THE FIFTY-FIVE BEST COMPILATIONS OF 2015-PART 4.

THE FIFTY-FIVE BEST COMPILATIONS OF 2015-PART 4.

KEB DARGE AND LITTLE EDITH’S LEGENDARY WILD ROCKERS VOLUME 5.  

Summer wouldn’t be summer without the latest instalment of the Legendary Wild Rockers’ series. So, in May 2015, Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers Volume 5 was released by BBE Music.  

Somehow, Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers Volume 5 have managed to do what looked almost impossible, and surpassed the quality of the previous volumes in the series. That took some doing. Volume 4 especially, was crammed full of quality cuts. However, Keb Darge and Little Edith pulled out all the stops for Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers Volume 5. The result is the finest instalment in  the series, Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers Volume 5.

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KEEP A HOLD ON HIM! MORE GARPAX GIRLS. 

Eleven years passed before Ace Records announced the release of Keep A Hold On Him! More Garpax Girls. The long awaited sequel to Boy Trouble: Garpax Girls hit the shops at the end of May 2015. That was almost eleven years to the day since Ace Records released Boy Trouble: Garpax Girls. However, it was well worth the wait.

Keep A Hold On Him! More Garpax Girls featured another twenty-four of Gary S. Paxton’s finest productions for a variety of female singers between 1960 and 1966. During this period, Gary S. Paxton was establishing his reputation as a hotshot producer. He had the ability to transform an artists career and fortunes. So, it’s no surprise that The Idols, Beatrice Lee, Josephine Sunday, Chris Darlin and Dorothy Berry and The Swans all found their way to Gary’s Hollywood studio. 

With various songwriters, arrangers and producers, Gary set about making dreams come true. Sometimes it worked, and artists enjoyed hits single. Other times, commercial success eluded artists. Often that’s despite creating a single that oozed quality. That’s the case on the thirteen singles, and the eleven unreleased tracks on Keep A Hold On Him! More Garpax Girls.  They’re part of what’s a worthy sequel to Boy Trouble: Garpax Girls. Although it may have been eleven years in the making, but Keep A Hold On Him! More Garpax Girls has been well worth the wait.

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LOS ANGELES SOUL-KENT-MODERN’S BLACK MUSIC LEGACY.

During the fifties, the Los Angeles’ based, Modern and Kent labels were two of the most successful independent record labels. They signed some of the most successful soul, blues and R&B artists of the fifties. However, as the sixties dawned, music was changing. That was the case right through to the seventies. While some labels stood still, the Biharis were determined to released music that was relevant. So, between 1962 and 1972, the period Los Angeles Soul-Kent-Modern’s Black Music Legacy covers, the Modern and Kent labels released an eclectic selection of music. This includes country soul, funk, gospel, psychedelia, R&B, soul, Southern Soul and sweet soul. It seemed the Bihari brothers were covering all bases in their constant search for his. That’s reflected in Los Angeles Soul-Kent-Modern’s Black Music Legacy’s track listing.

Los Angeles Soul-Kent-Modern’s Black Music Legacy was recently released by Kent Soul, an imprint of Ace Records, featured twenty-four tracks. They’re an eclectic selection.  Everyone from Johnny Adams to Johnny Copeland, The Intentions, Jimmy Bee, Earl Wright, Pat Hunt, The Windjammers, Tommy Youngblood, Jackie Shane, Millie Foster, Ruth Davis and Wally Cox all feature. They’re just a few of the artists on Los Angeles Soul-Kent-Modern’s Black Music Legacy. It’s the perfect introduction to a pioneering label, who constantly, sought to reinvent itself.

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LOST WITHOUT YOU-THE BEST OF KENT BALLADS  2.

Secretly, everyone loves a ballad. At least everyone of a certain age.   For many, it’s something they grow into, and cherish. If that’s the case, then Lost Without You-The Best Of Kent Ballads 2, which was released by Kent Soul, an imprint of Ace Records, will be a must have. It found Mick Patrick and Tony Rounce digging deep into the Kent vaults, and coming up with twenty-four heartbreaking ballads. They became Lost Without You-The Best Of Kent Ballads 2.

Included on Lost Without You-The Best Of Kent Ballads 2, were songs from Jerry Washington, Lorraine Chandler, J.J. Jackson and The Jackaels, Julius Wright, The Exotics, Peggy Gaines and The Turquinettes. They’re just some of the tracks that make a belated debut on Lost Without You-The Best Of Kent Ballads 2. Some of these tracks are good enough to have been released as a single. For whatever reason, that never happened. Now somewhat belatedly, this plethora of hidden gems prove a welcome addition to Lost Without You-The Best Of Kent Ballads 2, the latest addition to Kent Soul’s burgeoning discography.

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LOW DOWN-ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK.

One of my favourite jazz compilations of 2015, was Low Down-Original Motion Soundtrack, which was released by Cinewax and Light In The Attic. Low Down-Original Motion Soundtrack tells the story of jazz pianist Joe Albany. It’s based on his daughter Amy-Jo Albany’s memoirs. She chose the fifteen tracks on Low Down-Original Motion Soundtrack. It includes seven tracks from Joe’s back-catalogue. This Amy-Jo Albany hopes that will be a primer for her father’s work. There’s also tracks from Coleman Hawkins, Max Roach and Thelonious Monk. These tracks may introduce a new generation to three jazz giants. There’s also tracks from  Ohad Talmor’s score. His tracks pay stylistic homage to Joe Albany, whose been described as “Hollywood’s notorious jazz hustler.”

Joe Albany was  hugely talented pianist whose music is cherished by many. However, sadly, there are still people have yet to discover Joe Albany’s music. Amy-Jo Albany hopes that the Low Down-Original Motion Soundtrack will act as a primer for her father’s music. I certainly hope that that’s the case. Let’s also hope that any newcomer to jazz who buys the Low Down-Original Motion Soundtrack, will embark upon a lifelong love affair with jazz.

