Great music never goes away (thankfully) and one of the soul world’s greatest sounds was the SOUND OF PHILADELPHIA in full flight. The music that was created by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff and their various teams is without peer in the smooth soul firmament. It has a timeless quality that rewards every time you hear it and a new album from Philly label Society Hill will give you the opportunity to do just that – well almost.
You see the label’s latest offering is a wonderful 15 tracker – THE SOUND OF PHILADELPHIA: A TRIBUTE TO KENNY GAMBLE AND LEON HUFF – VOLUME 1. It offers newly recorded versions of many of Gamble and Huff’s best creations. The artists involved are a mix of contemporary Philadelphia underground performers and a handful of stars who worked on the originals back in the day. Production on the album is down to Butch Ingram while the session band, The Society Hill Orchestra – come on just like vintage MFSB.
Amongst the “old Philly” hands are Jean Carne, the Mellow Moods, the Three Degrees and People Choice. Don’t know how many originals are in this particular line up of People’s Choice but they do a great job on their own ‘Do It Any Way You Wanna’ , ‘Backstabbers’ and ‘Me And Mrs Jones’ . Sometime Temptation Glenn Leonard gets a look in too with ‘You Know How To Make Me Feel So Good’. Not sure who exactly the “Legendary Bluenotes” or the “Fabulous Ebonys” are but their inclusions are spot on… especially the latter’s version of the original Ebonys’ classic ‘It’s Forever’.
The whole thing’s been put together with love and respect and the team behind it clearly know their Philly history matching well-known items with more obscure songs like the Intruders ‘Friends No More’. As a “tribute”, Kenny and Leon will, I’m sure, be mighty pleased with this album.