funk . soul . jazz . nu-jazz


Genre pick of the week Cover of Love Is A Hurtin' Thing by Gloria Ann Taylor.
Amidst much anticipation from collectors, record stores, DJs and producers alike, Gloria Ann Taylor’s musical output on Selector Sound finally gets an official reissue.

Soul singer Gloria Ann Taylor has no rags to riches tale to tell. Her story is one of personal sacrifice, failed relationships, and missed opportunity. She was leading a hard knock life before being swept-up by the flash and promise of a marriage and business partnership with a successful record producer. She would be nominated for a Grammy, rub shoulders with James Brown and Bootsy Collins, and turn heads from Motown. But in the end she rejected professional singing, the music business, and the lifestyle that came with it. Thankfully for music lovers, before Gloria closed the doors on her singing career, she left us with some amazing soul songs. Deeply shaded by gospel roots, her haunting sound clearly comes from the gut. Gloria did not fake the funk.

Gloria was a partial owner of the Selector Sounds label, along with her husband/producer Walter Whisenhunt (previously a right-hand man to James Brown), and her brother Leonard. They released five Gloria Taylor singles between 1971 and 1977. They also released the three-song Deep Inside You EP, under the name Gloria Ann Taylor and Walter Whisenhunt’s Orchestra. In the studio Whisenhunt would work up a unique musical brew that mixed northern soul with exotic percussion and fuzzy psychedelic guitars. He moved Gloria through a range of tempos and stylings from ballads to disco. Her gritty vocal performance was set to orchestral arrangements creating a juxtaposition of grandeur and solace. The pinnacle of their collaborations has to be the jaw-droppingly epic EP version of “Love Is a Hurting Thing”; a chugging, string-laden disco track, that sounds like proto-Theo Parrish. (excerpt from liner notes by Andrew Jervis)


2xLP Info: Deluxe triple-gatefold double LP package complete with photos and extensive liner notes.

“My last record was a break up record and if I had to label this one I would call it a make up record. I’m making up with myself. making up for lost time. making up for everything I ever did and never did.”

So says Adele about her new long player '25'. "Highly anticipated" doesn't quite cut it, with the video for lead single 'Hello' clocking in at 404,293,556 views the last time I looked (and undoubtedly more by the time you read this). '25' might be the event record of 2015, but really it's a continuation of the sound that brought '21' 9 x platinum global sales. The intimate piano ballads, epic swelling choruses, R&B pop hints and BIG production are all present and correct on '25', along with the emotional catch in Adele's voice - the thing that lifts her head and shoulders above all the melisma-ing X-Factor wannabes. The album features co-production from Greg Kurstin, Tobias Jesso Jr ('When We Were Young'), Danger Mouse ('River Lea') and Swedish pop svengalis Max Martin & Shellback ('Send My Love (To Your New Lover)') 

Jeff Buckley / Sly & The Family Stone

Everyday People

    Jeff Buckley's interpretation of Sly Stone's Classic Everyday People along with the original. Pressed on standard black vinyl.


    Ltd 7" Info: Black Friday exclusive!

    The subject of Music From Memory’s latest compilation release is the elusive and mysterious Philadelphian musician Napoleon Cherry (aka Cool Waters). In the late 80s and early 90s Cherry privately released two LPs and an EP which form the basis of this retrospective, alongside an unreleased cut "When You Had The Chance" which was recently released on 12” in collaboration with US label PPU. Recorded with a very DIY aesthetic and a strong presence of gospel and R&B, Cherry’s unique take on soul and funk music, reflect a rawness that stands in contrast to the slick, over-produced soul of that era. With appearances by jazz musicians such as the late celebrated saxophonist Byard Lancaster, who coincidentally played with MFM’s previous compilation subject Vito Ricci, Napoleon’s music seems to defy any clear categorisation. From cocktail jazz funk to intergalactic synth workouts to melancholy bedroom soul, Napoleon’s use of synths and drum computers, though perhaps unknowingly, also seem to strongly echo elements of early house music. 


    A Simple Act Of Faith

    Cymande (pronounced Sah-mahn-day) are a legendary funk group formed in 1971 in London by musicians from Guyana, Jamaica and Saint Vincent. Their name was derived from a calypso word for Dove, symbolizing peace and love.

    The band were signed by producer John Schroeder to his Alaska label. Cymande went on to release three acclaimed albums in the early-to-mid 1970s, boasting much-sampled classics like ‘The Message’, ‘Bra’, ‘Dove’ and ‘Brothers On The Slide’.

    Following some well-received reunion shows, Cymande are now back with their first album in four decades, reuniting original members such as Patrick Patterson and Steve Scipio with John Schroeder.

    These 10 new songs were recorded in the UK, with the first sessions dating back to 2011. But despite its protracted development, the album boasts a unity which harks back to their 70s heyday!

    “This record is about cycles. From the tiny cycles of loops within songs to the broader cycle of the whole album, which is designed to take you away and bring you home again at the end. Loops within loops. Loops overlapping in different ways and shifting as they go can take you very far away. You hear it in lots of African music, in jazz and hip hop”.

    Mo Kolours explores this theme through both music and lyrics. "Pass It Round" is about giving and receiving, and the importance of depending on others. "Orphan’s Lament" is named after a Mongolian folk song, and Mo Kolours' own words urge the listener to “fall to get up again” among a set of inescapably linked opposites. The message may be optimistic or otherwise, depending on the listener’s point of view. The theme also appears in his choice of cover versions as he reinterprets songs absorbed in his youth: "Harvest For The World" by the Isley Brothers and The Stranglers’ "Golden Brown", from which the album title is derived.

    “The Stranglers are one of my earliest memories of music. I had an auntie who was a huge fan and my parents had all their records. ‘Golden Brown’ always gave me such a beautiful feeling, way before I knew what it was supposed to be about”.

    “I've always admired producers who push your ear, who draw you into unexpected elements of a song. I like it when people use a minimal number of elements and find ways of making you re-engage with each of them. It can be subtle, just a drum or the repetition of a word. I was thinking about that in the arrangement of the whole album”.

    Raised on the traditional sega music of his father’s Indian Ocean homeland alongside records by the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Michael Jackson, Mo Kolours adds hip hop, dub, soul and other electronic styles to his individual sound. His approach could find him placed alongside Madlib or The Gaslamp Killer but he would be equally happy in the company of James Blake, Erykah Badu, Theo Parrish or Moodymann.

    William Onyeabor

    Good Name

    Reissue of THE most hard to get African album ever! This album, in the style of many Afro-funk LPs from the era, features two long tracks; the jerky, almost acidic electro-funk bomb 'Let's Fall In Love' and breakout Piccadilly Records sing-along favourite 'Good Name', an equally quirky bump'n'hustle African electroid funk number. A huge recommendation and simply a must have for anyone into African music and beyond.

    This album got reissued as a numbered edition of 300 copies in October and didn't even make it into most record shop's racks or websites (ours included). After much demand Luka Bop decided to do a second press, this time without the Luaka Bop plastic bag, or being numbered. Originals sell for over $1000, and the numbered reissue ones are going for $100 already on Discogs, so absolutely do not sleep on this!


    Two Ways - Coloured Vinyl Edition

    London-born brothers Ben and Tom Page return from their travels with Neneh Cherry with a crisp new black-and-white split colour vinyl 12”, the James Holden-produced two track celebration of synth and drums "Two Ways". Accomplished jazz drummer Tom also plays in Holden’s own live band so Border Community provides a fitting home for his live take recordings of the RocketNumberNine brothers’ in-the-moment improvisations, capturing them at the peak of their performative powers. "Two Ways" sees afro-tinged percussive melodics and a beefy bass component build to a wild and joyful free jazz crescendo. The insistent rave stabs of flipside "Balance Of Imbalance" meanwhile power ahead noisily over judiciously placed atonal metallic clangs and the frenetic rattle of Tom’s vintage drum kit.

