One of last year’s best UK proper soul sets was NOEL McKOY’S wonderful ‘Brighter Day’. Trained in gospel, McKOY has been a mainstay on the UK soul scene for many years, but this album represents his very best work. It’s our man’s third full LP and pays tribute to some great old school soul – the kind of stuff that inspired NOEL and, I guess, the rest of us. Hear flavours of SAM COOKE (the title cut), the whole Motown thing (‘Great Big Gap’), CURTIS MAYFIELD (‘Fly Away’) and many more. High spot amongst many is ‘Special Delivery’. This one’s a duet with EBONYE ALLEN and recalls the best of BURT BACHARACH’S DIONNE WARWICK productions.
The good news is that the 12 tracker is being re-promoted on the back of the release of the set’s first proper single – ‘Jealousy’. What’s more the cut is available in all kinds of super remixes – notably from the COOL MILLION/SED SOUL people. Best tweak – to these ears at least – is NOEL’S own mix which extends the whole O’JAYS/ANGIE STONE vibe of the original album cut.
NOEL recently headlined at the Jazz Cafe AL GREEN tribute night and is starring at the London Jazz Festival on November 12. In the meantime the album and the new mixes are all readily downloadable and when you have a minute check out our original and full review of this not-to-be- missed album on our reviews pages…. just type NOEL McKOY into our little search engine on the right.