Friday, 15 December 2017 19:52 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altDef Mix end the year on the highest of high notes with another DAVID MORALES/JANICE ROBINSON collaboration.... 'Father'. The follow-up to their wonderful 'There Must Be Love', 'Father' offers a solid, hugely optimistic cross-genre groove.... it's gospel, it's soulful house, it's modern soul, it's uplifting! And unbelievably, or maybe not, it's incorporates 'The Lord's Prayer'!

DM delivers the beats and the vibe while Ms R's vocals tingle the spine in the way that only Gospel divas can. Want more? Well, the lady's supported by a huge choir that features people like Nicki Richards, Keith Anthony Fluitt, Melonie Daniels Walker, Kenny Bobien, Carl Robinson, Nicole Phifer and South Africa's sensation, Toshi.

There are five mixes to tempt you.... including one from Quentin Harris. Dubbed "the Crimson Sector Drum Dub', it's a heavy affair. I'd venture to suggest that old soul heads will connect more with the two Morales "Classic" club mixes – one of which clocks in at over 11 wonderful minutes. Soulful house doesn't come any better than this! For that matter, modern gospel don't come any better either!

'Father' is released on December 15th 2017 on Def Mix Music.

Last Updated on Friday, 15 December 2017 19:56



Friday, 15 December 2017 14:38 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

alt  alt  alt

Iconic jazz label, Blue Note, which will celebrate its 80th birthday in 2019, has a trio of exciting releases due at the start of 2018.

First up is the self-titled album by CHRIS DAVE & THE DRUMHEDZ, which is due for release on 26th January. R&B fans will be familiar with Dave from his time as the sticks man in the band Mint Condition. More recently, he has appeared on albums ranging from Robert Glasper, Maxwell, and D'Angelo to Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.  His new album, a seamless meld of jazz, R&B and hip-hop flavours, features cameos from Anderson. Paak, Stokley Williams, Bilal, Keyon Harrold, Goapele, James Poyser, and DJ Jazzy Jeff.

On the same day in January,  the venerable, turban-attired, soul-jazz organ player, DR. LONNIE SMITH, releases 'All In My Mind,' a sensational 7-track live album recorded at New York's Jazz Standard venue, earlier in 2017. Don Was produced it. This is the 75-year-old Hammond B-3 master's second tenure with Blue Note, his first being during the years 1968-1970 when he recorded four albums for the label, including 'Turning Point' and 'Drives.'  The new album features Dr. Smith's trio, which is comprised of guitarist, Jonathan Kreisberg, and drummer, Jonathan Blake. Another sticks man, Joe Dyson, features on one track, as does singer, Alicia Olatuja.

Finally, the Mercury Music Prize-nominated Manchester trio, GO GO PENGUIN, release their second album for Blue Note (and their fourth overall) on February 9th.  It's called 'A Humdrum Star' and comprises nine new songs  written by pianist Chris Illingworth together with bassist Nick Blacka and drummer Rob Turner. Chief among the standouts is the haunting, mesmeric 'Raven,'  where the trio's mesh of Steve Reich-ian minimalism with jazz improv and electronica-inspired soundscapes reaches its undoubted apogee.  

Last Updated on Friday, 15 December 2017 16:05



Wednesday, 13 December 2017 21:00 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altDEVA MAHAL is a new kid on the soul block... but, my, she has pedigree. The daughter of the legendary Taj Mahal and mentored by Maxwell's former manager, big things are being predicted for Ms M. Get to know what she can offer via her new three track EP – 'Run Deep'.

The title track is broody and shifting; 'Snakes' is an old school rumble; while 'Take A Giant Step' is a heartfelt reading of her dad's famous Carole King penned tune: "Take a giant step outside your mind" ... and why not!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 December 2017 21:08



Wednesday, 13 December 2017 20:57 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altBy common consent, STEVE MARRIOTT is one of the greatest white soul voices the UK has produced. He rose to fame with the Small Faces, of course, - a band he originally formed with his mates to play the soul and R&B music that obsessed him. Manipulated by mangers and scammed by svengalis, the Small Faces eventually pursued new routes – rock, physchedlia even cockney music hall! Marriott though was never totally happy with these new directions. In 1968 he stormed out of the band, forming a new outfit, Humble Pie. That band had a roller coaster career – especially in America. Personal demons, relationship problems, even alleged run ins with the Mafia meant the implosion of Humble Pie and Steve eventually decided to go solo.

Even then, his problems, exacerbated by major disputes with the Inland Revenue, meant that Steve Marriot struggled to find the peace he craved and the strength to play the music he knew he was best at. By the late 80s he was reasonably well settled in the Essex village of Arksden and playing irregular gigs with bassist Jim Leverton and drummer Alan Wickett as The Packet of Three. Then, tragically, on 20th April 1991 Marriott was killed in a fire in his cottage. The inquest verdict recorded accidental death by smoke inhalation. However Marriott's blood was found to contain quantities of Valium , alcohol and cocaine... a sad, tragic end.

Most of Steve Marriott's recorded output is easily available, but collectors will now be delighted by a new 4 CD box set from Lemon Records that offers four live sets by The Packet Of Three. The shows were taped in different venues in January 1991 and as such they represent the last recordings Marriott ever made. The repertoire of the four shows varies little and, as you, might expect, Steve has a go at some Small Faces and Humble Pie songs. However the sets are peppered with Marriott's versions of soul and R&B classics like 'Mr Pitiful', 'Hallelujah I Love Her So', 'Some Kind Of Wonderful' (the Soul Brothers Six anthem), 'Memphis Tennessee' and Bobby Parker's 'Watch Your Step 'which gives the collection its titling.

We opened by writing,"By common consent, STEVE MARRIOTT is one of the greatest white soul voices the UK has produced." .... here's the proof!



Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 December 2017 21:07



Wednesday, 13 December 2017 16:40 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altMELVIN SPARKS was a soul-jazz guitarist who enjoyed a renaissance after being discovered by the Acid-Jazz crew in the 90s. He was a prolific session player and recorded in own right on labels like Prestige, Eastbound and Westbound.

Most of Sparks' recordings are fairly easily accessible and now Ace/BGP has made available a rather rare and in-demand Sparks album.... the 1975 recorded 'I'm Funky Now'. The 7 tracker was never officially released by Westbound. It's thought, oddly, that the label suits disliked it because it was more of an ensemble piece than a Sparks solo set. Whatever, the LP is an easy on the ear, brash and funky set. Don't expect anything too cerebral – you know, I guess, what to expect with titles like 'Disco Booty' and 'I'm Gonna Funk You Up'. Most interesting tune is the slow and sensual 'Love Tones' and listening, I'm thinking that the bass line influenced Omar's 'There's Nothing Like This', though I don't know how that could be!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 December 2017 16:44


Page 10 of 581



My Account

To comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.