Just a quick run through of some material I brought back from the International Soul Summit in Atlanta – it’s not necessarily new but mostly new to me
Also had the pleaseure of seeing Collette showcase at Strictly Social.
The single has an R’n’B feel, as does the album but Collette’s voice is sweet and Crystal clear, certainly better than a lot of those in the R’n’B arena. Very nice and a strong album as well.
Trace Ellington – Let Love In – CD single
Trace Ellington – Let Love in – Album
The album from last year is well worth a visit/revisit as it contains several memorable tracks like the upbeat Let Love in and No Money. Soul Music is a feelgood stepper.
A very strong indie album. I particularly like th emidtemo Never Givin Up.
Speaking to Trace briefly he tells me that he has now moved to Atlanta
(Info – Trace Ellington, a younger branch of the Ellington (Duke) dynasty, breathes life into the soul of music, resurrecting sounds comparable to Sly and The Family Stone, Curtis Mayfield, and Jimi Hendrix.
As a branch of the Ellington family tree, Trace is blessed with a diverse heritage that serves as a strong foundation for his music. His multi-talents as a singer, songwriter, and producer only enhances his unique compilations. In addition, Trace’s commanding stage presence is supported by his mastery of various instruments including keyboard, drum, guitar and bass.
In California, Trace ran into MC Hammer’s manager and Adrian Gregory (producer of Digital Underground, JJ Fad, World Class Wrecking Crew (with Dr. Dre), which gave Trace another opportunity to break into the music industry. Prior to this, Trace was producing Dangerous Dame (Bay Area Hit “I Call Your Name”). Trace recorded Tupac’s early recordings and also the Sex Packet album of Digital Underground.
Trace started his own record company, Mood Indigo Records (now Mood Indigo Recordings, Inc.), in 1988. He worked with artists such as Too Short, the Hughes Brothers, Ritchie Rich, Dru Down, Rappin Forte. Trace’s company was an entertainment complex offering multiple services, production, housing, and rehearsal space.
At 30, Trace worked with artists from the group, Chicago, rap group, Crucial Conflict, Death Row, Danny Boy, doing production and shooting music videos. While in Chicago, Trace worked with Dennis Rodman, singing in his club. Trace founded Mood Café, which originally started as a recording studio, but his vision blossomed to opening the ‘hot spot’ coffee shop, a Chicago-known showcase for artists and creatives.
Trace later moved to Los Angeles, California, working with Jamie Foxx, artists on the dirty south Universal label, Aaron Carter (NSync), Suga T (E-40’s sister), and Larry Dunn (Earth, Wing & Fire). Trace took time to re-focus and work on himself, taking a spiritual journey and ended up completing his album “Let Love In”. The current single, Let Love In, is playing in the UK on the Soul Brothers label. Trace is currently performing at various venues in the Bay Area, soon to expand to Southern California, Seattle, Chicago and Washington, DC. He is also producing local Bay Area talent.”
TN’T Trish & Tom – BET your $
From the album Something Good and likely to be released as a single due to demand, given an upbeat club remix.
9 Anos Despues – A Yoruba Records Compilation
Excellent compilation from the cream of Yoruba – 9 years on. Jimmy Abney, Gabrielle Poso, Nomumbah, Quetzal Guerrero, Osunslade, Djinji Brown, Afefe Iku, Santos, Mellow Madness and Nadirah Shakoor.
A fine relaxing chilled worldly album, the standouts being a great piece by Nomumbah – Song for Mi Parade, Jimmy Abney’s More of You, Djinji Brown’s percussive Marta’s House and Afefe Iku’s Afrobeat Mirror Dance.
Strangely the track I expected to like most was the one I didn’t and that was the freestylig Osunslade.
“Info –Yoruba Records is the record label of artists, Osunlade, Nadirah Shakoor, Erro, Djinji Brown, Santos, Piscean Group, Afefe Iku, Jimmy Abney, Quetzal Guerrero, Boddhi Savtva, Nomumbah, Suntzu Sound, Zoetic, Spyro, KB and Frank-I.
The label is owned and operated in Greece by founder and CEO Osunlade. Known for its deep house music, the label has in recent years contributed to a more diverse world music approach.
With it’s signature dance music, Yoruba still holds as one of the most influential independent labels around today.”
Abby Dobson – Sleeping Beauty – you are the one you have been waiting on – Sampler
I also covered this here – http://lifeandsoulreviews.blogspot.com/2008/05/abby-dobson-sleeping-beauty-you-are-one.html
Included here are some extra tracks, Deeply, Fly, Castle and Forgive Me.
Deeply is a great track, mellow funky vibe, but it is the powerful vocals that standout. The more I play these the more I like it, great stuff.
Having known Abby for some time now and seen her perform several times I hope that this release when it comes will give her the recognition not only that she deserves but her hard work demands.
Tony Rich Project – Exist – Hidden Beach (sampler)
Just a taster from the very nice and very strong Tony Rich Project. Jordon being my pick
Rasheeda Wallace – Street Soul
A couple of showcases at the Soul Summit and Rasheeda showed a hard edged raunchy colourful side of Soul. Her vocal style comes across best in my view on the slower bluesier tracks like My Drug and Whatever you want. That said the uptemp numbers both live and on the album allow her positivity and character to come through. Like the vibe on Make me sick , probably my best cut.
“Info – Bio Edgy, Soulful & Classic are three words that can be used to describe the sounds of one of the most gifted and talented singers and songwriters in music history. Just like all the greats before her, ie. Ella, Patti, Chaka, Turner and Blige, Rasheeda Wallace has mastered and honed the ability, to tap into the collective conciousness of the masses and deliver a message through song. Whether that message is of love, joy or pain, or perhaps a combination of all three, her music has become food for the soul, for all those who seek to be uplifted, rejuvenated and healed. As a result of this divine capability, Rasheeda Wallace has been deemed, “The Queen of Street Soul””. Her lyrics, vocals and musical arrangements leaves each listener feeling a sense of self empowerment, in which we are always in need of and can use, time and time again. Developing her vocal abilities since the age of two, “The Queen of Street Soul” draws the majority of her vocal tenacity from her mother, who was also an aspiring singer from the Bronx, NY and who not only had a featured performance at The Cotton Club, but also performed in Vegas as well. Rasheeda remembers how her mother would not only sing her to sleep, but would also sing to her when she woke up in the morning. In addition Rasheeda’s mother would always have music industry legends such as The Pointer Sisters, Chaka Khan, Dinah Washington, Oleta Adams, Al Jareau, Al Green and Anita Baker, to name a few, playing throughout the Wallace household at any given moment. Naturally there she was with her microphone singing with them all. In 1995, Rasheeda performed at the world reownked, Apollo Theater and captivated the not always easy to please audience to their feet three times in a row with standing ovations. She also had the privilege to perform on FOX 5’s Good Day New York. As a result of these appearances, Rasheeda has been sought after by some of the music industries finest to not only perform with them, but to write and arrange music for them as well. From Chaka Khan to the Roc-a-fella records camp, Kymani Marley and the Pussycat Dolls, to name a few, it is quite evident the level of respect and honor that her peers in the industry have for her. As a supporter of Sanctuary House, a shelter for women who are victims of Domestic Violence, her tireless dedication and service to raising awareness and funding for the Anti-Domestic Violence Campaign, she received a Proclamation from the City of New York, by the Lieutenant Governor-David Patterson himself. With a continuously growing diverse fan base, it is inevitable that she will become a household name. “The Queen of Street Soul” …. Rasheeda Wallace”
Raphael Saadiq – The Way I see it
It was great that Raphael Saadiq turned up at the conference, as I would still put him into the genius category, but this set does absolutely nothing for me. As I have said elsewher before I see no point in replicating what has happened before- influences and history should be used to enhance, and this is where this falls short.
As compared to say Heston as an example, he quite freely uses a Marvin Gaye influence and uses it to enhance and build on the genre so you get advancement in the music. This motown-esque pastiche is no more than that- indeed it is very flat and one dimensional. I’d go so far as to say that it is harmful rather than progressive.
Heston – Storyteller
Only picked up the full album here but have given the previous EP a great deal of prominence and radio play since the previous summit some 15 months or more before.
Aside from being a great guy this is also a great album, and, compare the review above, is exactly where contemporary soul music should be – utilising old skool influences, using it and blending it, to make something fresh and progressive.
A fantastic album that desrves a whole lot, the key tracks like Distant Lover are top notch. Heston is at the forefront of the new soul age and rightly so. He works hard at it and I hope the rewards are forthcoming
Click picture to sample and buy
Info – Your favorite artist. Your favorite song. Your favorite place. The way that makes you fee…
Finally here comes an artist who is capable of bringing those feelings back. STORYTELLER, the debut album by Heston is an exceptionally well composed body of work.. Heston’s got one of those instant classic voices, confidently sensuous and informed by the best side of mellow 70’s soul. Nostalgic, yet very much his own.
With an equal talent for song writing and producing, his debut album release STORYTELLER, is timeless. Born on the island of Dominica, singer-songwriter Heston grew up with music all around him.. being surrounded by reggae, pop, classical, soul R&B and rock, music was commonplace and it is no surprise that radio along with a collection of his father’s old records, would open the key to his soul and love for all types of music.. From Barbara Streisand to Aretha Franklin, The Bee Gees, Marvin Gaye, Elton John, Beres Hammond, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson(to name a few) each musician looped a thread into his soul and after listening to his music it is clear that he has been influenced by the best.
With a career in music that began in Atlanta, Ga, launched by a self-titled EP, he has defined his journey as a full-time musician, composer, songwriter and producer.. “Creating timeless music has always been my ultimate goal” says Heston with a poised yet humble demeanor. ” I want to leave the world with music that can be played for a lifetime.”
A pleasant, easygoing vocal manner coupled with sexy stage presence has consistently yielded a ground swelling of fans and lovers of his music. Heston’s first single “Brand new You” of his debut album STORYTELLER is currently in rotation on Music Choice’s R&B channel… His song “IF” is the theme song on BET”s ground breaking half-hour reality television show, Real Life Divas. “If” from his self titled EP became popular on SX satellite trough Airtran airways entertainment and such compilation as ‘The Soul Lounge Vol. 1, Uk, This is Soul 2005, “IF” was also once listed as on of the most downloaded independent soul singles on ITunes.. “Angel” also from the self-titled EP closed the year 2003 as on the DJ Richard Searling’s year end top 50 most played at Smoot FM Manchester UK.
Accompanied by a full band with foundational rhythms that stem back to his island and R&B soul roots, comprised of percussion, horns acoustic and electric guitars, his current independent album release, STORYTELLER, pull out all the stops.. Wit fifteen brilliantly composed tracks, tunes like “Brand New You” “Distant Lover and “Easy” lead the album and is expected to capture audiences with its slinky lover’s groover and feel good music..Fifteen grooves. Fifteen Stories. Fifteen repeats.. Fifteen Classics.. Ladies and gentlemen… HESTON
More to come………………………………….