Where Soul Begins…Kent Modern-For Dancers Forty.

Label: Kent Soul.

Format: CD.

Release Date: 25th November 2022.

In 1982, a new label, Kent Records, released its first ever compilation, For Dancers Only to widespread critical acclaim. It was released to critical acclaim and was hailed a commercial success. This landmark compilation was also the start of a musical journey that’s lasted forty years.

Since then, the Kent family of labels has grown and released over 400 compilations. They’re regarded by critics, collectors and connoisseurs of soul as some of the finest reissue labels. That’s no surprise.

The labels are known for releasing carefully curated compilations where the emphasis is on quality. This doesn’t just include the sound quality. There’s also lengthy and detail sleeve notes which have been carefully researched. This is why the releases are much-prized and cherished by several generation of soul fans.

So will the compilation that Kent Soul is about to release on ‘25th’ November 2022. This is Where Soul Begins…Kent Modern-For Dancers Forty which celebrates the fortieth anniversary of the label’s first ever release and draws inspiration it.

There’s twenty-four tracks on Where Soul Begins…Kent Modern-For Dancers Forty. These tracks are from the vaults of  Kent and Modern Records which were based in LA. Some of the artists that feature on the new compilation also featured on the very first. This includes R&B from T-Bone Walker, BB King, Little Joe Blue and Flash Terry and His Orchestra. Then there’s oft-overlooked hidden gems from Jeanette Jones, Lowell Fulson and Tommy Youngblood. Then there’s contributions from familiar faces and some new names. The compilation is a veritable feast of soul and R&B with highlights aplenty.

This includes Satisfied Feeling by Mary Love was released on Modern in 1967. It’s an uptempo and joyful dancer with a feel-good sound that’s a reminder of a truly talented singer.

One of the hidden gems on the compilation is You’d Be Good For Me by Jeanette Jones. It was recorded as a demo for Gerry Goffin and Barry Goldberg at Golden State Records in 1974. The song was covered by Jackie Wilson for his 1976 album Nobody But You. This version song made its debut on the BGP combination SuperFunk Is Back: Rare and Classic Funk 1968-1977 in 2007. Fifteen years late later and it returns for a welcome encore on Where Soul Begins…Kent Modern-For Dancers Forty.

Soul man Arthur Adams was also a staff songwriter for Modern Records. He penned Gonna Put It On Your Mind with Larry Perrault and recorded the song in 1966. Sadly, it was never released and has lain unreleased until now. That’s a great shame as the song features an impassioned vocal powerhouse that’s bristling with emotion.

In 1970, The Soul Of Tommy Youngblood was released by Kent. One of the tracks on the album was the moody sounding Tobacco Road North which features a stunning soul-baring vocal.

Nowadays, blues man T-Bone Walker is regarded as a pioneer of the electric guitar. He’s also influenced several generations of guitarists. His contribution to the compilation is Jealous Woman which was recorded in 1964 but only made its debut on the box set 60 Great Blues Recordings which was released by Cascade Records. The track is a perfect introduction to a blues great who at the time, was at the peak of his powers.

In 1959, Crown Records released BB King Wails. It featured I’ve Got Papers On You Baby which he penned with Jules Taub. It showcases another pioneer of the electric blues whose backed by His Orchestra on this irresistible dancer.

After embarking on a musical career, Texas-born blues and soul singer donned the stage name ZZ Hill. This was a homage to BB King who had influenced him groaning up. He released his debut single Five Will Get You Ten on Mesa Records in 1963. Two three years later and he was signed to LA-based Kent and released That’s It. The track combines a dancefloor friendly beat and vocal whose roots are in Southern Soul. When this is combined the result is a memorable and melodic  soulful dancer.

Lowell Fulson’s career began in the late forties and he made his name playing the blues. However, by 1967 he was signed to Kent and released Tramp, a fusion of soul and funk. It gave him the biggest R&B hit single of his career. Wanting to build on this success, two similar sounding singles were recorded and released. They were among six singles released during 1967. The final one was the Push Me. This hidden gem is a much more soulful sounding song with a Stax influence.

Clay Hammond released You Brought You Brought It All On Yourself as a a single on Kent in 1967. The big, bold and slick arrangement swings and is the perfect backdrop for an uber soulful and emotive vocal as he delivers the cinematic lyrics.

In 1967, Kent released The Soul Of Ike and Tina Turner. This was the pair’s debut album. One of the highlights of the album was It’s Crazy Baby which features a spellbinding and soulful performance.

Flash Terry and His Orchestra recorded On My Way Back Home for Kent. This slice of R&B single was released in 1958 and showcased a talented bandleader, singer, songwriter and guitarist early in his career.

Closing the compilation is I’ll Let Nothing Come Between Us by Billy Watkins. It was recorded for Kent in 1965 but was never released. That’s a great shame as it’s a beautiful, ballad with a heartfelt vocal delivered with emotion and sincerity.

It’s hard to believe that forty years have passed since Kent Records released For Dancers Only. It was a lovingly curated compilation that oozed quality that set the bar high.

Many soul fans grew up and some have grown old with Kent. They’ve watched as the Kent family has grown since that first ever release in 1982. It’s gone on to release over 400 lovingly curated, quality compilations. This includes many focusing on one or two labels.

That was the case with For Dancers Only which featured tracks from the LA-based Kent and Modern labels. So does Where Soul Begins…Kent Modern-For Dancers Forty which will be released on ‘25th’ November 2022 to celebrate the label’s fortieth anniversary.

Where Soul Begins…Kent Modern-For Dancers Forty is yet another lovingly curated compilation. Familiar faces rub shoulders with lesser known names and contribute twenty-four slices of soul, blues and R&B. There’s singles, deep album cuts, hidden gems and unreleased tracks on Where Soul Begins…Kent Modern-For Dancers Forty. It’s the perfect way to celebrate Kent’s fortieth anniversary. Here’s to many more compilations and another forty years.

Where Soul Begins…Kent Modern-For Dancers Forty.

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