The Alternative John Barry Tribute….

1 02 2011

…comes courtesy of the UK’s finest, Mr Omar Lye-Fook, with the Midnight Cowboy sampling, In The Morning from his greatest album, the appropriately titled Best By Far…


RIP D’Influence Founding Member, Steve Marston

30 12 2010

I was gutted to hear the news of Steve Marston’s death this month. As a co-founder of the mighty D-Influence, Steve was responsible for some of best soul music of the nineties. On a personal level, D’Influence were hugely influential in shaping my tastes and passion for soul music. Nearly twenty years on, their albums sound as fresh as when they were released. Check the tribute selection below for evidence and then scoot off and pick up their first few albums, Good4We, Prayer4Unity and London – each one a classic of nineties soul.

His friend Kim Trotter enlightens us on Steve’s truly inspirational character, You know he was told he had cancer, and since then he travelled the world, fell in love, married, settled in Colombia, had a baby, released a new album and set up a hair care company whose products are used by Michelle Obama! Never mind what he had already achieved! He was such an inspiration, he really knew how to live.

Steve was a multi-instrumentalist and talented producer who had worked with a vast array of premier league talent including Mick Jagger, Tom Jones, Mark Morrison, Seal, Eric Benet, Tom Browne, Simply Red, Maxi Priest, Changing Faces, Dru Hill, Beverly Knight and Heather Headley. He had recently released his first sax-led project, the smooth Sax Water, to much acclaim from the smooth jazz fraternity.

I’d long since given up hope on a new D’Influence album appearing in the racks, but this sad news confirms my worst fears. Thank goodness my younger self had the foresight to buy everything they did back in the day. RIP, Steve.

Props to SoulBounce for making us aware of this awfully sad new and thanks to twitter buddy, SoulCityLondon for filling in the gaps.

SoulCuts Advent Calendar – All Good Things in Time…

29 12 2010

Apologies for the lack of content over the past couple of weeks, but it’s Christmas, for gawd’s sake and I’ve been trying to drink my way out of a vat of brown booze for the past couple of weeks. My head’s just above the frothy top now, giving me the opportunity to tip-tap this last entry in the much-loved and little-read SoulCuts Advent Calendar. And it just had to be The Whispers with their funk/disco evergreen Funky Christmas. Mrs SoulCuts adores this track and has even been known to ask for a ‘rewind’ just so she can get her jingle bells on! And before you ask, that ain’t a euphemism!

‘Though it’s been said many times, many ways, Merry Christmas SoulCutters. Big Love!

SoulCuts Advent Calendar – Day 21 – Rahsaan Patterson – Wonderful Christmastime

21 12 2010

Rahsaan Patterson is undoubtedly one of the greatest soul artists of our generation. Jam-packed with tunes that nimbly walk the fine line between kitsch, sentiment and soul, his Ultimate Gift is a modern classic that plays with our expectations of both Christmas music and Rahsaan Patterson. We’ll give it a full review next Christmas! It’ll be worth revisiting, that’s for sure! In the meantime, check out his decidedly purple version of Paul McCartney’s Wonderful Christmastime, a tune that, in its original guise, was ubiquitous each and every Christmas growing up in the 80s. Rahsaan manages to remain faithful to the original while funking it up to the sparkly top of the tree. And, he surely wins the prize for the greatest use of auto-tune of the past 10 years. Check it out:

And Rahsaan’s fabulous new single Easier Said Than Done is now available via iTunes. I cannot wait to hear his new album, Bleuphoria, due Spring 2011. That would be the ultimate gift.

SoulCuts Advent Calendar – Day 17 – Love Unlimited – It May Be Winter Outside (But In My Heart It’s Spring)

17 12 2010

At the supermarket today they were blasting out the Christmas music. All the usual suspects assaulted my sensitive soulful senses as I pushed my wobbly trolley up and down the aisles, stocking up on booze, crisps and chocolate for my dinner. But when I reached the checkout, this joyful little track came on, reminding me how much I love Barry White’s music. Even the checkout staff’s awful harmonies couldn’t spoil the moment. Feel free to sing along; it’s a populist, Christmas soul classic!

SoulCuts Advent Calendar – Day 15 – Salsoul Orchestra – You’re All I Want For Christmas

15 12 2010

What’s a Christmas party without a little disco? How about some Salsoul? Yes please, I hear you cry, shaking your jingle bells. Salsoul records released some of the greatest disco of the classic era with a dream line-up that included Instant Funk, Loleatta Holloway, Jocelyn Brown, Double Exposure, First Choice, Joe Bataan, the Salsoul Orchestra, Inner Life and Skyy. It’s a lush, string laden sound that will never be repeated.

You’re All I Want for Christmas is a joyous slice of soulful disco from the superbly titled Christmas Jollies II. Produced by the legendary Patrick Adams, with the unmistakable Jocelyn Brown on vocals, it’s one of those cuts that sounds fabulous whatever the season. Ho! Ho! Ho!

SoulCuts Advent Calendar – Day 12 – Alexander O’ Neal – My Gift To You

13 12 2010

Alex O’ Neal’s My Gift to You is one of the greatest Christmas albums of all time. Produced by Jam & Lewis at the height of their powers, it’s an absolute belter from start to finish. We’ll be featuring at least two cuts as part of the calendar, the first of them being the title track. I’ve been playing this album pretty much every year for the past twenty and have to state that it never gets tired. Stuffed full of original tracks, it’s a timeless collection that’ll provide the perfect soundtrack to your Christmas party.