vendredi 30 novembre 2012

Natural Four- Heaven Right Here On Earth (Soul)

1. Heaven Right Here On Earth 
2. Love's So Wonderful 
3. Count On Me 
4. Baby Come On 
5. What Do You Do? 
6. Give This A Try 
7. What's Happening Here? 
8. While You're Away 

 Talk about a group who didn't quite get there due,the Natural 4 is one of those groups.They are as smooth stepping as they are singing.Such tracks as "Heaven right here on Earth" and"Try love again" are just a little sample of what these four men from Oakland California can do.If you can find anything by these guys,but it!They are truly in the category with The Stylistics,The Whispers and The Dramatics and ChiLites.

dimanche 25 novembre 2012

Eddie Kendricks - People ... Hold On (Soul)

1. If You Let Me 
2. Let Me Run into Your Lonely Heart 
3. Day by Day 
4. Girl You Need a Change of Mind 
5. Someday We'll Have a Better World 
6. My People Hold On 
7. Date with the Rain 
8. Eddie'e Love 
9. I'm on the Sideline 
10. Just Memories 

 This album, PEOPLE...HOLD ON, is my all time favorite by Eddie Kendricks. This was his second solo effort after leaving the Temptations, and it clearly defined the musical direction he would be taking in his career. Recorded a year before his first real taste of commercial (read: crossover) success (1972), the material and production presented here probably outshined anything he ever made that came afterward. Now this is not to downplay Kendricks' smashes "Keep On Truckin'" or "Boogie Down" or any of his stellar subsequent LPs; I loved those songs as a little kid and I still enjoy listening to them to this day. But PEOPLE...HOLD ON marked a real departure for Eddie: he got rid of the formulatic sound that had marked most of Motown's records, and chose a Washington, D.C.-based R&B band, The Young Senators (which was also his backup band on tour), to play behind him on these sessions instead. The result: an amazing chunk of funk with a splash of honey added to it. And Eddie's confidence as a soloist had definitely grown since his debut in 1971. Produced by (now the Reverend) Frank Wilson and Chess Records alumni Leonard Caston, Jr., PEOPLE...HOLD ON was a concept album that was specifically geared towards Eddie's largest fan base --African-Americans -- and sold well among that market (as would all of his solo works). It featured cut after cut of songs that made the Thin Man from Birmingham get back to his roots: gospel-drenched ballads ("Day By Day", "Just Memories"), ballads with a funk/reggae-tinged edge ("If You Let Me", "Eddie's Love", "I'm On The Sideline"), hot dance cuts ("Girl You Need A Change of Mind", "Date With The Rain") and soulful message music ("Someday We'll Have a Better World", "My People...Hold On"). The title song, "My People...", is an absolute triumph, an adventurous, hypnotic tune that features African drums, chants, hand claps, and dramatic spoken passages. Talk about going back to your roots? Well, Eddie really put it on us here, taking us all the way back to the Motherland, with an almost revolutionary message. Particularly worth noting is the full version of the brilliant arrangement of "Girl You Need a Change of Mind", a song that addresses feminism, which is included here in its full glory. Relentlessly coming at you, it has a couple of breakdowns in the song that were similarly used with great success on Eddie's later hits "Truckin'" and "Boogie Down". "Change of Mind" has been documented by many to be the first disco record (playing time: 7:30), and it is still very popular in club circles and on classic soul radio. It stamped Eddie with the reputation for waxing some of the tightest dance tracks to ever come out of Motown in the '70s. His falsetto sounds wonderfully seductive, with the male voices in the background encouraging his rap...convincing an independent woman that he's in her corner, but he's asking her not to get so caught up in being a superwoman that she puts making love to him out of her mind ("Now I'm for women's rights, I just want equal nights"). Whatcha say to that? Also worth mentioning is the the opening tune, a Frank Wilson composition, "If You Let Me". Eddie's pristine natural tenor is the focus here, and it is one of the best vocal performances he has ever turned in -- in or out of the Temptations. Pouring emotion into each lyric, you kind of get the feeling that the song indeed held some deep personal meaning for him. When he sings "Just tryin' to make ya see, my mind done all but left me"-- you honestly believe it. It was also Eddie's highest charting R&B single since his departure from the group, and signaled that something huge was on the horizon. IMO, the only flaw on the album is "Let Me Run Into Your Lonely Heart", which is a raw, funky little cut, but the arrangement of the song is a bit too discordant for me to fully enjoy. But aside from that, PEOPLE...HOLD ON is something definitely worth "holding on" to, a true soul classic. Once you get this in your hands, you'll never want to let go. Motown, you know what to do -- get it back out there for us to enjoy on CD! This is, without a doubt, EJK's masterpiece.

