounds like a future classic of the genre),  a thrilling modal jazz-inflected groove called 'Pride' - featuring Binker Golding on tenor sax - and an imaginative and haunting left-field reconfiguration of Nora Dean's cult reggae classic, 'Peace Begins Within.' Saxophone maven, Shabaka Hutchings, also guests on 'Silhouette.'



Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 August 2017 18:19



Sunday, 06 August 2017 14:42 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altAussie Hammond trio, COOKIN' ON 3 BURNERS' latest album is what we used to call a concept album! The concept here is this: the band stumble across a time machine (yes!) and travel back to 1971 and break into a school, science lab. There they mix together a set of "perfect elements" to forge the eight tunes that make up the mini long player – 'Lab Experiments Vol 1'.

To ensure an authentic 70s vibe the album was recorded on Apex 456 analogue tape perfect fort the band's jazzy, funky, soulful feel.

Lead single for the set is 'Real Life Baby' with a big vocal from up and coming UK soulstress Emmi. Stella Angelico takes the mic on the Northern flavoured 'Sweet Talker' while long time Burners' collaborator Kylie Auldist fronts the mid tempo, Southern soul groove that is 'More Than a Mouthful'. It's a great tune and maybe there's another 'This Girl' lurking in there! Remix anyone?

The other five tracks are instrumentals offering the band's signature soul-jazz and funk vibe. Most interesting is the atmospheric 'Lone Wolf'

COOKIN' ON 3 BURNERS ... LAB EXPERIMENTS VOL 1 is out now and band will be touting Europe this Autumn.

Last Updated on Sunday, 06 August 2017 14:52


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