Music Club Deluxe continue to release some cracking soul, jazz and funk collections. On offer right now are three very different collections – but each one a real treasure.
First up there a great retrospective on southern soul diva, ANN PEEBLES. There’s been any number of ANN PEEBLES collections but this one is outstanding. ‘The Original Soul Sister’ features 44 tracks across two CDs and all her big tunes are rightly in there along with lesser known items and in-demand album tracks including two songs (‘Mon Belle Amour’ and ‘Waiting’) which she recorded with husband and fellow Hi artist, DON BRYANT. With sleeve notes from DAVID NATHAN the album is a fine testament to an underrated soul talent – but one whom JOHN LENNON singled out after being blown away by ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain’.
Britain’s BEVERLEY KNIGHT offers a different kind of soul to PEEBLES – but no less heartfelt. You can catch up with BEV’S best on the new Music Club Deluxe set, ‘The Collection 1995 – 2007’. The 34 track double CD goes back to the early days at Dome and on through to the big hits like ‘Shoulda Woulda Coulda’. Enjoy again things like ‘Made It Back’, ‘Flavour Of The Old School’ and ‘B Funk’ along with remixes of stuff like ‘Keep This Fire Burning’. Once again DAVID NATHAN’S sleeve notes offer an accurate and incisive portrait of a lady whose talent and hard work have earned her 3 MOBOS and, of course, the MBE.
The third new Music Club Deluxe album is arguably the most important – ‘Duke Ellington … The Private Collection’. The album brings together 40 cuts from what’s described as ELLINGTON’S own private collection and they cover the years 1956 – 1968. Essentially they are recordings of his own music which ELLINGTON funded himself. He knew that the record companies of the 50s and 60s didn’t always best serve their artists and wanted to retain versions of his own music recorded in the way he felt best suited it. Tracks include tunes like ‘Sophisticated Lady’, ‘Harmony In Harlem’, ‘In A Sentimental Mood’, ‘I Cover The Waterfront’ and ‘Satin Doll’. All are stylish and elegant and epitomise the unique ELLINGTON way – at once sophisticated and cool. Every home should have at least one DUKE ELLINGTON collection – if yours hasn’t – here’s the perfect starter; a worthy introduction to a true 20th century music icon.