MASTERPIECES OF MODERN SOUL VOLUME 4.

MASTERPIECES OF MODERN SOUL VOLUME 4.

It was back in October 2003, when Kent Soul released the first instalment in the Masterpieces Of Modern Soul series. Since then, another three volumes have been released. The first came in January 2009, when Masterpieces Of Modern Soul Volume 2 was released. Just over two years passed, and then Masterpieces Of Modern Soul Volume 3 hit the shops in November 2011. Since then, connoisseurs of modern soul have patiently awaited the Masterpieces Of Modern Soul Volume 4. 

A year passed. Two became three. Still no sign of Masterpieces Of Modern Soul Volume 4. Then after nearly four long long years, the much anticipated fourth volume in what’s one of Ace Records’ most popular series was release. That’s right, recently, Masterpieces Of Modern Soul Volume 4 hit the shops. However, has it been worth the wait?

Masterpieces Of Modern Soul Volume 4 features twenty-three tracks. They’re a mixture of familiar faces, minor classic and hidden gems. Among them are contributions from Garland Green, Street People, Herman Davis, The Pretenders, Gail Anderson, Viola Wills, Cesar and Alvin Robinson. There’s also eight tracks that have never been released before. This includes Luv Co, Jesse Johnson and Chocolate Fudge, Elaine Armstrong, The Dramatics and Elayne Starr. These are just a few of the tracks on Masterpieces Of Modern Soul Volume 4, which I’ll pick the highlights of.

It’s always important to start a compilation with a track that grabs the listener’s attention. Ady Croasdell certainly does that on Masterpieces Of Modern Soul Volume 4. Garland Green’s Just Loving You with the rap intro certainly does this. It was originally released in 1975, as the flip side of Just Loving You, Garland’s final single for Spring Records. The version on Masterpieces Of Modern Soul Volume 4 is an alternate version that first featured on  Kent Soul’s 1990 Garland Green compilation The Spring Sides. Twenty-five years later, and  Just Loving You makes a welcome return. It’s without doubt, a guaranteed floor filler.

When Greg Perry released It Takes Heart as a single in 1982,

little did anyone realise that it would be his swan-song. Greg penned and produced It Takes Heart. It was released on the Alfa label, and reached number twenty-eight on the US R&B charts. After three decades making music, Greg Perry’s career came to a fitting end with this fusion of boogie, funk, soul and gospel harmonies. Combined, they create a dance-floor friendly single.

The Natural Resources recorded If There Were No You in the seventies. It was a Bobby Swayne composition, produced by Lew Bedell. For some reason, this joyful, string drenched, soulful dancer was never released. That was until it found its way onto Kent Soul’s 2014 compilation Doré: L.A. Soul Sides. If There Were No You takes makes a welcome reappearance on Masterpieces Of Modern Soul Volume 4.

Street People were a soul quintet consisting of Roy Daniels and Milton Daniels, Thomas “Toot” Williams, Joe Gardner and Rick Johnson. They  signed to Spring Records in 1974, and released I Wanna Get Over as their debut single. It was written and produced by Ray Dahrouge. Tucked away on the flip side was the irresistible Baby, You Got It All. It’s got everything. A hopeful lead vocal, tight, soulful harmonies and dancing strings. So good is Baby, You Got It All it could’ve been a single.

Another of the unreleased tracks on Masterpieces Of Modern Soul Volume 4 is Jesse Johnson and Chocolate Fudge’s There Will Never Be Another You. It was recorded for Johnny Otis’ Hawk Sound label in the early seventies. It’s Jesse Johnson at his soulful best. Partly, that’s down to Chocolate Soul’s harmonies. They compliment Jesse perfectly. Sadly, There Will Never Be Another You was never released, until now. It’s a welcome inclusion on Masterpieces Of Modern Soul Volume 4.

Toussaint McCall could never be described as prolific artist.