samedi 24 novembre 2012

Herbie Hancock - Man Child

1. Hang up your hang ups
2. Sun touch
 3. The trailor
 4. Bubbels
 5. Steppin' in it
 6. Heartbeat

Considering that this album is the follow up to Herbie Hancock's brilliant 'Headhunters' and 'Thrust',the albums that wrote the book on the funk-jazz sound 'Man-Child' is bound to be as magical an album as the mysterious cover art suggests and it is."Hang Up Your Hang Ups" is a strident,funky blacksploitation thats chocked FULL of guitar and Moog breaks for you hip-hop samplers!Elsewhere "Sun Touch" and "Bubbles" are smoldering,drippy funky fusion filled with lush,melodic keyboard and analog synth textures."The Traiter","Heartbeat" and "Steppin In It" are harder edged uptempo funk.Overall 'Man-Child' comes off as the 'pure funk album' Herbie was planning to make with his previous two records because the jazz influences are kept to a bare minimum.For fans of fusion and mid 70's electronic Moog/ARP funk this album is a treasure but for those interested in earlier,more abstract fusion this may not be your thing.It's only a pitty that some very similar sounding and conceived albums by George Duke and Jan Hammer from roughly this same period remain out of print.It's a testament to the fact that,luckily,Hancock managed to be connected with Columbia records who have kept classic funk LP's by Herbie Hancock like this in print!

vendredi 23 novembre 2012

Side Effect - What You Need (Funk)

01. Always There 
02. Keep That Same Old Feeling 
03. Time Has No Ending 
04. S.O.S. 
05. Honky Tonk Scat 
06. Finally Found Someone 
07. Changes 
08. Life Is What You Make It 
09. I Know You Can

jeudi 22 novembre 2012

Blue Mitchell - Funktion Junction (Jazz)

A1. I'm In Heaven 
 A2. AM-FM Blues 
 A3. Then Came You 
 A4. Daydream 
 B1. Love Machine 
 B2. Delilah 
 B3. Collaborations 

 Blue Mitchell made his name as a member of Horace Silver's quintet, where his lyrical playing and beautiful timbre perfectly complemented Silver's simplified, soulful brand of bop. When Silver disbanded his group the members stayed together under Mitchell's leadership; Silver and Brooks were replaced by Chick Corea and Al Foster, whose places were later taken by Harold Mabern and Billy Higgins. A very good and very funky record by Blue Mitchell.

mardi 20 novembre 2012

The Imperials - Who’s gonna love me (Soul)

A1 Who’s Gonna Love Me 
A2 You Better Take Time To Love 
 A3 Where You Gonna Find Somebody Like Me
 A4 I Really Think We Can Make It Together 
 B1 Dance With Me 
 B2 Do What I Gotta Do 
 B3 Can You Imagine 
 B4 No One Makes Love Like You Do

lundi 19 novembre 2012

Claudia Lennear - Phew (Funk)

Side one 
A1. It Ain't Easy 
A2. Sing With The Children 
A3. Sister Angela 
A4. Not At All 
A5. Casey Jones 

 Side two 
 B1. Going Down 
B2. From A Whisper To A Scream 
B3. Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky
 B4. What'd I Do Wrong 
B5. Going Down 

dimanche 18 novembre 2012

The Whispers - Imagination (Funk)

1. Imagination 
2. It's A Love Thing 
3. Say You (Would Love For Me Too) 
4. Continental Shuffle 
5. I Can Make It Better 
6. Girl I Need You 
7. Up On Soul Train 
8. Fantasy 

 Imagination turns out to be some of the most energetic and sentimental albums The Whispers had released in their long career. Thanks to the production wonders of Leon Sylvers, Don Cornelius (for jammin'), and the band (for romancin'), Imagination was a great follow up to 1979's self titled lp that contained the #1 hit, "And The Beat Goes On." Now on to the songs, "I Can Make It Better" and "It's A Love Thing" was what rocked the whole lp with the violins, guitar picks, and slick bass lines and smooth lyrics (written by in-house SOLAR extrodinaire, Dana Myers). Those jams well mixed romance with funk. Another familar groovy tune was "Up On Soul Train" (obviously produced by Soul Train host and founder, Don Cornelius) of which served as Soul Train's theme song from 1980 to 1982 (before O'Bryan's "Soul Trains A Comin'" replaced it mid-way in the 12th season). "Continental Shuffle" (written by Lakeside's Mark Wood) was groovy while the sentimental "Say You (Would Love For Me Too)" stood as a great classic Whispers' ballad. Nothing much to say but to enjoy another Whispers classic album. Like their 1979 self titled lp, Imagination was a big enough hit for a SOLAR all star tour (with Lakeside, Shalamar and Dynasty) as well as four promotional videos (two of them were for "It's A Love Thing" and "Say You (Would Love For Me Too)") of which the latter which were new promotional tools for African American musicians.

