Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Preston Glass - Colors Of Life - 2010 - Expansion

As 2010 draws to a close we embrace yet more soulful magnificence, and yet again we have Ralph Tee and Expansion Records to thank for this latest of gems to hit the streets. "Colors Of Life" is the third set from legendary Producer Preston Glass, and following on from the collaborative "Music As Medicine" set we are treated to what I personally feel is a much stronger and essential release. Themed on colours, I can, without hesitation, recommend this set and suggest that you order a copy ASAP. In all we have 19 tracks and many of our most cherished and favourite artists sit comfortably with new talents, all gelled together by the expert oversight of Preston Glass. There are many highlights, and the set kicks off with three of the strongest tracks you will be hear at the time of writing. If you like a cool steppers groove with the benefit of Johnny Britt on trumpet and Preston himself on guitar, then look no further than the first tune, "Olive Branch". Our vocalists are Sharon McMahan and Laundon Kendricks and their harmony is MAGIC. The haunting synths, courtesy of Tomi is little short of sublime, and if I've played this song once I've played it a dozen times today alone.

My second of our soulful hat trick is the BRILLIANT Cool Million mix of Keni Burke's "Orange U Ready" and as usual Rob Hardt and frank Ryle have excelled themselves with this ultra-soulful groove; a groove that fits Keni Burke hand in glove. I cannot get enough of Keni Burke and pray that a new album comes to light soon from this genius. Brenda Holloway supplies our third massive song...who back in the mid 1960s would believe that in the far distant second decade of the 21st Century would be be listening to this great Lady of Motown, and that her voice would still resound so strong and soulful. As I always say, quality will always stay the day. The different, flange-effected Latin feel of "That Purple Passion" has all the hallmarks of a Michael Omartian / Roberta Flack collaboration from her "oasis" set, and as such this is a remarkable cut on many levels. How sad it is to hear the late, great and towering giant of talent who was Ali Woodson again. We lost this wonderful man way too early and fans of his recent work with Tour De 4force 1 will love this latest effort. One of THE voices of our time gone way too soon, and thank you, Preston Glass, for giving us another opportunity to enjoy this man once more.

Ron Tyson of the Temptations hits big time with the glorious "Bluer Shade Of Blue"...his Tenor sounding great against this 21st Century styled Stylistics-like tune. Russell Thompkins Jr would also have cracked this tune, but our hero Ron really is at home here. The piano line and harmonies hark back to early 70s Motown and make this a real treat on the ears. Newcomer Trizonna McClendon is someone I've trumpeted recently and here she is with the magnificent jazzy "Luscious Lavender". With gentle brushing drums, haunting synths and catchy keyboard riffs this makes for a great listen. Preston Glass himself delivers "Everybody Bleeds the Color Red" with a great piano line worthy of Motown / Invictus / Lamont Dozier - a song that really makes your soul feel good. Oh, how wonderful to be graced with tracks like this! His "Melancholy Grey" is also a real burner and will grow on you each play. Margo Lewis' "Brown" is a real cool, slinky funky number, and a sucker for a groove and funky Mtume type guitar lick is always gonna win me over! For these tracks I heartily recommend the album. If you love your soul music as much as you say you do then your collection is screaming out for this album. ESSENTIAL.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe