Category Archives: Soul

CLASSIC ALBUM: DR JOHN-IN THE RIGHT PLACE.

Classic Album: Dr John-In The Right Place. Very few musicians or bands can be accurately described as an overnight success. That is something that hardly ever exists except in the minds of a few tabloid journalists . The reality is that most bands need to do the hard yards and hone their sound before commercial …

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KEITH MANSFIELD-VIVID UNDERSCORES.

Keith Mansfield-Vivid Underscores. Label: Be With Records. Format: LP. Composer, arranger and musician Keith Mansfield nowadays is recognised and regarded as one the doyens of library music and original copies of his albums are now highly collectable. This includes Vivid Underscores which was released in 1977, a year after his other genre classic Contempo. Both …

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SLY AND THE VISCAYNES-YELLOW MOON: THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS 1961-1962.

Sly and The Viscaynes-Yellow Moon: The Complete Recordings 1961-1962. Label: Ace Records. Format: CD. By 1960, there were only two high schools in the city of Vallejo which is situated in the northeastern corner of San Francisco Bay. St Vincent’s and the Vallejo High School which was where the members of The Viscaynes would matriculate. …

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CULT CLASSIC: KELLEE PATTERSON-MAIDEN VOYAGE.

Cult Classic: Kellee Patterson-Maiden Voyage. When pianist Gene Russell and percussionist Dick Schory founded Black Jazz Records in Oakland, California, in 1971, the nascent label’s raison d’être was “to promote the talents of young African American jazz musicians and singers.” This was only part of their vision for their new label. They were determined that …

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CULT CLASSIC: DOUG CARN FEATURING THE VOICE OF JEAN CARN-SPIRIT OF THE NEW LAND.

Cult Classic: Doug Carn Featuring The Voice Of Jean Carn-Spirit Of The New Land. Doug Carn was one of the first artists that Gene Russell and Dick Schory signed when they founded Black Jazz Records in 1971. His debut solo album Infant Eyes was the nascent company’s third release and featured vocals from his wife …

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CULT CLASSIC: DR JOHN-REMEDIES.

Cult Classic: Dr John-Remedies. Although Dr John eventually won six Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2011, commercial success and critical acclaim didn’t come overnight for the great showman who released thirty studio albums and nine live albums during a career that spanned six  decades where his music fell in and out of fashion. Dr John …

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CULT CLASSIC: AMBIANCE-INTO A NEW JOURNEY.

Cult Classic: Ambiance-Into A New Journey. During the seven year period between 1979 and 1986, Ambiance led by Nigerian born multi-instrumentalist Daoud Abubakar Balewa released six albums on the LA-based private press label Da Mon Records. It was a self-financed business that released short runs of Ambiance’s albums during a time when many smaller independent …

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THE SONGS OF LEON RUSSELL.

The Songs Of Leon Russell. Label: Ace Records. Format: CD. Leon Russell embarked upon a career as a professional musician in the late-fifties, and over the next six decades, the versatile singer-songwriter worked with some of the biggest names in music when he worked as a touring musician and session player. He worked with everyone …

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SHE WANTS YOU! PYE RECORDS’ FEMININE SIDE 1964-1970.

She Wants You! Pye Records’ Feminine Side 1964-1970. Label: Ace Records. Format: CD. Between 1964 and 1970 Pye Records and its sister label Piccadilly Records were housed in London’s West End. Both labels had an enviable roster of artists and included some of the top British female pop singers. Two of the biggest names were …

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BIRTH OF SOUL-LOS ANGELES SPECIAL.

Birth Of Soul-Los Angeles Special. Label: Kent Soul. Format: CD. Nowadays, the compilation market is hugely competitive and it’s unlikely that many new series will still be going strong after twenty-five years. Sadly, most new compilation series are short-lived affairs and run out of steam after a few volumes.However, Kent Soul’s Birth Of Soul compilation …

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NORTHERN SOUL’S CLASSIEST RARITIES VOLUME 7.

Northern Soul’s Classiest Rarities Volume 7. Label: Kent Dance. Format: CD. Nowadays, Northern Soul compilations are two a penny and hardly a week goes by without yet another Northern Soul compilation being released. That has been the case for the last few years, and nothing has changed recently. The compilations can be described as the …

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CULT CLASSIC: STANLEY TURRENTINE-THAT’S WHERE IT’S AT.

Cult Classic: Stanley Turrentine-That’s Where It’s At. In September 1962, twenty-eight year old saxophonist Stanley Turrentine released That’s Where It’s At which was his fifth album for Blue Note Records.  It was his much-anticipated followup to Dearly Beloved which at the time, many critics hailed as his finest album. That’s Where It’s At had  a …

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CULT CLASSIC: BOBBIE GENTRY-THE DELTA SWEETE.

Cult Classic: Bobbie Gentry-The Delta Sweete. Less than three weeks after Bobbie Gentry released Ode To Billie Joe as a single on the ‘10th’ of July 1967 the song topped the US Billboard 100 and US Country charts. The song was penned by Bobbie Gentry and was the twenty-five year old’s debut single as a …

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CULT CLASSIC: LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY-CRY TO ME.

Cult Classic: Loleatta Holloway-Cry To Me. Before being transformed into a disco diva by arranger, guitarist and producer Norman Harris at Salsoul imprint Gold Mind Records, Loleatta Holloway released two albums of Southern Soul for Michael Thevis’ Aware Records. This includes her sophomore album Cry To Me, which was released in 1975. Loleatta Holloway was …

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CULT CALSSIC: TIM MAIA-RACIONAL VOLUME 2.

Cult Classic: Tim Maia-Racional Volume 2. By 1975, Tim Maia was a changed man and had turned his back on the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle that he had embraced and enjoyed since releasing his eponymous debut album in 1970. Back then, the charismatic Brazilian singer realised that he was only here for a visit and decided to live life to the fullest. He drank, …

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KEITH MANSFIELD-CONTEMPO.

Keith Mansfield-Contempo. Label: Be With Records. Format: LP. Nowadays, Keith Mansfield is regarded as one the doyens of library music, and original copies of his 1976 album Contempo are now highly collectable. That’s the case with many other KPM Records’ releases. Everyone from sample-hungry hip hop producers and crate-digging DJs to film producers collect library …

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JOANNA LAW-RHYTHM OF YEARS

Joanna Law-Rhythm Of Years. Label: Tangential Music. Format: Digital Album. London-based singer-songwriter Joanna Law’s career began when she and her brother Simon formed City Heat. The nascent group released its debut single The Raid in 1987, and this was followed by City Heat in 1988.  The same year, Joanna Law’s vocal featured on The Funky …

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CLASSIC ALBUM: THE OHIO PLAYERS-PAIN.

Classic Album: The Ohio Players-Pain. It wasn’t until The Ohio Players signed with Westbound, and released their sophomore album Pain in 1972, that commercial success came the way of a group that was founded in 1959. Originally, they were known as The Ohio Untouchables, and had a chequered history. Initially, The Ohio Untouchables lineup featured …

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HELLO HEARTBREAKER-UPTOWN SOUL FROM SCEPTER, MUSICOR AND WAND.

Hello Heartbreaker-Uptown Soul From Scepter, Musicor and Wand. Label: Playback Records. Format: CD. During the sixties, Scepter, Musicor and Wand played an important part in New York’s vibrant soul scene. These three record labels were among the finest purveyors of uptown soul and their releases were favourites of the Big Apple’s DJs and dancers. They …

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WORDS…A BEE GEES SONGBOOK.

Words…A Bee Gees Songbook. Label: Playback Records. Format: CD. During a career that began in 1958 and lasted until 2009 the Bee Gees sold over 120 million records and are one of the biggest selling groups in the history of modern music. “Britain’s first family of harmony” won five Grammy Awards for the Saturday Night …

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