LOS ANGELES SOUL VOLUME 2-KENT-MODERN’S BLACK MUSIC LEGACY 1963-197

Los Angeles Soul Volume 2-Kent-Modern’s Black Music Legacy 1963-1971.

Label: Kent Soul.

Release Date: ‘30th’ August 2019.

Four-and-a-half years ago,  in February 2015, Kent Soul, an imprint of Ace Records, released Los Angeles Soul-Kent-Modern’s Black Music Legacy to plaudits and praise. Critics and music fans wondered if there would be a followup to this  lovingly curated compilation? A year passed and there was no followup to Los Angeles Soul-Kent-Modern’s Black Music Legacy. A year became two, and then three. By the time four years had passed, many people had their doubts whether Kent Soul would never release a followup to Los Angeles Soul-Kent-Modern’s Black Music Legacy. However, they were wrong and  on ‘30th’ August 2019, Kent Soul will release Los Angeles Soul Volume 2-Kent-Modern’s Black Music Legacy 1963-1971. It’s a release that will be welcomed by many fans and features twenty-five tracks from the Kent-Modern vaults. 

During the fifties, the Los Angeles’ based, Modern and Kent labels were two of the most successful independent record labels. Their star was definitely in the ascendancy. Modern and Kent signed some of the most successful soul, blues and R&B artists of the fifties, including John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Etta James, The Cadets and Richard Houston. A few years later, and the Modern and Kent labels were more than labels.

With the profits of their hit singles, the Bihari brothers, owners of the Modern and Kent labels, built a recording studio, pressing plant, distribution centre and offices. The Bihari brothers had come a long way in a relatively short space of time. 

As the sixties dawned, music was changing. That would be the case throughout the sixties, and into the seventies. While some labels stood still, the Biharis were determined to released music that was relevant. During the sevens and into the early seventies, which is the period Los Angeles Soul Volume 2-Kent-Modern’s Black Music Legacy 1963-1971 covers, the Modern and Kent labels released an eclectic selection of music. This includes blues, deep soul, funk, gospel,  jazz-tinged ballads, soul and  uptempo dancers. There’s even a Motown influence on several tracks on Los Angeles Soul Volume 2-Kent-Modern’s Black Music Legacy 1963-1971. It seemed the Bihari brothers were covering all bases in their constant search for hits.

Bookending Los Angeles Soul Volume 2 – Kent-Modern’s Black Music Legacy 1963-1971 are deep soul ballads from Chuck Walker and The VIPs with Bobby McKay. The compilation opens with the single I’ll Be Standing By, which was released on Virgo in 1968. Closing the compilation is the B-Side Peace of Mind another memorable slice of deep soul. In between, are twenty-three eclectic tracks from familiar faces and new names. 

For fans of funk there’s a triumvirate of tracks that are welcome additions. This includes Rudy Love and The Love Family’s Hungry Children which was released on Earthquake in 1971.  What Is This World Coming To is funky cut from Charles Taylor released on Mo’ Soul in 1971.  The third slice of funk is Funky Duck by the Four Tees, which is an unreleased track that funakateers will embrace and enjoy.

BPS Revolution’s contribution is Mighty Clouds Of Joy a mid tempo hidden gem from the gospel group. Its was released on Kent Gospel in 1972, and is a welcome addition to Los Angeles Soul Volume 2-Kent-Modern’s Black Music Legacy 1963-1971.

Honey  by Felice Taylor which is an unreleased track is an uptempo soulful track. So is Vernon Garret’s Slow and Easy which was released on Kent in 1967 and Stacy Johnson’s Don’t Believe Him a release on Modern from 1965. 

Among the familiar faces on Los Angeles Soul Volume 2-Kent-Modern’s Black Music Legacy 1963-1971 are ZZ Hill who contributes Where She Att which is a polished and soulful uptempo side released on Kent in 1967.

Johnny Copeland and His Soul Agents released Ghetto Child, on Kent in 1970. It’s a thought-provoking and moving track that was written about the young black children growing up in poverty in Houston. Sadly, nearly fifty years later the song is still as relevant as it was in 1970.

Six years after Clay Hammond penned Part Time Love for Little Johnny Taylor which topped  the charts in 1963, he released The Good Side of My Girl on Kent in 1969. It was the last single he released for Kent, and is a beautiful Southern Soul track.

Until recently, many soul fans were unaware of the supremely talented and mysterious Jeanette Jones. Kent Soul released Dreams Al Come True which belongs in the collection of anyone with a passing interest in soul music. Proof of that is The Thought Of You which was released on Kent in 1969, and showcases the considerable talents of Jeanette Jones.

Another familiar dace is Lowell Fulson, who released What the Heck on Kent in 1968. It’s an uptempo dancer that is a favourite of many soul fans.

The 2nd  version  of Arthur K Adams I Need You was originally recorded for Modern in 1967, but wasn’t released until 2010. Tat was when it made its debut on an Ace Records CD of Al Kent and Arthur Adam’s track Together-The Complete Kent And Modern Recordings. This was a welcome inclusion, and nine years later  I Need You returns for an encore.

For many soul fans of a certain vintage, Los Angeles Soul Volume 2-Kent-Modern’s Black Music Legacy 1963-1971 will take them back to a time and place when music was very different, and some would say better. It’s a compilation that features a mixture of familiar faces and new names. They rub shoulders on a completion that features everything from blues and deep soul to funk and gospel,  right through to jazz-tinged ballads, soul and  uptempo dancers. That is what to expect on Los Angeles Soul Volume 2-Kent-Modern’s Black Music Legacy 1963-1971, which features  the twenty-five carefully selected tracks. 

Los Angeles Soul Volume 2-Kent-Modern’s Black Music Legacy 1963-1971 will be released by Kent Soul on ‘30th’ August 2019. and has been well worth the four-and-half year wait as it’s a lovingly compiled compilation that manages to surpass the quality of music on the first instalment in the series.

Los Angeles Soul Volume 2-Kent-Modern’s Black Music Legacy 1963-1971.

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