RUSSELL OLIVER STONE is a UK soul survivor. In 1976 as R&J Stone (a pairing with his wife Joanna) he enjoyed a world-wide hit with the infectious ‘We Do It’. On the verge of the real big time, tragically, Joanna died just two years later with a brain tumour. Overwhelmed and unable to cope, Russell sought solace in drink.
Through his addiction he did continue to work – obviously in a less prominent way, but he did secure gigs with Marvin Gaye (as backing vocalist), and Georgio Moroder and Tony LiPuma (as session singer). By 1992 Russell was in rehab. Eventually recovered ,he took an MA in Transpersonal Psychotherapy and Counselling and set himself up in a therapy practise which he still runs.
In 2013 he made a big musical comeback with the album ‘Love Aspects-‘ (see our archive) and he’s now all set to release a follow-up…. ‘Groove Aspects’. This new album moves away from the late night balladry of the last one and now you’ll hear a more up-tempo, jazzy and funky vibe throughout. Backed by a big band (including a large and swinging horn section) the music is full of optimism and a remarkable positivity (particularly given Mr. Stone’s life CV).
Amongst the highlights is the languid ‘People Talk’. The horn parts (recorded some 20 years ago) are quite lovely and the whole thing has a laid back summery feel to it, especially on the catchy hook. Listen up too to ‘Summer Wind (great sax solo from Jamie Talbot, by the way) and ‘Mr Operator’ –a cut that a mellow moment Tower Of Power would’ve been pleased to cut.
We’re told that ‘Groove Aspects’ is the second of a three part ‘Aspects’ series. Grab a listen to it and it’s guaranteed you’ll be eager for that third part.
RUSSELL OLIVER STONE’S ‘Groove Aspects’ is released on Stone Records on July 7th.