    Ananda Shankar / The Savages

    Jumpin Jack Flash / Born To Be Wild

    From rocking Bombay to swinging London: what a terrific trip! in the 60s, young Indians and young Brits struck up an unlikely relationship that resulted in some truly amazing music.

    For this generation, culture was currency. hip young Indians rocked up in London. ‘Beat’ bands in Bombay belted out versions of the latest rock’n’roll hits. Indian musicians dreamt of making it big in the West, while British bands were eager to explore mystic, exotic India. Despite their very different upbringings, both Eastern and Western youth revelled in their opposing cultures. 'Slip-disc - Dishoom's London Bombay Grooves' is the sound of this cross-Continental youth revolution and a long-distance love affair.

    Sarah Williams White

    Of The New World

    'Of The New World' is the debut album from South London singer and producer Sarah Williams White. Sarah is part of a new wave of artists from her corner of London that includes Mo Kolours, Henry Wu as well as her brother Paul White. A multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Sarah cites influences including Jamie Lidell, Erykah Badu and PJ Harvey as well as more contemporary acts such as Hiatus Kaiyote, Jamie Woon and Thundercat. Her sound mixes soulful, intricate vocals with subtle beats and layered harmonies.

    Across 12 tracks (7 songs and 5 interludes / soundscapes), this mini-album showcases Sarah's range of abilities. Tracks like 'Hum' and 'Winter Sun' highlight her delicate yet powerfully soulful voice, whilst 'Rainmaker' and 'New World' show her ear for unusual beats and deft musicianship. Elsewhere the hypnotic interludes ('Arrival', 'Adrift) would not be out of place in the more abstract work of her fellow South Londoners over at the 22a label.


    Includes MP3 Download Code.

    Various Artists

    Buried Treasure Volume 2

    Those perfect pirates at Buried Treasure are back with more booty for your disco delectation here, as they run the saber and cutlass through a couple of long lost soul jams. Strutting its funky funky stuff across the A-side, "Trying To (Get Ya)" hits us with a low slung bassline and deep guitar groove before hitting us with swirling strings and red hot horn licks. Throw in some full blooded lead vocals, cooing backing vox and well aimed FX use and we're in sunset disco heaven. If the A-side was all about heads down sexuality, swinging hips and bump and grind, then the flip delivers some much needed euphoria as our edit admirals drop a looped up lick of sweetest soul and work it right to the bone. Proper hands in the air magic with no messing around.

    “Heavy Soul” looks at what happened after soul and rock crossed paths in the late 60s. Like the Rolling Stones recorded at Muscle Shoals studio in Alabama, it’s funky and down home, and includes Tony Joe White, Bobby Womack, Dr.John, Donnie Fritts, James Luther Dickinson, Leon Russell, Allen Toussaint (RIP), Jim Ford, Link Wray, Johnny Jenkins, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, Buddy Miles, Allman Brothers Band, Aretha Franklin (covering The Band), Wilson Pickett (doing “Born to Wild”!) and much more.

    Various Artists

    If Music Presents: You Need This! A Journey Into Deep Jazz - Compiled By Jean-Claude

    Designed to be as pleasing to the jazz newbie as the perennial chin-stroker, Deep Jazz comprises of nine obscure compositions which utterly deserve their moment in the sun. Compiled by one half of The Amalgamation Of Soundz, renowned DJs DJ and owner of bespoke record shop If Music Jean-Claude, the album offers a small glimpse into the mind of the legendary taste-maker. Hip-swaying, toe-tapping slick productions are the order of the day here, accessible enough to be enjoyed across the board, yet authentic enough to satisfy the most ardent purist. As Jean-Claude says: "for those of us searching for that elusive groove: it is a lifelong quest!" 8 of the 9 compositions have never been on a vinyl compilation!

    Various Artists

    The Early Motown EPs - 7" Box Set

      For the first time this vinyl compilation brings together 28 rare early Motown EPs, kicking off an EP reissue series of highly sought after Motown recordings from the three labels which formulated the Motown Sound - London American, Stateside and Tamla Motown. It features cuts from Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Miracles, Brenda Holloway and more.


      7" Box Set Info: 7"x7" box set.

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