Saturday, 30 March 2013

Seduction - Heartbeat (The Clivilles & Cole Club Mix) [A&M/Vendetta 1990]

Seduction was a female dance music trio from New York assembled and produced by David Cole & Robert Clivillés (later of C+C Music Factory fame), consisting of members April Harris, Michelle, and Idalis DeLeon.
Originally intended as a studio project, and prior to any assemblage of the aforementioned trio, the first track produced, "Seduction" (later renamed "Seduction's Theme"), featured vocals by Carol Cooper, and was released to dance clubs. Against its producers' expectations, it ended up becoming a hit. Envisioning a potential hit phenomenon, Cole and Clivillés set to the task of assembling a group of girls who displayed talent, sex appeal, and multiformat potential. Visage, DeLeon and Harris were chosen and assembled for the recording of the album Nothing Matters Without Love and subsequent singles. Their biggest hit came in early 1990 with "Two to Make It Right", a No. 2 pop hit. In mid-1990 DeLeon left the group and was replaced by Sinoa Loren. After a pair of hits with this line-up, the group disbanded in 1991.
Heartbeat was originally recorded in 1981 by Taana Gardner. It was arranged by Dennis Weeden and Kenton Nix, and released by West End Records, with the more famous club mix created by Larry Levan. It reached US Billboard R&B at no.10, US Billboard Dance charts at no.6.
In 1990, Seduction recorded the song which peaked at number two on the dance charts. This version also peaked at no.21 on the soul chart and number thirteen on the Billboard Hot 100.


Thursday, 14 March 2013

The Doggett Brothers feat. Sulene Fleming, Jazz Café, 9th March 2013

I don't get out to live gigs anywhere near as much as I should, but the last few I have attended have by pure chance managed to involve Sulene Fleming in some way. After seeing her strut round the stage at the 100 club last November in a manner that would make Tina Turner salute, I had the privilege of seeing her perform once again, this time at the Jazz Café, fronting The Doggett Brothers as part of the launch of their new album, Daylight.
If you're not familiar with the Doggett Brothers, they are Greg Doggett on lead guitar, Carl Doggett on drums, Benjamin Race on bass, and Andrew Nimmo on keyboard, sax and clarinet. James Junior and Sharn Adela were on backing vocals.

They're not quite the easiest band to pinpoint musically; they have quoted influences as diverse as Jamiroquai, Incognito, The Average White Band, Roy Ayers and Prince. It certainly showed too; their mostly album-based set was a gentle mix of guitar-based jazzy soul with tracks like That's The Way Love IsReminds Me Of YouDaylight and Tokyo also showing a distinct Brand New Heavies influence, a big compliment coming from someone who is a die-hard Heavies fan.
Thats not to pigeon-hole them though; It's Complicated pays more than a little homage to The Purple One in it's musical structure and vocal narrative, while Hit The Beat with it's synth melody and prowling electronic bassline would find a home on most Brit-soul LPs from the 80's with ease. They do a pretty good instrumental too; The Pass and more prominently Sin Fin show the Doggetts showcasing their musical talent, the latter track reminding me of many a uptempo Fusion composition.

Lets not forget Ms. Fleming, the reason I know about the Doggetts; a great performance, with her now-usual energy and on this occasion sounding like Chaka Khan with a dash of Alyson Williams thrown in. She was a great match for the material. If you ever get a chance to see her live do so; her vocals, while great on the album, gain an extra dimension in a live setting.
One other track performed on Saturday must be mentioned that alas isn't on the album for fairly obvious reasons; a worthy cover of the the Stevie Wonder/Susaye Greene-penned I Can't Help It (made famous by Michael Jackson on his Off The Wall album) was double-teamed by Sulene and James Junior to great effect.

A great gig; Camden's Jazz Café has always been a great place for me to discover new talent and Saturday was no exception; the Doggetts are quite the revelation, a collective talent that will go onto bigger things in the future. I recommend the album.

Here's a sampler: