THE FIFTY BEST COMPILATIONS OF 2014-PART 3.

THE FIFTY BEST COMPILATIONS OF 2014-PART 3.

KENT’S CELLAR OF SOUL VOLUME 3.

Eight years after the release of Kent’s Cellar Of Soul Volume 2, Kent Soul have belatedly released the followup, Kent’s Cellar Of Soul Volume 3. It’s been well worth the wait. The Kent’s Cellar Of Soul seems to mature like a fine wine. That’s thanks to the two men behind this compilation series, Ady Croasdell and Tony Rounce. They’ve have been on another successful crate-digging expedition. The result is Kent’s Cellar Of Soul Volume 3, a compilation that features contributions from everyone from some of the biggest names is soul music including James Carr, Fred Hughes, Ruby Andrews, Clarence Carter and Lowell Fulsom right through to The Platters, Thelma Jones, The Inspirations and The Ikettes. Along with contributions from Brenton Wood, Cliff Nobles & Co, Clarence Carter and Jesse James and The Dynamic Four, Kent’s Cellar Of Soul Volume 3 was worthy addition to Kent’s Cellar Of Soul series.

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KEV BEADLE PRESENTS PRIVATE COLLECTION VOLUME 2. 

A generation of DJs, record collectors and music lovers have dedicated themselves to discovering the best of these private pressings. This includes DJ, record collector,compiler and crate-digger extraordinaire  Kev Beadle. He has dedicated his life to the pursuit of the hidden musical gem. As a result, Kev has an enviable record collection. A tantalising taste of his record collection can be found on Kev Beadle Private Collection Volume 2, which was released by BBE Music in July 2014. It’s the followup to the critically acclaimed Kev Beadle Private Collection.

Compiling a compilation like Kev Beadle Private Collection Volume 2 takes time, persistence and dedication. In Kev’s case, this has paid off. The twelve tracks on Kev Beadle Private Collection Volume 2 are a delicious mixture of rarities and hidden gems. Each track oozes quality. Kev’s taste is impeccable as he introduces us to jazz from America, Brazil, Britain, Hungary and Sweden. Indeed, so good is the music onKev Beadle Private Collection Volume 2, that it manages to surpass Kev Beadle Private Collection. That took some doing.

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LES AMBASSADEURS-LES AMBASSADEURS DU MOTEL DE BAMAKO. 

Stern Africa recently released a double-album of Les Ambassadeurs’ music. This includes their two albums Les Ambassadeurs du Motel De Bamako. These two albums feature the first appearance of a legend of African music, Salif Keifa. He would play an important part in the Les Ambassadeurs’ story.

Over the next few years, the lineup of Les Ambassadeurs changed. They released further singles and albums. However, Les Ambassadeurs du Motel De Bamako and then Les Ambassadeurs Du Motel De Bamako Volume One and Two feature Les Ambassadeurs at their best. They were about to embark upon a great musical adventure. Anything seemed possible. The future looked bright for Les Ambassadeurs. Their star was in the ascendancy for several years. Just about anything looked possible. Sadly, as is often the case Les Ambassadeurs never fulfilled their potential. The political climate changed and Les Ambassadeurs were forced into exile.

At least one of Les Ambassadeurs was able to fulfill their potential. That was Salif Keifa. He became one of the legends of African music. Salif Keifa enjoyed the critical acclaim and commercial success that  Les Ambassadeurs could’ve and should’ve enjoyed. A reminder of Les Ambassadeurs’ music is Les Ambassadeurs du Motel De Bamako, which was recently released by Stern Africa.

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LET THE MUSIC PLAY: BLACK AMERICA DOES BACHARACH AND DAVID.

On Ace Records’ Let The Music Play: Black America Does Bacharach and David compilation some of the most successful American artists cover of Bacharach and David. There’s everything from soul superstars and disco divas. This includes Dionne Warwick, Irma Thomas, Aretha Franklin, Cissy Houston. The Drifters, James Carr, Gloria Gaynor, Mavis Staples and Gladys Knight and The Pips. As compilations go, Let The Music Play: Black America Does Bacharach and David literally oozes quality.

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MARSHALL ALLEN PRESENTS SUN RA AND HIS ARKESTRA-IN THE ORBIT OF RA.

Enigmatic and innovative describes the man whose been referred Mr. Mystery, Sun Ra. He was, without doubt, one of the most important figures in jazz music. Constantly, Sun Ra’s pushed musical boundaries. Sun Ra was never content to stand still musically. Similarly, he was always striving to reinvent his music. The original version of a song was merely the starting point. What it became, was anyone’s guess? Herman’s, forever determined to innovate, and reinvent a track, took his music in the most unexpected direction. That’s the case on Marshall Allen Presents Sun Ra and His Arkestra-In The Orbit Of  Sun Ra, which was released by Strut Records, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Sun Ra’s birth.

