VARIOUS: London Street Soul (Label: BGP)

VARIOUS: London Street Soul

This is the first of what will be three forays by Ace/BGP into the Acid Jazz label’s vaults so that we can all – rightly – celebrate that label’s 21st. anniversary. Acid Jazz, of course was founded by Eddie Piller – a soul boy at heart, and the 18 tracker underlines those soul credentials. Nowhere is that more firmly nailed than with D-Influence’s ‘I’m The One’ and the Brand New Heavies’ ‘Never Stop’. From 1990 and 1992 respectively, they helped put Brit soul firmly on the world music map and along with the also-included James Taylor/Allison Limerick collaboration ‘Love Will Keep Us Together’ established the label’s early identity. The soul has an earthier flavour on the Night Trains’ ‘Lovesick’ and Cloud Nine’s ‘Peace And Love’ while the Subterraneans’ ‘Taurus Woman’ is much more ambitious in approach – listen up to Max Beesley on that one… a talented percussionist long before acting and lucrative voice-over work took him. Less well known, maybe, is ‘Ain’t No Use’ from Pure Wildness. It’s a delicious slab of jazz-flavoured soul and equally collectable is Mr. Exe’s ‘One Million Smiles’ which features input from Mica Paris. Other featured artists include The Humble Souls, Jessica Lauren, the Emperor’s New Clothes, Mother Earth, Twisted Tongue, Double Vision, Jinrai, Sandals, Akimbo and Paul Weller. The modfather’s cut is ‘Are You Trying To Be Lonely’. A collaboration with Andy Lewis, the big Northern soul pastiche was cut in 2007 and proves that for Acid Jazz, soul (in what ever hue) remains a priority in this new millennium.
(BB) 3/5