VARIOUS: Soul Cellar (Label: Jazz FM)

VARIOUS: Soul Cellar

For their latest compilations Jazz FM hand the selection honour to veteran broadcaster Peter Young who picks 30 classic soul cuts which reflect the kind of music he’s been championing on his Soul Cellar radio show for the last thirty years. What’s so good about the collection is that Peter has eschewed the obvious and gone for tunes that even long-term soulsters might have overlooked or just neglected. So, for instance, the set starts with a Johnnie Taylor cut, and rather than going for ‘Who’s Making Love’ or ‘Disco Lady’, Pete opts for ‘Testify’; similarly the Arthur Conley cut isn’t ‘Sweet Soul Music’ – it’s a great version of ‘Shake, Rattle And Roll’. Aretha is included too, but the selected track, ‘Lee Cross’, comes from her oft-neglected Columbia period. Pete does similar with Isaac Hayes (‘Type Thang’), The Staples (‘You’ve Got To Earn It’) and Ben E King (‘Music trance’). The collection’s also stuffed with some great rarities like Margie Joseph’s take on ‘Let’s Stay Together’, Salena Jones’ version of ‘Am I The Same Girl’ and Prince Philip Mitchell’s remarkable original version of ‘Star In The Ghetto’. Other great cuts include Lou Bond’s ‘Why Must Our Eyes Always Be Turned Back’, Candi Staton’s ‘Halfway To Heaven’ and the Spinners’ ‘Love Is In Season’. Everyone will find their own favourites amongst the 30 … mine would be ‘Going In Circles’ by the Friends of Distinction and the totally joyous ‘I’m Just A Kiss Away’ from Buddy Miles but there’s lots more to run them close and that’s the beauty of the album …even (very) long term, committed soul freaks will finds lots to enthuse over and enjoy. So – at last, a proper soul compilation put together by a proper soul fan!
(BB) 4/5