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MOGWAI-CENTRAL BELTERS.

2015 finds post rock pioneers Mogwai celebrating their twentieth anniversary. A lot has happened in that twenty year period. Mogwai have released eight studio albums and three soundtracks. These albums have been critical acclaimed and commercially successful not just in Britain, but in America. That’s why nowadays, Mogwai are regarded as Scottish music’s elder statesmen. So it was fitting when Mogwai released a three disc retrospective box set, Central Belters, on Rock Action Records. Central Belters tells the story of twenty years of Mogwai.

For the last twenty years, Mogwai’s music has been ambitious, bold, challenging, influential and innovative music. It’s full of nuances, subtleties and surprises as Mogwai seamlessly combine musical genres. They fuse ambient, avant garde, classic rock, electronica, experimental, indie rock, psychedelia and Krautrock, to create their unique post rock sound. All the time, Mogwai continue to push musical boundaries to their limits and even sometimes, way beyond. Mogwai have never been willing to stand still. The Mogwai Young Team’s music has continued to evolve, and doubtless will continue to do so.

Glasgow’s famous five are due a new musical adventure. It’s nearly two years since the release of Rave Tapes. Hopefully, Mogwai are hard at work in their Castle Of Doom studios on their next adventure. This isn’t the type of adventure Enid Blyton’s Famous Five once enjoyed. There’s no picnics, lemonade and bicycle trips. Instead, it’s a bit more edgy and gritty.That’s the case with Central Belters Mogwai’s career retrospective.

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NEXT STOP SOWETO-ZULU ROCK, AFRO DISCO AND MBQANGA 1975-1985.

March 2015 saw Strut Records release  Next Stop Soweto-Zulu Rock, Afro Disco and Mbqanga 1975-1985. This was the fifth volume in Duncan Brooker’s Next Stop Soweto critically series. The latest volume found Duncan choosing fifteen tracks from what was an dark period, in South South Africa’s history, Apartheid period. During this period, South Africa was a county divided. However, music was beginning to play an important part in bringing about change.  

The songs chosen by Duncan Brooker document the changing face of South Africa. His in-depth knowledge of South African music means he knows where musical gold is buried. Next Stop Soweto-Zulu Rock, Afro Disco and Mbqanga 1975-1985 is literally a musical treasure trove. As compilations go, oNext Stop Soweto-Zulu Rock, Afro Disco and Mbqanga 1975-1985 oozes quality, and is crammed full of quality music. So much so, that Next Stop Soweto-Zulu Rock, Afro Disco and Mbqanga 1975-1985 is the finest instalment in the  Next Stop Soweto series. That’s saying something.

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NICK CAVE HEARD THEM HERE FIRST.

For the fourth volume in Ace Records’ Heard Them Here First series, the latest artist in the spotlight is shawn on  Australian troubadour, Nick Cave. On Nick Cave Heard Them Here First, there’s twenty-two tracks that have influence the career of Nick Cave. His career began over thirty hers ago, when he was the lead singer of Australian band The Birthday Party. In the post Birthday Party years, Nick Cave embarked upon what was to prove to be, a successful solo career. His music however, has always been influenced by the music he heard growing up. 

Some of the music that influenced Nick Cave featured on Nick Cave Heard Them Here First. He was impeccable and discerning taste. The Stooges, Nina Simone, Johnny Cash, Gene Pitney, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Leonard Cohen, Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, Blind Willie Johnson and John Lee Hooker all feature on Nick Cave Heard Them Here First, which quite simply, is crammed full of quality music.

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NORTHERN SOUL’S CLASSIEST RARITIES VOLUME 5. 

Through their Kent imprint, Ace Records have been releasing Northern Soul compilations for over twenty years. Their most recent Northern Soul compilation, was Northern Soul’s Most Classiest Rarities Volume 5, which was released by their Kent Dance subsidiary. It has everything you could want in a Northern Soul compilation. 

That’s not surprising. Northern Soul’s Most Classiest Rarities Volume 5 was compiled by veteran compiler Ady Croasdell. He’s a man steeped in Northern Soul. With an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of all things soulful, Ady combines classics and collectors items with future classics, hidden gems, obscurities, rarities and a even a quartet of unissued tracks. The result is Northern Soul’s Most Classiest Rarities Volume 5, a welcome addition to the Northern Soul’s Most Classiest Rarities’ series.

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PIED PIPER FOLLOW YOUR SOUL.

Back in 2013, Kent Soul, released Pied Piper Presents A New Concept In Detroit Soul. It was one of the most eagerly anticipated compilations of 2013. Soul fans weren’t disappointing, and Pied Piper Presents A New Concept In Detroit Soul made its way onto many end of year lists. Since then, soul fans have been wondering when a followup to Pied Piper Presents A New Concept In Detroit Soul would be released? During 2015, Kent Soul announced the release of Pied Piper Follow Your Soul.

Compiler Ady Croasdell returned to the Pied Piper vaults, and chose twenty-four tracks for  Pied Piper Follow Your Soul. They’re a mixture of classics, old favourites and hidden gems. Fifteen tracks have been released before. This includes contributions from Sharon Scott, The Cavaliers, The Dynamics, The Metros, The Dynamics and Freddy Butler. The other nine, make their debut on Pied Piper Follow Your Soul. This includes some soulful delights from September Jones, Nancy Wilcox and Lorraine Chandler. Throughout, Ady Croasdell’s exquisite taste and encyclopaedic knowledge of all things soulful, shines through on what’s the perfect followup and companion to Pied Piper Presents A New Concept In Detroit Soul.

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