Review: Straight form the heart of London via the mind of Detroit, the ever-consistent Soul Brother crew have laid down another stellar reissue here through Dee Edwards' gorgeous "(I Can) Deal With That". Originally out on the much-coveted De-To label in 1977, the original mix is a delicate, whaling soul monster that'll melt your heart from its first guitar riff - Edwards' voice is truly magnetic over the slow-burning percussion. There's a more stripped-down 'Strings' version to act as the cherry on the cake - you just gotta.
Review: London's Soul Brother unit has been out of the picture for a little while, but you can always rest assured that the mythical Putney-based shop will come up with some solid reissue goodness. This time, the gold comes through a resurrection of Bill Harris' material, a legendary jazz trombonist who started his trade way back in the late 1950's. There's two versions of "Am I Hot Am I Cold" here, a short version for the dance, and a long version that delves deeper into the percussion, goes heavier on the drum breaks and lifts the track to higher grounds thanks to those prophetic vocals. A certified jazz-funk monster.
Review: Repress time: released last year on a limited run of 45s, Chet Ivey's double-A "Dose Of Soul" / "Get Down With Greater" returns to the relief of collectors and funk lovers who missed out. Two of many swelteringly funky gems on his Sylvia Funk Recordings album curated in 2017, "Dose Of Soul" has a raw edge and looseness that's held together with Ayers-style vibraphone chords, while "Get Down With Greater" is much more of a traditional funk jam, with the organ player and bassist playing at their fullest of flavours and Ivey leading in his inimitable 'poisonous' style. Don't sleep!
Review: **REPRESS ALERT** Barbara Lynn (b. 1942) is an American rhythm and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter best known for her 1962 R&B chart-topping hit, "You'll Lose a Good Thing". Her highly sought after 1976 song "Movin' On A Groove" gets a much needed repress here from London's Soul Brother, with the funky "Disco Music" featured on the flip. The title track is a soul anthem for those who know, and it's been sold for extortionate prices on the second-hand market but thanks to Soul Brother you can finally get a copy for a reasonable price! A very strong 45 release for DJs and collectors alike.
Review: Longstanding reissue kings Soul Brother flex back to this powerful double A last issued by Cultures Of Soul in 2010. Two of Barbara Lynn's fieriest soul sessions, both released on Tribe in '66/'67 respectively, there's a strong northern stomp to proceedings on both sides. "I'm A Good Woman" is characterised by the driving kicks, tight horns and Lynn's urgent vocals while "I Don't Want A Playboy" comes with more of a traditional soul swing. Sleep on this and, in the words of Babs herself, you'll lose a good thing.
Review: Legendary singer songwriter Barbara Mason is represented in the finest fettle on this 1974 reissue. "World In Crisis" first appeared on her Transition album. Complete with warm harmonies and soft cinematic orchestration, her honey-toned sermons cut through the mix with a cool sense of dreaminess. "Give Me Your Love", meanwhile, is a fantastic cover of the Curtis Mayfield classic where here surging emphasis coats the groove with silky come-to-bed whispers. Stunning.
Review: Taken from her only album This Is Eleanore Mills (recently re-leased for Record Store Day but originally release on Sylvia Robinson's All Platinum in 1974) and produced by members of The Moments and The Rimshots, Eleanore's classical charms are displayed across two complementary styles on this Soul Bother 45. "Same Routine" is sharp critique on soul-crushing work and the things in life that don't cost a thing over a sweet soul/disco groove while "I'm Gonna Get You" is straight up and steamy loin-burning soul. Get it.
Review: Only 300 copies pressed of this classic Gil Scott-Heron heavy double sider on a limited dinked 45. "It's Your World" is Gil Scott - may he rest in peace - at his funkiest best with an upfront vocal over a driving sax and rhodes- those of you who have seen one or two Gilles Peterson's DJ sets down the years will remember this fondly. "Winter In America" showcases Gil's legendary poetic prose in a meandering, melancholic manner offset by rhodes and flute. Essential.
Ain't That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One) (3:11)
Blues In The Night (3:13)
Review: A powerful Stax flashback of two tracks from Arkansas soul don Taylor's 1967 debut album Wanted One Soul Singer. As covered by the likes of Lou Rawls, "Ain't That Loving You" is heartfelt bluesy ballad with a sultry swagger and serious yearning on the choruses while the even rarer "Blues In The Night" closes the B on a super-tight floor-bound riff and gutsy delivery from Taylor. Both bonafide northern soul classics and confirmed rarities with both cuts regularly fetching triple figures, this reissue changes everything. For more reasons than one.
Review: The Voices Of East Harlem were an ensemble of vocalists who for Just Sunshine Records recorded two albums under the direction of Leroy Hutson and Curtis Mayfield. "Cashing In" is one of their most classic songs, a highly sought after track on original 7" fetches a small fortune on the collectors market. First recorded and released in 1973, it has all the hallmarks of a Leroy Hutson composition and an established audience that crosses the boundaries of northern, crossover and modern soul. The song is coupled here with "Take A Stand', another highly regarded and sought after modern soul room dance floor tracks, never previously released on 7" single until now
Herbie Hancock - "Stars In Your Eyes" (Special disco remix) (11:08)
The Choice Four - "Come Down To Earth" (David Todd remix) (10:21)
Rhyze - "Do Your Dance" (Jim Burgess remix) (4:46)
Phil Hurtt - "Giving It Back" (12" disco mix) (5:56)
Cuba Gooding - "Happiness Is Just Around The Bend" (7:59)
Greg Henderson - "Dreamin'" (7:33)
The Paul Simpson Connection - "Use Me, Lose Me" (5:59)
Mtume - "So You Wanna Be A Star" (12" extended mix) (5:09)
Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes - "Don't Leave Me This Way" (Tom Moulton mix) (11:02)
Candy Bowman - "Since I Found You (Love Is Better Than Ever)" (4:30)
Review: killer reissue from Soul Brother back in press. The heavyweight of Herbie Hancock rub the shoulders of ultimate classics from Greg Henderson,Harold Melvin, Mtume and The Choice Four. Nothing short of superb.
Review: Songs that make you go wow. Voices Of East Harlem's soul is the type of soul you've always known without realising. Built up from a community project, the 20-strong ensemble ran throughout the first half of the 70s releasing three albums full of super gutsy, heart-pumping soul, R&B and gospel. This 1973 self-titled second album is recognised as one of their strongest with crossover hit "Cashing In" gaining the troupe major attention. Written by Leeroy Hutson and produced by Curtis Mayfield the whole album from belting highs ("Just Believe In Me") to torch-bearing sentimental ballad lows ("Giving Lows") is a true soul treat. Essential.
Review: Following their hugely successful self-titled Curtis Mayfield-produced sophomore album, Can You Feel It landed in 1974 and brought community group The Voices East Harlem's stunning run of albums to a neat end. Written by Leroy Hutson but softer and more emotional than their super gutsy previous, highlights include the Carpenter-influenced "Just Got To Be Myself", the slinky soaking funk of "Jimmy Joe Lee" and the sunset Marlena Shaw-style "March Across This Land". Beautiful.