SoulCuts Advent Calendar Day 4 – Luther Vandross – This is Christmas

4 12 2010

What would Christmas be without a bit of Luther? His This is Christmas album from ’95 is jam packed with traditional Christmas fodder and some decent original cuts. We’ll be featuring further tracks from the album as the month continues, but today we just had to plump for the delightful title cut. This is Christmas is a traditional Luther deep gospel ballad, with Luther’s vocal performance up their with his very best (and that’s saying something, indeed!). It’s a modern Christmas classic, satisfyingly stamped with Luther’s usual class and charm. Ramp up the fire, fill your glasses, put some Luther on; This is Christmas!


Soul Togetherness 2010 – Best Soul Compilation of the Year?

5 10 2010

It’s that time of the year when us soul fans get all a quiver at the prospect of the forthcoming Soul Togetherness compilation. And 2010’s edition doesn’t look like it’ll disappoint one little bit. Packed to the rafters with monster tunes, Ralph Tee and Richard Searling at Expansion appear to have pulled off another blinder, spoiling the soul fraternity with a set of quality cuts to keep the incumbent winter freeze at bay.

The album kicks of with the modern 80s anthem Back for More by the irrepressible Cool Million featuring old school legend Eugene Wilde. Not a week seems to pass without SoulCuts making reference to Rob Hardt and his cohorts. For my money, it’s the best modern soul track of the year, having rather quickly attained classic status among the soul cognoscenti. It’s brave to kick-off the album with such a storming cut, but the compilers certainly maintain the high quality throughout with SoulCuts favourites coming thick and fast, including the delightful Brian Culbertson / Kenny Lattimore collaboration Another Love, Zo!’s modern rare groove Greatest Weapon of All Time, Jonathan Butler’s greatest ever tune So Strong, that wicked Joey Negro re-rub of the old Matt Bianco tune Half A Minute that’s been blasted all summer, a couple of sweet cuts from Carmen Hendricks and everybody’s favourite jazzy-soul songstress Adriana Evans, the awesome Angela Johnson on the uptempo winner Better and the equally fantastic Richard Earnshaw and Kenny Thomas coming together for a chunky piece of contemporary soulful disco in the shape of the dancefloor filler Waiting.

There are a few tracks on the compilation that I haven’t yet heard, so I’m really looking forward to getting my paws on a copy as soon as I can. However, one track that was unfamiliar to me before I saw the tracklisting is Al Olive’s Slow Down. This cut embodies the spirit of Luther Vandross at the height of his powers and is worth the price of the album alone. It sounds a little like a cross between My Sensitivity and Any Love. That’s a recommendation in my book! I just can’t get enough of this tune. Have a listen, I’m sure you’ll concur!

You can buy it over at Amazon. You know you want it!

Oh! And the compilation also includes my favourite Michael Henderson joint, the divine Take Me, I’m Yours with Rena Scott. I can’t wait to see him perform this at the Luxury Soul Weekender at the start of 2011 alongside other live acts Jean Carne and Cool Million and a host of quality soul DJs. Nice!