The rejuvenated Acid Jazz label goes from strength with an ab fab new compilation curated by label boss EDDIE PILLER and soul loving actor, MARTIN FREEMAN. The pair worked together last year on an acclaimed ‘Jazz On The Corner’ album, so, logically, they’ve now moved on to present ‘SOUL ON THE CORNER’…. a 32 track set that’s stuffed with classic soul oldies that will jerk memories, stir emotions and generally make you feel good!

The album boasts plenty of big names – none bigger than Curtis Mayfield, Donny Hathaway, Earth, Wind and Fire, the Supremes, Leroy Hutson, Jerry Butler and Bobby Womack, In fact it’s Bobby’s essential ‘How Could You Break My Heart’ that opens proceedings and, interestingly, ‘Soul On The Corner’ includes another Womack song… ‘Daylight’. Here it comes in the wonderful Georgie Fame version which Martin says is better than Bobby’s original… discuss folks!

As is usually the case with enthusiast-complied albums, it’s the lesser known artists that offer up the real treasures and here there are plenty of cuts that are new to me (and to you, I’ll guess) or that have been long neglected – stuff like Tommy McGee’s ‘Now That I Have You’, Tommie Young’s ‘Hit And Run Lover’ and the Modulations’ ‘Can’t Fight Your Love’.

Most of the music is upbeat and uptown – like Major Lance’s ‘I Just Can’t Help It’ but the album does go deep into Soulsville with cuts like Shirley Brown’s ‘Passion’ while just to remind us where soul started there’s ‘Like A Ship Without A Sail’ from the Rev. T L Barnet and the Youth For Christ Choir…. stirring stuff!

It’s clear that Eddie and Martin know (and love) their stuff and we’re loving their threads on the cover! ‘Soul On The Corner’ has obviously been a labour of love and it’s paid off… I doubt if there’ll be a better oldies compilation this year!