SOUL4REAL’S JAI ALAI imprint is lining up a couple of wonderful, new singles for imminent release. You may know that the imprint is dedicated to making available on 7” vinyl, quality soul that is rare and  collectable. And the two new discs tick all three boxes, featuring, as they do, splendid, in-demand tunes from FRANKIE BEVERLY and MAZE alongside DONALD BYRD and GERALD LEVERT.

The Maze disc pairs ‘Somebody Else’s Arms’, from the Beverly band’s aptly named ‘Silky Soul’ album with, on the flip, ‘Love Is’ (from the “Back To Basics” CD, 1993). ‘Silky Soul’ charmed us back in 1989 with the LP title track – a heartfelt homage to Marvin Gaye – becoming a real favourite with serious soul connoisseurs. ‘Somebody Else’s Arms’ delivers a similar, laid-back, languid soulful groove… lovely! ‘Love Is’ is funkier (but not frantic) and shows a different side to Maze but it’s still a  wonderful sound that’ll make you want to go and rediscover all your long-forgotten Maze goodies.

The second new Jai Alai proffers what at first seems an odd pairing – one side being ‘Everyday’ from DONALD BYRD leading  the funky, jazzy 125th STREET, NYC; the other being GERALD LEVERT’S ‘The Top Of My Head’.

Jazz maestro, Donald Byrd needs no introduction here but this lovely ‘Everyday’ might have  just slipped under various radars being as it’s not a Blackbyrds or Mizell associated track. The crisp and funky ‘Everyday’ first appeared on Byrd’s 1982 album, ‘Words, Sounds, Colors and Shapes’. The set was produced by none other than  Isaac Hayes who co-wrote the crunchy ‘Everyday ‘with Byrd. The track is punctuated with Hayes’ trademark flourishes and his very own Hot, Buttered and Soul provide the BVs – we believe that the lead voice is Jim Gilstrap – but we stand to be corrected.

Like Byrd, Gerald Levert needs no introduction. His offering here is the sweet and soulful ‘Top Of My Head’. The track first appeared on his 2002 Elektra-released ‘The G Spot’ CD and if you know it, you’ll surely  agree that  that it’s a delicate string-laden stepper. It  features Gerald’s  sweet lead falsetto interwoven with his own background vocals and underlines just what  his untimely 2006 death robbed us of.

Both these wonderful new 45s are up  for pre-order now with a release date penned in for April 18th. Learn more @ https://soul4real.es/