Newcastle-based boutique label SIX NINE RECORDS do a sterling job unearthing and releasing countless soul gems and their latest offering is right up there with their very best.
The new disc features a band who go by the name 3TOB – anoraks will know that the group consists of three of the original and founding members of Tony! Toni! Toné!, (Elijah Baker, Antron Haile, and Carl Wheeler) and just to confuse us (despite the “3” in their name) they’re joined by Jubu Smith on guitar and Amar Khalil (who took over as lead singer following Raphael Saadiq’s exit from the Tonis in 1998) to make a “5”!
Six Nine’s 3TOB release pairs two superb contemporary soul cuts – ‘My Baby’ and ‘Love Will Find It’s Way’. The former (no, not a cover of the Temptations’ oldie) is, let’s not mince words, superb! A big, up-tempo, tight groove, It offers everything that makes quality modern soul so exciting and enticing. If you’re a soul fan/collector, I defy you not to not like this one! Yes, it’s that good!
The 45’s putative B side is a little different. It’s a mid-tempo outing (offering sweet counterpoint to the A side) and complete with lovely sax solo, it proves that the art of the soul harmony group is still alive and well – and indeed on the evidence of these two tracks, flourishing!
Both songs come from 3TOB’s latest album, ‘Trading Places’ and their name… 3TOB? Well, we’re told that it stands for “Tony Toni Toné Original Band” (3 x T, geddit?)
Do we need to tell you that this one comes recommended. Find out all the release info @ http://www.sixninerecords.co.uk/