Thursday, 30 September 2010

Various Artists - Soul Togetherness 2010 - 2010 - Expansion

This set rates as one the best compilations in the Togetherness series to date. Screamingly contemporary, totally drenched in quality and class and containing timeless classics this is a release that you will NOT want to miss. Combining the best of the new and the old, Ralph Tee and the legendary Richard Searling combine to make this a real end-of-year feast. Cleverly, and rightfully, they include artists that are not only hot but also appearing at the forthcoming Weekender in early 2011. Poetry in motion I like to call it. Many artists and songs on here have already received praise on these pages and it's to the swelling of my musical heart that these songs and artists appear here on such an esteemed compilation. Cool Million with the wonderful Eugene Wilde cannot fail to impress with their recent modern classic "Back For More", and recently reviewed "Another Love" from Pianist Brian Culbertson follows on swiftly with our hero Kenny Lattimore on vocals.

A CD that has not been reviewed - but trust me, comes highly recommended as essential - is Zo! and his Sy Smith delivered "Greatest Weapon Of All Time". I have flogged this song to death over recent weeks as well as the scorching, sexy track "MakeLuv2Me". Check out his new "Sunstorm" album. Jonathan Butler's brilliant 2010 dancer "So Strong" appears as does Matt Bianco's "Half A Minute" which is totally revisited from Joey Negro with a little inspiration from Chic! Adriana Evans' "Surrender" is not to be missed, lifted, of course from her 2010 set, and Kenny Thomas' superb vocal skills are lifted from Richard Earnshaw's recent MASSIVE album. Please check out ALL these individual artists and albums. Such great choices here, and this is not where it ends! Independent Texas soul artist Al Olive made a massive impression this summer with his early 80s Luther-esc "Slow Down", available from CD Baby as a single / download and it has to be heard to be believed. A beautiful song and one that I instantly fell in love with. This song moves me and I cannot wait to hear the new album that imminently awaits us.
The uplifting 1981 tune from Madagascar, ""Rainbow", is lifted from their Arista set "Spirit Of The Street" and sees Gerald Albright in far better a musical mode than we find him in today's dull Smooth Jazz environment. Carmen Hendtricks' "Something About You" is wonderful and this US singer is making her new residence, Australia, very proud. This is a funky stepping groove with plenty of slap bass and vibes. Beautiful. French musician Oliver Hutman benefits from a vastly superior 70s-styled production from Dexter Wansel and Philly vocalist Denise King. This is so, so special a track and one that I had not heard before. Thumbs up to all concerned for this modern Philly-flavoured gem. Talking of Philly connections, Shirley Jones and Jean Carne benefit from a Cool Million remix of their massive "Tell Me What's Wrong" and Angela Johnson finds herself on an amazing soulful House tip with Micky More's Classic Mix of "Better". It is AMAZING, and at 7:33 we have a real treat here. Great to see the late, great Teddy Pendergrass appear with his 1994 12" release "Believe In Love"...sadly missed and a testament to both him and the Calloway brothers for this slamming slice of 90s Philly dancefloor soul. Recently reissued in the UK for a second time is Michael Henderson's "In The Night Time", and from that is lifted his scorching duet with Rena Scott, "Take Me I'm Yours". Michael, of course will be appearing early next year at the Togetherness event alongside Jean Carne so don't miss out!!! ESSENTIAL.
Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe