VARIOUS: New Breed R&B – With Added Popcorn (Label: Kent)

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VARIOUS: New Breed R&B - With Added Popcorn

Today R&B can mean all kinds of different things to all kinds of different people. However, back in the good ole days it was all very different. In the fifties and early sixties R&B was an easily-identified rough, racy and raucous music that had evolved from all kinds of sources – notably jazz and jump blues. In time of course, R&B itself would evolve and morph into classic soul but fifty years on there’s still a devoted fan base for authentic R&B and those fans hold regular club nights spinning and dancing to what they call ‘New Breed R&B’. Kent Records have already devoted two albums to the scene and now with this third they add another dimension – ‘Popcorn’. The Popcorn scene kicked off in Belgium in the early 70s when soul club DJs scoured listings for unusual early 60s records that would get their clubbers away from the predictable. One of the early leading lights of the movement was Freddie Couseart. Couseart, of course, became the confidant of Marvin Gaye, but operating out of Ostend’s Groove Club he played all kinds of rare soul and R&B and three of his big sounds are included here – Boyce Cunningham’s ‘Too Young’, Harold Atkins’ ‘Big Ben’ and Tom Tumbleweed’s ‘Tumbling Down’. All three are big, brash slabs of early sixties dance music and there are loads more of the same. The 24 tracker will satisfy not just “popcorners”, but anyone who appreciates that music doesn’t need clever technology or complicated arrangements to inspire. Amongst the inspirational goodies here are Luther Ingram’s pre-Ko Ko ‘Oh Baby Don’t You Weep’, Joe Simon’s ‘Just Like Yesterday’ and Billy Bland’s sparse ‘The Mule’ which just about sums up the sound and feeling of the collection.
(BB) 3/5