Spring NYC Soul.

Label: Kent Soul.

Spring Records was founded in New York by Bill Spitalsky, Roy Rifkind and Julie Rifkind and based at 161 West ‘54th’ Street. This was also home to two new imprints, Event and Posse Records which became part of the city’s thriving and vibrant music scene. The three labels released everything from soul, funk, disco and  gospel to harmony and show tunes, and much later, electro and rap. For three decades Spring Records and the Event and Posse imprints recorded and released a variety of music. This includes the music on Spring NYC Soul, a new compilation that was recently released by Kent Soul, a subsidiary of Ace Records.

There’s a total of twenty-four tracks on Spring NYC Soul, including six previously unreleased tracks.There’s contributions by Garland Green, Ronnie Walker, Fatback Band, Joe Simon, Clare Bathé, Jackie Verdell, Phillip Mitchell, Leroy Randolph, The Equations and The Internationals. Then there’s unreleased tracks from The Determinations, Maxine Weldon, Garland Green, Victor Tavares and Little Ava Harris. These tracks are part of another lovingly curated compilation from the Kent Soul crew.

Opening Spring NYC Soul is Save The Best For Me by The Determinations. This is an edited version of a track that first appeared on their 1976 album One Step At A Time. The track is arranged by Andrew Smith and produced by Ray Godfrey. He plays his part in what’s a catchy slice of swinging soul.

I Love You More Than Anything by Ray Godfrey was recorded in 1970, and lay unreleased for fifty years. It was arranged by Bert DeCoteaux and produced by John Richbourg and Joe Simon.  Ray Godfrey’s vocal is heartfelt, emotive and soulful as harmonies and sweeping strings accompany him on this hidden gem that’s a welcome addition to the compilation. So is Hold On an unreleased track from 1979. It’s a soulful and funky  disco track from Ray Godfrey.

Since You’ve Been Gone was recorded by Garland Green in 1975, and produced by Ray Godfrey. However, this wistful mid-tempo dancer lay unreleased in the Spring Records vaults for forty-five years. Thankfully, this hidden gem has been unearthed albeit somewhat belatedly. 

By 1975, The Fatback Band were signed to Event Records and about to released their album Yum Yum. It features If You Could Turn Into Me where they drop the tempo on this beautiful soulful ballad.

When Joe Simon recorded Your Time To Cry it was arranged by Bert DeCoteaux. It released as a single by Joe Simon in 1970, and reached number three in the US R&B charts. Following the success of the single, Spring Records released the album The Sounds Of Simon. One  of the highlights was the soul-baring Your Time To Cry, which showcases Joe Simon’s ability to breath life and meaning into a song.

I’m The Other Half Of You was written and produced by Raeford Gerald aka Ray Godfrey for Maxine Weldon in 1973. Sadly, the song was never released and her emotive rendition of I’m The Other Half Of You makes a welcome debut on Spring NYC Soul.

When Jackie Verdell signed to Spring Records in 1982, she and began work on a modern gospel album. A year later, in 1983, she released Lay My Burden Down which featured The Storm Is Passing Over which showcases a truly talented and versatile singer who also worked as a backing vocalist for various soul and R&B singers.

If We Get Caught, I Don’t Know You was the B-Side to Phillip Mitchell’s 1975 single Jody. It was released on Event, and finds Phillip Mitchell combining humour and soulfulness on this little known track.

Upon leaving the soul group Tavares, Victor Tavares embarked upon a solo career and recorded Falling In Love in 1975. It was never released and the version that features on Spring NYC Soul is the Rob Keyloch Mix. It’s a beautiful quiet storm ballad and one of the best of the unreleased tracks.

When  Spring Records was founded in 1967, New York based singer-songwriter Richard Barbar was signed to the label. He released the  uptempo and soulful Get Right  on Spring Records later in 1967. This was the only single Richard Barbar released for the label, before moving to A&M. 

Closing Spring NYC Soul is I Ride Alone by The Internationals. This was the B-Side to I Ride Alone, which was released on Spring Records in 1972. It’s the only secular side The Internationals released during their short spell on the label. Memorable and soulful it’s the perfect way to close the compilation.

Spring NYC Soul is another lovingly curated compilation from the Kent Soul that was compiled by Ady Croasdell. He’s dug deep into the Spring Records’ vaults, and chosen twenty-four tracks from familiar faces and old friends as well some singers and groups that many people won’t have heard of.  That doesn’t matter as Ady Croasdell has impeccable taste and has chosen tracks that ooze quality. 

This includes the unreleased tracks on Spring NYC Soul. Some of these tracks have lain unreleased for fifty years. and belatedly make a debut on Spring NYC Soul. These unreleased tracks join B-Sides, album tracks, hidden gems and hit singles on Spring NYC Soul. It’s a lovingly curated and eclectic compilation of quality soulful music that will be of interest to anyone with even a passing interest in soul music.

Spring NYC Soul.

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