samedi 17 novembre 2012

James Mason - Rhythm Of Life (Funk)

1. Sweet Power Ypur Embrace 
2. Good Thing 
3. Free 
4. Mbewe 
5. Funny Girl 
6. Slick City 
7. Rhythm Of Life 
8. Hey Hey Hey 
9. Ive Got My Eyes On You 
10. Dreams 

Obviously this is not the actor James Mason, but this mind movie is made by Roy Ayres guitarist of the same name. This album has a funk disco feel, but when I say this, I am not talking about mirror ball glitter, but a danceable, 1970s CTI feel. Rhythm Of Life is covered by early synthesizers, and grooves you can step to, but glide with a cool vibe and not a mirror ball stomp. The title track reminds me of listening to late 1970s FM radio: one of those amazing and novel detours a well versed DJ would take, back when DJs could cook sets the way they pleased. The rest of Rhythm Of Life does not have quite the grip of the title track, but with excellent female vocals and tight as a right foot step playing, the whole album has a compelling grip you will be digging on for a long time.

Steel Pulse - True Democracy (Reggae)

1. Chant A Psalm 
2. Ravers 
3. Find It...Quick 
4. A Who Responsible? 
5. Worth His Weight In Gold (Rally Round) 
6. Leggo Beast 
7. Blues Dance Raid 
8. Your House 
9. Man No Sober 
10. Dub' Marcus Say 
11. Ravers (12" Version) 
12. Leggo Beast (12" Version) 
13. Your House (Dub Version) 
14. A Who Responsible (Dub Version) 

 Mixing impassioned political and social protest with stellar Rasta bats, these sons of Jamaican immigrants-led by David Hinds rose out of humble Birmingham origins to become one of the U.K.'s all-time greatest reggae acts and a globallyl revered band. Their live shows-both headlining and opening for Bob Marley and others-are legendary. Steel Pulse's Elektra debut album, True Democracy, ranks as one of their strongest, and Earth Crisis further built on their legacy as musical innovators and human rights advocates. Often fusing elements of jazz, dancehall, hip-hop, and Latin music into a roots reggae base, Steel Pulse will forever remain icons of the genre.

The Temprees - Lovemen (Soul)

A1 Explain It To Her Mama
 A2 If I Could Say What's On My Mind
 A3 (Girl) I Love You
 A4 I Love You, You Love Me
 A5 We've Only Just Begun
 B1 Dedicated To The One i Love
 B2 My Baby Love
 B3 I'm For You, You For Me
 B4 Love....Can Be So Wonderful

jeudi 15 novembre 2012

Tamiya Lynn - Love Is Here and Now You're Gone (Soul)

1 Monologue: Introduction to a Love Affair
 2 Wings Upon Your Horns
 3 Monologue: Hoping
 4 Love Is Here and Now You're Gone 
 5 Monologue: Final Attempt
 6 Can't Last Much Longer
 7 Monologue: The Next Time!
 8 That's Understanding
 9 I'm Gonna Run Away From You
 10 Ain't No Soul (Left in These Old Shoes)
 11 World You Left Behind You
 12 Never No More
 13 Mojo Hanna
 14 One Night of Sin 

 Love Is Here and Now You're Gone album by Tamiya Lynn was released Aug 23, 2005 on the DBK Works label. Lynn attempts to do what Margie Joseph did with "Stop in the Name of Love": tack a sassy monologue on the front of a Supremes hit and see if it flies. Love Is Here and Now You're Gone music CDs It didn't. Love Is Here and Now You're Gone songs Though it's a nice effort, it didn't cause any rumblings like Joseph's Fred Briggs production did. Love Is Here and Now You're Gone album The album is consistently good, however, and one wonders why there isn't a CD compilation of Tamiya Lynn's recordings. Love Is Here and Now You're Gone CD music Bert Berns' "I'm Gonna Run Away" is a tearjerker that's a big favorite in England with the Northern soul crowd; she gets funky on a Major Lance remake, "Ain't No Soul (Left In These Old Shoes)," and does a splendid "Mojo Hanna," originally done by Henry Lumpkin on Motown; Marvin Gaye also recorded the song about the New Orleans' roots woman, but the Ideals' rendition on Cortland Records is the best version for your money.

mardi 13 novembre 2012

Ralph Tresvant - Ralph Tresvant (RNB)

1. Rated R 
2. Sensitivity 
3. She's My Love Thang 
4. Stone Cold Gentleman 
5. Do What I Gotta Do 
6. Love Hurts 
7. Girl I Can't Control It 
8. Love Takes Time 
9. Public Figure (Ordinary Guy) 
10. Last Night 
11. I Love You (Just For You) 
12. Alright Now 
13. Sensitivity 
14. Sensitivity (Ralph's Rap) 