He released just eight singles between 1967 and 1970. Most of the singles he released were on Ronn Records. The exception was his lone single for Doré, Sweet Tea. It was released in 1970. That must have been when Toussaint McCall I’ll Laugh Till I Cry, which he penned with Patrick Robinson and produced by Lew Bedell. However, I’ll Laugh Till I Cry was never released by Doré  until it found its way onto Kent Soul’s 2014 compilation Doré: L.A. Soul Sides. It’s a reminder of one of soul’s best kept secrets, Toussaint McCall.

If ever a track was designed to tug at the heartstrings, it’s Obrey Wilson’s Daddy Please Stay Home. It was recorded in 1975, and produced by Phillip Rault. However, it was never released. Since then, this tale impassioned plea to a two-timing father “Daddy Please Stay Home,” has remained in the vaults. Thankfully, not any more. Obrey’s impassioned plea, the funky arrangement and soulful harmonies made its debut on Soul Emissaries-SuperFunk, where it’s one of the compilation’s highlights. Daddy Please Stay Home makes a welcome return on Masterpieces Of Modern Soul Volume 4.

The Ovations featuring Louis Williams recorded You’re My Little Girl for the Sounds Of Memphis label. The version on Masterpieces Of Modern Soul Volume 4 is a demo, as only Louis features. Nothing happened to the demo, and the song lay in the Sounds Of Memphis’ vaults until 2008. That’s when Kent Soul released an The Ovations compilation, One In A Million. At last, this heartfelt ballad was heard by soul fans for the first time.

After working with Barry White, Viola Wills hooked up with Ray Jackson for her next single Sweetback, It was released on the Supreme label in 1971. Tucked away on the flip side was, I’ve Got News For You which. Ray arranged I’ve Got News For You and James Gadson produced this hidden gem. Viola is at her soulful best, as she unleashes what can only be described as a 

vocal powerhouse.

Forty years ago, Bolivian Cesar Ascarrunz signed to Bob Thiele’s Flying Dutchman Productions. Cesar released his only album Cesar 830 in 1975. It was produced by Bob Thiele and arranged and conducted by Ted Macero, who worked extensively with Miles Davis. One of Cesar 830’s highlights was See Saw Affair, which features vocalist Linda Tillery. She plays an important in this glorious and joyous fusion of Latin, soul and rocky guitars.

Just like New Experience’s Never Felt Like This Before, George Soule’s Midnight Affair was penned and produced by Dave Hamilton. Neither track has been released before and both were mixed by Rob Keyloch. Both tracks, as we’ve come to expect from Dave Hamilton, are dance-floor friendly, and will appeal to anyone who likes their music soulful.

Fox Fire Featuring Johnny Adams close Masterpieces Of Modern Soul Volume 4 with You Amaze Me. The tempo drops and a the man formerly known as Little Johnny Adams, shows he’s all grown up. What follows is a steamy, sultry slice of soulful music. It was recorded by Modern, but has never been released before. It’s another songs that falls firmly into the category of hidden gem. What a way to close Masterpieces Of Modern Soul Volume 4.

Let’s hope that it doesn’t take another four years before Kent Soul, a subsidiary of Ace Records, releases the next instalment in the Masterpieces Of Modern Soul series. Even if it is, and it’s anywhere near as good as Masterpieces Of Modern Soul Volume 4 then it’ll be well worth the wait. Look at the music on 

There’s a mixture of familiar faces, minor classics and hidden gems. Garland Green, Street People, Herman Davis, The Pretenders, Gail Anderson, Viola Wills, Cesar and Alvin Robinson all feature. Then there’s unreleased tracks from Luv Co, Jesse Johnson and Chocolate Fudge, Elaine Armstrong, The Dramatics and Elayne Starr. These are just a few of the delights awaiting the listener on Masterpieces Of Modern Soul Volume 4. 

Compiler Ady Croasdell has surpassed himself with Masterpieces Of Modern Soul Volume 4. All I can say is roll on Volume 5. if it’s anywhere near as good as  Masterpieces Of Modern Soul Volume 4, it’ll be well worth waiting for.

MASTERPIECES OF MODERN SOUL VOLUME 4.

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