VARIOUS: Luxury Soul 2016 (Expansion)


The Blackpool Luxury Soul Weekender is now a permanent fixture on the UK modern soul calendar and being held in January it’s a great opportunity to look back at all the great tunes that thrilled soul fans and collectors through the previous year. To capture the event, all the music and the eclectic atmosphere Expansion Records always issue a retrospective album and this year’s triple CD commemoration has just hit the sales racks.

The album offers a massive 35 tunes and many of them we’ve championed here at SOULJAZZANDFUNK during the last 12 months. Big tunes that we’re proud to have highlighted include Paul Johnson’s ‘The Road’, Marima Ceesay’s ‘Soon Ending Story’, Kejam and Terry Harris’ ‘Diamonds’, Diane Marsh’s ‘Promise’, Candace Woodson’s ‘Free’ , Mathew Winchester’s ‘The Other Side’ and Aaron Parnell Brown’s ‘Leave The Light On’.

However (and this is the beauty of compilations like this) with all the best will in the world some stuff gets not just under our radar but also eludes even the most diligent soul collector….. so Expansion, thankfully, do everyone a big favour by anthologising things like this.

Amongst the excellent stuff that we missed (yet featured here on this album) are a couple of tracks from James Day (one, ‘It’s All Divine’ featuring a vocal from the lovely Trina Broussard), ‘Crystal Clear’ from the Sensationals and Gene O’s ‘Love In My Eyes’.

Other featured favourite include Marc Staggers version of Luther’s ‘So Amazing’ (yes, an amazing impression of the great man!) and the R&R Soul Orchestra’s lovely retro dancer ‘Call On Me’. You also get a Kashif track – he headlined the event; its a live version of ‘Help Yourself To My Love’ – an atmospheric closer to a great compilation!

(BB) 5/5