 Ralph Tresvant is undoubtedly one of the most attractive, smooth heartthrobs in the music industry. He has this subtle sexiness about himself that women just can't deny. Further, he also has a very nice singing voice. Hey, he wasn't New Edition's lead singer for nothing! His self-titled debut, although solid, is more of a hit and miss than anything. The best songs on this album are memorable, but his more lackluster tracks really brought the album down. His biggest missteps were his rapping and that a lot of the material on his debut sound dated, with so much of the New Jack sound infused. The New Jack sound is all over the tracks "Ordinary Guy (Public Figure)", "She's My Love Thang" and "Girl I Can't Control It." "Girl I Can't Control" is one of the weaker songs on Ralph's debut. The lyrics are corny and the production sounds like it was created within five minutes. Vocally, though, he sounds good. "Ordinary Guy (Public Figure)" is a decent song. Ralph needs to leave the rapping to the rappers, but the rap on this song? The lyrics are good. He's letting everyone who doubts him know that he is very intelligent and can do more than just hold a note. "Rated R" is the opening track, however, it's also the weakest track on the album. The production samples James Brown, he is once again rapping and there are these annoying women in the background. He definitely could have opened his album better than he did. Ralph really had a hit on his hands with "Sensitivity". This song was a hit when it was released and it's no wonder: The lyrics are fantastic, the vocal arrangement is great, and the production is good too. This is overall a superb song. "Alright Now" is another great song. This song was co-written by the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Ralph makes a great rendition of this song, and I found myself going back to listen to it several times because it's just that good. "Do What I Gotta Do" emotes a lot of pain and uncertainty. Here, Ralph is deciding whether or not he wants to end a relationship. He brings much personality to his voice in this song. "Do What I Gotta Do" is one of Ralph's all-time best songs. Overall, this is a solid album. Ralph Tresvant is a truly talented artist and should be recognized for his vocal skills. This album is worth investing in.

lundi 12 novembre 2012

Hi-Tek - Hi-Teknology (Rap)

1. Scratch Rappin 
2. The Sun God 
3. Get Back Pt.II 
4. Breakin' Bread 
5. All I Need Is You 
6. Where I'm From 
7. Tony Guitar Watson 
8. Round &a Round 
9. Get Ta Steppin' 
10. There From Hi-Tek 
11. L.T.A.H. 
12. Suddenly 
13. The Illest It Gets 
14. Hi-Teknology 

 On his debut solo album, Hi-Teknology, Cincinnati producer Hi-Tek brings together some of hip-hop's most innovative lyricists to complete his multilayered musical collages. Hi-Tek made his name producing for Black Star and Reflection Eternal, creating impressive tracks that were always as complex as the rhymes that Mos Def and Talib Kweli rhymed over them. On Hi-Teknology, however, he's not limited to the range of just two MCs, and each track is fashioned to custom fit the artists featured. "The Sun God," featuring Common and Vinia Mojica, is a musical composition that is nothing short of perfect. Common is at his poetic best, telling a moving story over Hi-Tek's soulful production, which blends unidentifiable sounds to create an atmosphere that has a mysterious story of its own. "Breakin' Bread" is an archetypal hip-hop track with a hazy flute sample that gives the song a jazzy feel. And the funky production on the risqué "L.T.A.H.," featuring Slum Village, will transport listeners to the '70s. With Hi-Teknology, Hi-Tek secures his place among the great producers by bringing serious musicianship to hip-hop production and creating a truly satisfying album.

dimanche 11 novembre 2012

Johnny Robinson - Memphis High (Funk/Soul)

1. Funky Feet 
2. We Are Gonna Make It 
3. For Your Love 
4. Kansas City 
5. God Is Love 
6. Slip Away 
7. Nothing Can Touch This Love 
8. Lady Doctor 
9. Person To Person 
10. Reconsider Me 
11. Don't Take It So Hard

Johnny Robinson's sole studio LP remains a lost classic of Memphis soul. Produced by Willie Mitchell during one of his rare sabbaticals from the Hi Records stable, Memphis High captures a rougher, earthier sound than Mitchell's landmark work for Al Green or Ann Peebles but proves well suited to Robinson's gritty, impassioned approach. Robinson is a quintessential deep soul balladeer, rooted in gospel and haunted by demons. Mitchell's slow-burning arrangements mirror the intensity of his subject, evoking the purity and turmoil of his psyche.

Billy Butler - Sugar Candy Lady (Soul/Funk)

1. Sugar Candy Lady 
2. I Know The Feeling Well 
3. Play My Music 
4. The Saga Of Sadie Lee 
5. Feel The Magic 
6. I'm Gonna Make Her Mine 
7. Alone At Last (Part 1 & 2) 
8. My Love For You Grows 
9. She's Got Me Singing

Great Goove Over Here !!!