Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Glenn Jones - Finesse - 2010 - Funky Town Grooves

1984...a Classic year and Glenn Jones at his best on this RCA set produced by Leon Sylvers III, Wayne Braithwaite, Robert Wight and the vivacious La La Cope! I have always loved this man but have found that the later Zomba / Jive sound to have suffered the test of time and this material from the early 80s as being far superior and more attuned to this great man's talents. Already issued in the UK on CD in 1991 by RCA it's long been deleted and great to see it reappear now with bonus tracks in the way of 12" versions of "Finesse" and "I Am Somebody". The quality from master tapes is second to none - I can't be doing with this 'taken from vinyl' nonsense - and this CD is as clear as a bell. The vast majority of this CD is worthwhile and the great days of happy, buoyant uptempo soul music are still fresh in my mind - all that joy, feeling and excitement of that era is perfectly encapsulated in songs such as "Finesse" and "You're The Only One I Love". As soon as the sun is out, I dig these sort of grooves out. Pure bliss.

"Show Me" still grabs my attention every time...this gorgeously lilting ballad is a track that best exemplifies not only the best of Glenn Jones, but the ethos of the day. It makes me cry to think that a set like this will never be recorded again - especially by a label such as Sony. What first drew me to Glenn Jones was his spine-tingling performance on Norman Connors' "Melancholy Fire" back in 1980. That sort of sinuous, yet tender, soulful performance is exactly what "Show Me" allows our hero to do. If only he would be able to do this again as recent sets have been...seriously say the least. Glenn has got smoothness and he can also let go big style - check out his roaring, soaring passionate style on Leon Sylvers' "Meet Me Halfway there" and see what this giant can do! The Solar sound is one that really energises this, his then contemporary work with the Spinners and the Whispers was so spot on! "Everlasting Love" is nothing short of perfect, and certainly superior to the crass "On The Floor" - but what a phenomenal album from a phenomenal year. AND we can enjoy it all over again..with extras!!!

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe