Spanish boutique label SOUL4REAL has released a slew of classic and classy vinyl soul singles  and, occasionally, highly rated albums – the last being the  June compilation, ‘Win Or Lose’ . Label boss Alex Subinas and his team are now gearing up to issue another vinyl LP – this time a single artist set… but what an artist – Ms JEWEL BASS.

Hardly known in the mainstream but held in a sort of cult status by the Southern soul cognoscenti, Jewel’s solo recordings are, sadly few and far between . So, it’s more than satisfying to see that Soul4Real are offering a wonderful 13 track LP, ‘IN AND OUT OF LOVE’ that delivers all her key Malaco recordings – seven of them never before released.

Like many Southern soul  divas,  Annie Bass received her musical apprenticeship in the church where the purty and  sparkle in her voice soon earned her the nickname “Jewel” – a name  she used ever since. In her late teens secular music came calling and Ms Bass found herself  a member of a touring  soul group before pitching up at Malaco in 1969, There she was always busy providing BVs for people like ZZ Hill, Anita Ward, Denise LaSalle, Bobby Bland, Little Milton, Frederick Knight and many more.

Label  bosses also had her record four singles – starting in 1973 with ‘I Tried It And I Liked It’ (a riff on the ‘Mr Big Stuff’ tune). Three further singles followed – ‘Sugar Britches’, ‘Overflowing For You’/ ‘I Don’t Trust Myself’ and ‘Let Your Love Rain Down On Me’.

Simultaneously Jewel sang with a series of groups  – The VIPs (1973), later Polephemus (1976), and from 1979 onwards with These Days. Later she worked with  the Carbon Copies/ Centaura but this  new Soul4Real album focuses, rightly, on her Malaco solo sessions, with one “cuckoo in the nest” – 1981’s ‘Sweet High’… a non-Malaco recording

All the music that was on the four singles is included and the quality of the unreleased tracks raises the question (once more), why the Malaco bosses decided not to  issue them. ‘Seeing You Again,’ for instance is outstanding, – but that’s an adjective that could be applied to any of the cuts. Whether a fast dancer or a slow, searing ballads, Jewel proves that she was (indeed is ) a real contender and a doyen of Southern soul

Back in 2010, Garry Cape’s Soulscape label  issued all 12 of her Malaco recorded on a long since deleted CD on Soulscape. Now, thanks to Soul4Real, these 12 tracks are available on a  vinyl LP, with  the addition of the aforementioned ‘Sweet High”!

Jewel Bass’s ‘In And Out Of Love’ is released on 20th September and it’s up for pre-order right now. Learn more @ and we’re delighted to report that Jewel’s still alive and well and still working down at Malaco. Our pictures (below) features her with Soul4Real’s Alex Subinas and Southern soul hero, Frederick Knight!