To create the music on Marshall Allen Presents Sun Ra and His Arkestra-In The Orbit Of Sun Ra didn’t come easy. It took time, patience and dedication. Sun Ra with like minded musicians recorded over 100 albums. This gave Art Yard, one of Sun Ra’s most loyal lieutenants in the Arkestra plenty of music to choose from. Eventually, Art narrowed the music down to the twenty tracks that feature on Marshall Allen Presents Sun Ra and His Arkestra-In The Orbit Of Sun Ra. This double album was released on Strut Records in September 2014. It’s the perfect starting point for anyone yet to discover an enigmatic musical innovator. For those familiar with Sun Ra’s music, then Marshall Allen Presents Sun Ra and His Arkestra-In The Orbit Of Sun Ra is a reminder of true a musical visionary as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth. 

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MIDNIGHT RIDER-A TRIBUTE TO THE ALLMAN BROTHERS.

Midnight Rider-A Tribute To The Allman Brothers, which was released in June 2014. was the second instalment in Cleopatra Records’ Tribute To series. It features twelve tracks. Eleven of the tracks were taken from The Allman Brothers’ discography. The other track was taken from a Greg Allman album. These tracks were recorded by an all-star cast. Among the luminaries to feature on Midnight Rider-A Tribute To The Allman Brothers  are Pat Travers, Leon Russell, Molly Hatchett, The Artimus Pyle Band, Steve Morse, Tinsley Ellis, Eric Gales and Eli Cook. This shows just how highly regarded The Allman Brothers are among their fellow musicians.

As tribute albums go, Midnight Rider-A Tribute To The Allman Brothers is just like A Psych Tribute To The Doors. It’s without doubt, one of the best tribute album money can buy. Midnight Rider-A Tribute To The Allman Brothers is a perfect reminder of one of the founding fathers of Southern Rock. The Allman Brothers were also one of the most successful groups in the history of Southern Rock. That’s why the calibre of artists have come together to pay homage to The Allman Brothers. They’ve done The Allman Brothers proud, on Midnight Rider-A Tribute To The Allman Brothers, which is a glorious reminder of the undisputed Kings of Southern Rock.

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MILLIE JACKSON-ON THE COUNTRY SOUL SIDE.

Trying to describe Millie Jackson in just one word, is almost impossible. If I was asked to do so, the word I’d use would be versatile. She could breath life, meaning and drama into a variety of songs. Whether it was heartbreaking, soulful ballads or country soul, Millie could take you on a mesmerising musical journey. That was the case throughout Millie Jackson’s time at Spring Records.

Millie Jackson was, without doubt, one of the most talented and charismatic female vocalists of the seventies and eighties. That’s indisputable. What many people won’t realise, is that Millie Jackson was a country girl at heart. She was born in Thomson, in rural Georgia, in July 1944. Millie’s country roots influenced her unique brand of soul music. Especially the sixteen albums Millie recorded for Spring Records. Fans of Millie Jackson’s music will be aware of her country soul roots. However, other people may not be aware of Millie Jackson’s country soul side. For them, Millie Jackson-On The Country Soul Side will be the perfect introduction to this side of Millie Jackson’s music. For them, Millie Jackson-On The Country Soul Side is a tantalising taste of the country soul of Millie Jackson, one of the most talented soul singers of her generation.

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MOD JAZZ, AND THEN SOME!

It doesn’t seem like eighteen years since Kent Soul released the first instalment in the Mod Jazz series. However, that’s the case. The 30th September 1996 was when Mod Jazz first hit the shops. Released to critical acclaim, Mod Jazz was a commercial success. Mod Jazz was music for attendees of the Cool School. Featuring twenty-five slices of gritty dance-floor friendly jazz and smokey soulful dancers, Mod Jazz was one of the best compilations of 1998. Since then, another eight instalments in the Mod Jazz series have been released. The latest instalment is Mod Jazz, and Then Some, was released by Kent Soul, a subsidiary of Ace Records earlier this year. 

Mod Jazz, and Then Some! was released by Kent Soul on 2nd June 2014. It features twenty-four tracks. There’s contributions from The Pac-Keys, Shirley Scott, King Curtis, T.K.O, The Five Counts, Freddy Washington’s Band, B.B. King, Chuck Higgins, Trudy Pitts and Etta Jones. Compilers Ady Croasdell and Dean Rudland dug deep into the vaults of labels like Hollywood, Class, Prestige, Kent, Musicor, Tru-Sound, Ten Star, Brent, Atlas, High Tone, Hill and Temple. On Mod Jazz, and Then Some, classics sit side-by-see with familiar faces, hidden gems and rarities. There’s everything from blues, jazz, Latin, R&B, soul and soul jazz feature on Mod Jazz, and Then Some! All this means that Mod Jazz, and Then Some! is a very welcome addition to the Mod Jazz series.

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MOVEMENTS 6.

One of the longest running compilation series is the Movements, compiled by Tobias Kirkmayer. The first instalment in the series, Movements was released back in 2005 on Perfect Toy Records. In an ever crowded compilation market, Movements was well received. A year later, in 2006, came Movements. Then nothing. Four long years passed without another instalment in the Movement series. That’s a long time between Movements. Since then another two instalments have been released. Earlier this year, Movements 6 was released.

For fans of funk, jazz, R&B and soul, there’s plenty to get your teeth into on Movements 6. The same goes for crate-diggers and sample hungry hip hoppers. I guarantee there’s breaks aplenty on Movements 6. Tobias Kirkmayer has dug deep and come up with some musical gold.

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