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KEEPIN’ COOL!

Friday, 27 March 2015 22:12 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

CoolMillion_Tonight_2400x2400PxIt's been a long wait but the new COOL MILLION album will soon be with us. Titled 'Sumthin' Like This', the long player will be available in May and it features input from people like Tim Owens, Janine Johnson, Gavin Christopher, Marc Sadane and a certain Glenn Jones who fronts the preview single, 'Tonight' which will be officially available as a 7 and 12 inch remix on Sed Soul/Peppermint Jam download from March 30th.

'Tonight' is a thumping modern soul dancer with a classic 80s sound, a fab honking sax break and wonderful vocals from Mr Jones.... the melody's ultra catchy too and it's shaping up to be one of THE anthems of 2015.... And with remixes coming too the tune's going to run and run!

Naturally, with appetites suitably whetted, it sets up the album very nicely. We'll bring you a full review of the LP just as soon as we have our copy!

 

PLAYIN’ THE WAITING GAME...

Friday, 27 March 2015 22:10 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

Ben-Cox-Cover-274x274BEN COX, a graduate of London's Guildhall School Of Music, is a rising star of the UK jazz scene and he releases his debut album, 'This Waiting Game' on April 13th. Jazz taste makers are ready to bet that though Ben's now only known to a select coterie of jazz insiders (Jamie Cullum's a fan), by the Summer young Ben will be a "name".

The evidence is in the 12 tracks of 'This Waiting Game'. A collaboration with pianist Jamie Sarifuddin, the set is remarkably accomplished and builds on the traditions that people like the aforementioned Jamie Cullum have established . The album's title track is a real gem and has all the charm and discreet insinuation that Norah Jones' 'Don't Know Why' had. The album offers plenty of surprises too – like the old English folksy 'Country Song' and two intriguing covers. First there's a haunting reading of the Beatles' 'And I Love Her'; then, a lovely take on the standard 'A Nightingale In Sang Berkley Square'. For that one Ben is joined by UK jazz doyenne Claire Martin. Other guests on the album include Kirk McElhinney and Emily Dankworth. They bring variety to the set but holding it all together is Cox's intimate and captivating delivery. Find out more @ www.bencoxband.com

Last Updated on Friday, 27 March 2015 22:19

 

GRAMMY-WINNING SONGWRITER, SHARON ROBINSON, RELEASES NEW ALBUM…

Thursday, 26 March 2015 10:43 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

Sharon_RSoulful San Francisco songstress, SHARON ROBINSON, might be an unfamiliar name, perhaps, to the public at large but she's enjoyed her fair share of the time in the limelight during the last thirty years working alongside legendary Canadian singer/songwriter/poet, Leonard Cohen. Her impressive CV as a songwriter also indicates that she's composed noteworthy songs for an illustrious list of globally-renowned performers, including Aaron Neville, Don Henley, Brenda Russell, Michael Bolton, Diana Ross, The Pointer Sisters, Roberta Flack and The Temptations. She even won a Grammy for her song 'New Attitude,' which Patti LaBelle recorded for the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack in 1985.

Now, Sharon has an opportunity to step out into the spotlight with her own album, a terrific 10-song set called 'Caffeine,' released on the Freeworld label in the UK on Monday March 30th. It's the second of her career and follows in the wake of 2008's 'Everybody Knows.'

 

Sharon is also in the UK for some concerts (details below). Catch her if you can...

Monday April 6th:                   LONDON, THE BUSH HALL

Wednesday April 8th:              GLASGOW, ORAN MOR

Friday April 10th:                     DUBLIN, THE BUTTON FACTORY

Look out for an interview with Sharon and a review of 'Caffeine' soon at SJF.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 March 2015 10:49

 

LOOK CLOSER!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015 20:26 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

ssMost soul fans won't be aware of US singers STARR DUNCAN-LOWE and SAUNDRA WILLIAMS but discerning soul folk will, we're sure, have heard them! You see, for some time now, the Bronx-born duo have been the background vocalists for Sharon Jones – they've been an integral part of her Soul Revue both on stage and in the studio and Sharon herself is quick to praise what the girls bring to her performances.

The good news is that the ladies are now all set to step into their own limelight. Using the name SAUN & STARR they'll be issuing their own album on May 18th. Released on Daptone (naturally), the 11 tracker's called 'Look Closer' and sneak previews reveal a wonderful soul set that perfectly marries retro sensitivities with contemporary flavours – the kind of thing that Daptone always does so well!

Vocally, Saun & Starr are a throwback to soul's golden age. Little wonder –they were raised in the gospel tradition. Through the 1990s they were part of a soul trio (yep... the third member was a certain Sharon Jones!) called The Good N Plenty Band; then they all went separate ways. As Sharon's career took off she decided to recruit Starr and Saundra as backing singers and dubbed them The Dapettes). That was back in 2008 and the Daptone people (most notably head honcho, Gabe Roth) soon realised that the pair deserved their own album too.

Commitments and a busy work schedule have meant that it's only now that the album is ready for release. The wait though has been worth it. The music on 'Look Closer' is proper modern soul. A set of excellent, "song-led" tunes; expect no gimmicks or fireworks – just simple, organic music that's delivered with a passion and conviction. First single is the old school-flavoured 'Hot Shot' but in truth any song would work as a single... we're loving the classic 60's girl group sound of 'Dear Mr Teddy'.

We'll bring you a full review of the album very soon and watch out for an upcoming interview with SAUN & STARR.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 March 2015 20:36

 

TAKIN’ IT EASY…

Wednesday, 25 March 2015 20:25 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

lolLIVIN' OUT LOUD are an American soul group who are well known to the UK soul cognoscenti. They first came to our attention back in 2006 with the album 'What About Us' and the few copies that were available in Europe were quickly snapped up by discerning modern soul collectors. In 2010 they returned with 'Lately' from which 'Cuz I Gotta Know' won the affections of the steppers and the modern soul crew. Here @ SJF we're proud to say that we were the first UK media to cover the band and the above-mentioned tunes!

For the last several months the band (led by siblings Reuben and Sylvia MacCalla) have been working on a new album, 'Take It Easy'. Last year a catchy little single, 'Always There' (no, not that 'Always There'!) was leaked and created more interest in the Livin' Out Loud team – who we're told are now trimmed down to a duo.

April 10th sees (at last!) the official release of the 'Take It Easy' long player and already the album's title cut has won a place on the playlists of all major soul radio stations and easy to hear why. The tune rides a languid 'Let's Get It On' kind of groove and the harmonies are really special - the kind that family groups seem to master so effortlessly.

Be sure we'll bring you a full album review very soon.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 March 2015 20:36

 

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