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LEXSOUL DANCEMACHINE: Lexplosion II (Solid Gold/Funk Embassy)

The former Soviet republic of Estonia has been the source of some decent blue-eyed soul of late. That country’s Rita Ray impressed many with her ‘Our Love Will Rust’ album, while guitarist U-Nam’s collaboration...

VARIOUS: Soul Voices. 60s Big Ballads (Kent)

Ace/Kent get back into their stride with this wonderful 24 track compilation where the title is spot on for the music on the little silver disc. Soul voices? Well let’s mention just a few...

VARIOUS; Detroit Special (Jasmine)

The concept of the compilation album is as old as modern popular music. Record labels big and small have always used the compilation as a kind of shop window for what they have to...

PEGGY LEE: ‘Ultimate Peggy Lee’ (UMC)

Peggy Lee is right up there with Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, and Elvis Presley as one of the 20th century’s most important and influential voices. She was born Norma Delores Egstrom in...

MARIEA ANTOINETTE: All My Strings (Infinity/Maasai)

 San Diego’s MARIEA ANTOINETTE is unusual amongst soul and smooth jazz instrumentalists; I’d venture to suggest unique. You see, her instrument is the harp. Ms A has a master’s degree in harp performance and...

MACEO PARKER: Soul Food – Cooking with Maceo (The Funk Garage)

Earlier this year the independent Mascot label group announced they were setting up a new subsidiary label specialising in funk and soul… the Funk Garage. Intriguingly we were told that a certain Bootsy Collins...

ROMINA JOHNSON: Heartbeat (J&J)

It was the back end of last year that ROMINA JOHNSON released a new single… ‘More’ … which we were told was from an “upcoming” album. Well in these tricky times, release schedules have...

THE STAPLE SINGERS: ‘Let’s Do It Again’ (Omnivore)

The union between gospel-soul group The Staple Singers, and Stax Records, which began in 1968, was undoubtedly a musical marriage made in heaven. Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton’s famous Memphis label oversaw the Chicago...

CHRIS ‘BIG DOG’ DAVIS; Focus (Shanachie)

Eagle-eyed soul and jazz sleeve note browsers will immediately recognize the name Chris Davis – nicknamed ‘Big Dog’ – for reasons which have never been fully explained! Over the years the keyboardist and producer...