Friday, 28 January 2011

China Moses - Mad About The Boy (2009)

The daughter of the great Dee Dee Bridgewater, by day she's a presenter on French MTV, but she's better known to the world as an upcoming Jazz/Soul vocalist. I saw her live last November at the Royal Festival Hall in London in a Billy Strayhorn tribute concert - oh yeah, she can holler with the best of them.
This track is from her album This One's For Dinah. She does it justice.

Chaka Khan - A Night In Tunisia (1981)

From the 1981 album What Cha' Gonna Do for Me.
Chaka on vocals, Herbie Hancock on clavitar (like a cross between a guitar and a keyboard, but you knew that of course...), Dizzy Gillespie reprising his role on trumpet - do you need any more excuse to listen to it? Her vocals at the end are an object lesson to any pretender who may think they can top her power; in F1 terms she just winds up the boost and leaves almost everyone in her wake.
Whitney may warble, but ain't nobody can match the vocal wrath of Khan.


Mario Biondi - Just The Way You Are (2006)

For those of you that haven't heard this guy, he's an Italian singer who's had a measure of success in his native country. He released an album in 2006 called Handful Of Soul, which contained, amongst other gems, this; a cover of the Billy Joel song. But don't expect a white Italian man to be singing in the style of Joel, oh no; he has a deep vocal style to match (I don't say that lightly) Mr White's rendition!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Bas Noir - Superficial Love (1992)

Not much is known about their origins, but it's assumed that Mary Ridley and Morie Bivins teamed up as Bas Noir (French for black stockings) in the late 1980s. They teamed up with the Burrell brothers Rheji and Rhano, who as Burrell released an album in '88 and had some success with the track I Really Like . The Burrell brothers applied their smooth house sound to the ladies' first single (on the Nu Groove label), My Love Is Magic and became an underground club hit in the US. Ten Records picked the song up for the UK the following year and it reached the lower end of the UK pop charts. They followed it up with I'm Glad You Came To Me, which made an even bigger impact on the dance charts. This attracted the attention of Atlantic in the US, who commissioned the album Ah...Bas Noir with the Burrells producing most of the tracks. They also brought in Kerri Chandler and Dee Dee Brave; however, for the first single from the album they chose the song Superficial Love, the only track not to be produced by either team. It was produced by Michael "Nice" Chapman & Tomi Trent, and was definitely amore of a R&B track. This was probably released to attract a wider audience, but instead it seemed to alienate their existing fan base, who were hoping for another house stomper. (This fate befell another Atlantic house act, Jomanda, though Jomanda managed to have a few big hits before they turned to R&B and effectively ruined their career.)The Kerri Chandler remixes housed it up and the song did reach the top 20 of the Billboard pop chart and did well in dance charts, but it was too late for the album. Subsequent singles Shoe-B-Doo and Addicted 2 U had diminishing returns. They were dropped from Atlantic (along with a slew of other dance acts) and it seemed the end for the duo.
However, in 1995, the song What's My Name by Native Sol was attributed to the ladies, and it appeared that they were forging on together in a new direction, this time getting much more soulful and exploring Acid Jazz. the track was released on Talkin' Loud record, a label  founded by DJ's Gilles Peterson and Norman Jay in 1990.
Nothing else was heard from Native Sol, however, and nothing much can be found about either lady since.


Groove Theory - TELL ME (Album Version) (1995)

Groove Theory was singer Amel Larrieux and rapper/producer Bryce Wilson (formerly of Mantronix), From the 1995 album Groove Theory.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Masters At Work feat, India - I Can't Get No Sleep (Down Low Mix) (1993)

The little-heard Down Low mix; much as I love the various House mixes, this is my favourite version.
The beat to this is pure head-nod.

Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam - Let The Beat Hit 'Em (Super Pumped-Up C&C Vocal Club Mix) (1991)

A dance classic! If you can find this on vinyl, don't think twice, one to rattle the windows. Check The Paradise Garage Club Mix. C&C in their old and good times.

Seduction - Heart Beat (The Clivillés/Cole Club Mix) (1990)

A long-forgotten (by many) 'packaged' girl group created by Cole & Civilles; Seduction had some brilliant club classics including this. Great use of that ol' Funky Drummer sample.
"Now u know this makes no kind of sense, walking 'round here so intense.....u make my..heartbeat...u make me weak..."
That was the jam back in the day.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Faith Evans - You Used To Love Me (1995)

Faith Evans' first single from her debut album Faith. Released as a single in 1995, it peaked at number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Produced by Sean "Diddy" Combs and Chucky Thompson, the song was featured in The Notorious B.I.G biopic, Notorious, when Faith Evans' character sees B.I.G. with another woman in a hotel. In addition, it was also featured in the 2008 film, The Wackness.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Nat King Cole - Lush Life (Produced By Cee-lo) (2009)

Remix for Lush Life on the new Nat King Cole album RE:GENERATIONS.
Cee-lo Green is best known for his vocal work with Gnarls Barklay on 'Crazy'.

The Soul Clan - Soul Meeting (1968)

Written by Don Covay. The Soul Clan are: Solomon Burke, Arthur Conley, Don Covay, Ben E. King and Joe Tex.

Tony Toni Tone - I Couldn't Keep It To Myself (1993)

A criminally forgotten tune from the criminally forgotten 1993 Sons of Soul album. The production to this track has a Roy Ayers feel to it, in my opinion.

Cherrelle - Where Do I Run To (1985)

Written and produced by Cherrelle and Randy Ran; a sleeper track off her High Priority album, it also features the outstanding vocals of her then husband, the aforementioned Mr Ran (sadly no longer with us).

Diana Ross - Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Full Album Version (1970)

The FULL album version of 'Mountain'. Written by Nick Ashford & Valerie Simpson, produced by Harvey Fuqua & Johnny Bristol.
To take what was even by then one of Motown's most iconic hits (their original Marvin & Tammi version), strip it down to it's bare bones, then re-fit it with a different flavour yet still keep it recognisably 'Mountain' - genius.

King Curtis - Memphis Soul Stew (1967)

Curtis Ousley (February 7, 1934 – August 13, 1971), who performed under the stage name King Curtis, was an American saxophone virtuoso known for rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, funk and soul jazz.
Variously a band leader, band member, and session musician, he was also a musical director and record producer. Adept at tenor, alto, and soprano saxophone, he was best known for his distinctive riffs and solos such as on Yakety Yak, which later became the inspiration for Boots Randolph's Yakety Sax and his own Memphis Soul Stew.