Archive for the ‘ Soul ’ Category

The Jamal Thomas Band – Funk Don’t Move

Jamal Thomas is an excellent drummer with more than 30 years performance experience. He played with Maceo Parker, the SOS Band and the producer duo Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis.

His solo debut was Family, a vocal album. His newest project is the Jamal Thomas Band, a loose formation with changing members. This band was founded in 2009. The first album was Future in 2013. Funk Don’t Move (2017) is the sophomore album.

The band consists of Jamal Thomas (drums & lead vocals), Maya Lisa (lead & backing vocals), Alex Bernath (drums & rap), Daniel Lottersberger (bass), Coen Molenaar (keys & synth bass), Frank Deruytter ( sax & backing vocals) and Guy Nikkels (guitar). Guest musicians on selected tracks are Chuck Leavell ( piano, Hammond) and Rodney “Skeet” Curtis (bass).

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D Rolark – Soulidify

Multi-Instrumentalist D Rolark releases his most soulful album to date, Soulidify. A sophisticated blend of Smooth Jazz, Soul, R&B, Funk, and Inspirational, Soulidify encompasses D Rolark on keys, Piccolo Bass, 5-String Bass, Rhythm Guitar, Drums, and his debut on vocals, also featuring smooth & soulful inspirational vocalist Tamirah Leigh Terry. Soulidify presents the opening Minneapolis funk/Marcus Miller-inspired track, “Get On Up”, the smooth/soulful dance title track, the socially conscious anthem “Let Love Arise” which features D Rolark’s debut on vocals along with Tamirah Leigh Terry, the impressing track “Giving My All 2 U”, the Isley Brothers/Wayman Tisdale-inspired “Peace of Mind”, the Gregg Karukas-influenced “Lake View”, and the smoothness of “Positive Perspective”. Be prepared to be soulidified from a smooth soulful spiritual perspective.

This album is available on CDBaby.

Eban Brown – Summertime in Tokyo

Hailing from Newark, NJ, Harold Eban Brown is a world-renowned guitarist, composer and singer. Motivated by strong family support and a firm belief in God, Eban exhibited a gift for music at an exceptionally early age. Eban began playing guitar and singing with several gospel groups by age seven and as he became older his interest in studying jazz guitar was influenced by Wes Montgomery, George Benson, David T. Walker, Larry Carlton, Grant Geissman, George Duke, and Bobby Caldwell. It was during this time that Eban Brown, realized another gift, that of a songwriter. In 1991, Eban Brown became the lead vocalist for his idol artist group RAY, GOODMAN & BROWN (better known as The MOMENTS). Although Eban was originally chosen to sign on as the group’s guitarist, instead, he was instantly moved to the front line to sing with his idol group. The founding members thought his physical characteristics were too young at the time to take promotional photos for marketing, so he continued to perform with the group for two and a half years. Later Eban would become a member of the one-time Grammy-Award winning group; The MANHATTANS (featuring Gerald Alston and Blue Lovett) his stay was very short lived due to future accomplishments.

In 1993, Eban became the lead vocalist of the DELFONICS, and was the first lead vocalist of the DELFONICS to be inducted into the 98.7 KISS FM HALL OF FAME, in New York City, the NAACP HALL OF FAME, in Atlanta, GA and in 1996, received a NAACP award for his accomplishments as lead vocalist of The DELFONICS. The Delfonics, which featured Wilbert Hart, Major Harris and Eban Brown, has dazzled fans overseas, as well as the United States. In 1995, with the DELFONICS, Eban recorded a live album “Wil Hart and The DELFONICS live in Chattanooga, TN which was considered one of the group’s most treasured recordings. In April 2000, with great anticipation, Brown became the lead vocalist of the world-renowned STYLISTICS, following Mr. Russell Thompkins Jr., the original lead vocalist. As it stands, Eban is the youngest Classic Soul recording artist in the History of Classic Soul Music.

His solo projects are Master Suite (2002), Restless Soul (2004), Exit 15 (2006), Determinism (2009), and Summertime in Tokyo (2014). This album is on sale at Amazon.com.

Soweco – Keep On

Sweden based formation Soweco consists of Fredric Renmark (vocals), Mattias Roos (keys) and Peter Gustafsson (drums). The band name is an abbreviation of Soul West Coast (SoWeCo) and their music style can be defined as soul, west coast and smooth jazz. Their debut album Don’t Hide Your Love hit the streets in 2012, followed by the sophomore album Only You in 2015.

Meanwhile, Mathias Roos started a solo career and released the albums My Story (2016) and Movin’ Up (2017). However, this should by no means be interpreted as a dissolution phenomenon. Soweco is back with their new album Keep On (2017). Mathias already worked with Skytown Records on his second album. This fruitful collaboration, the band is now continuing with their new album. The Japanese version has another cover and a different order of songs than the US version.

Keep On evokes memories of the time, when funk, soul, and R&B were still in their infancy, ultramodern, innovative and full of surprises. The title song featuring guitar hero U-Nam perfectly hits this sonic sweet point of the past. Don’t Hide Your Love is drawn from Soweco’s debut album presents singer “Frosche” Renmark in a prominent role.

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Soul Basement – What We Leave Behind

Internationally renowned musician and producer Fabio Puglisi acknowledged by his professional name Soul Basement has released in 2016 the album What We Leave Behind, a collaboration with one of the best American vocalists, Jay Nemor.

The album gives a first impression of Jay Nemor’s great phrasing and virtually flawless technique with I’m Doing Fine. His timbre combines the elegance of Jon Lucien with the roughness of Gil Scott-Heron, while the style reminds of the vocal and instrumental appearance of Incognito.

Noise Pollution tackles one of the critical issues of our time, the overburdening of people through political noise. In this way, the piece is in line and tradition with other social-critical songs such as Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On or Donny Hathaway’s The Ghetto. Vocal quality does not displace the depth of social criticism on the one hand or the entertainment factor on the other.

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Maysa – Love Is A Battlefield

The critics are raving, the audience is captivated. Everything Maysa is touching with her voice turns to gold. She is the undisputed queen of soul, R&B, acid jazz and all that genres she comes in contact with.

Her new album Love Is A Battlefield revolves around the topic love like many of her previous projects. Therefore, it is not a coincidence that the starting track has the title The Things We Do For Love. With the enchanting love ballade she echoes her unrequited emotive affection. Producers Chris “Big Dog” Davis has perfectly captured the magic moment of ultimate sweetness.

Can We Talk is a song recorded by R&B singer Tevin Campbell and composed and produced by Babyface. Maysa changes the persons in the lyrics to give the song more sense. When she intonates her truly rewarding vocals, the sun stands still shining right on your place. The million-selling sound explosion Love Is a Battlefield by Pat Benatar is up-tempo and rebelliously minded. Maysa slows down the song to a spiritual content, and the ability to involve the listener in an intense dialogue.

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Grainger – Phase III: Lets Go Back

Whoever was waiting for a new album of the group Grainger had to bring great stamina. Brothers Gary Grainger (bass guitar, tenor bass, keyboards and vocals) and Gregory K. Grainger (drums, percussion, keyboards and vocals) have started their project with the debut album Phase I in 1998, soon followed by Phase II in 2002.

Finally, after a longer than anticipated time both show some understanding and release Phase III: Lets Go Back, an EP with the promise for more to come. This time sequence can be explained with the fact, that the brothers belong to the most active musicians in the history of music. Reading their biography is in this context very helpful.

Guest musicians on this album are saxophonist Kim Waters, vocalists Brian Fox and Freedom Imani, and keyboardist Jim Beard, who performs in John Scofield’s band.

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