Various Artists - Putumayo presents Women of JazzPutumayo
10 great female vocalists here so let’s name them: Melody Gardot, Madeleine Peyroux, Cassandra Wilson, Sophie Milman, Hope Waits, Kate Paradise, Jennifer Hartswick, Stacey Kent, Della Griffin and Etta Jones. Good collection.
Graham Radley, 11/08
Various Artists - Putumayo presents World HitsPutumayo World Music
11 top selling tracks from across the years, which includes Peter Tosh with Mick Jagger, Youssou N'Dour with Neneh Cherry, Jimmy Cliff, Miriam Makeba, Manu Dibango, Gipsy Kings and Mongo Santamaria. You'll know them all, this neatly packages them up ready for you to sing and dance away to.
Graham Radley, 08/07
Various Artists - Putumayo Presents: Putumayo World PartyPutumayo World Music
Roy Paci & Aretuska from Sicily get us off to a joyful start with a romping ska track 'Ciuri Ciuri'. Next there's zouk from Martinique followed by further Caribbean influences via Denmark's Laid Back which in turn rolls into the classic Osibisa track 'Sunshine Day. Further tracks include Burning Spear, L'Orchestre Tropica d'Hait and Beau Joque & The Zydeco Hi Rollers. Spreading the universal music party vibe.
Graham Radley, 05/07
Various Artists -BBE Records
Here's the next instalment to ?uestlove's compilation for BBE, and as the title suggests, it is no surprise this was released on 14th Feb. He again digs back with more classics from Al Green, Delfonics, Natalie Cole, Delfonics and Bobby Womack. If you're after romantic lyrics for Valentine's Day, then you'd better give this a miss today, but what it does is give you is a small insight in to the good old days of real soul music, and lyrics which a number of current bands could take some pointers from. BEE never fails to impress.
Simon Harrison, 03/06
Various Artists - Rainbow Soul Vol.1Phuture Lounge Records
This is the first compliation from Manchester's Phuture Lounge and even though their singles to date have been broken beat influenced, Rainbow Soul Vol.1 features some of the finest soul music that you'll hear in 2006. You may not recognise any of the artists but I can assure you they are names you need to keep an eye out for in the future. I've been lucky enough to have had the Vaceo album sampler for some time and two of my favourite tracks are featured here. There are also two tracks from the amazing Ozlem, two from Fyza who featured on Phuturistix's single "Fly away", two from ace vocalist Mr J and two from Michelle Amador. Hopefully you get the idea, it's bloomin' fantastic. The four track album sampler will on its way soon.
Simon Harrison, 07/06
Various Artists - Rainer Trueby Presents SoulglidingBBE
"Soulgliding", the compilation courtesy of DJ/Producer Rainer Trueby is a breezy collection of late seventy early eighties mellow grooves and boogie tunes. It's a gorgeous compilation of hidden gems from familiar artists as well as the obscure. A nice reminder that among the synth heavy party jams there were plenty of melodic compositions worthy of repeated spins today. The dreamy soundscapes of Peter Brown's "Without Love" sets the mood with meditative rhythms. "Lady Of The Night" is mellow soul jazz courtesy of LA composer Les Hooper. "It Ain't No Big Thing" is an infectious mid-tempo boogie from Donna McGhee. "Dust To Dust" is sublime spacey soul from Cloud One, the moniker created by Patrick Adams. There are other highlights throughout here that make this a musical paradise you shouldn't miss.
Reg Dancy, 02/20
Various Artists - Ready Or Not -Deep Jazz Grooves From The <BR>CBC Radio Canada Archives 1967-1977Do Right Music
It's not often I buy compilations but recently there have been some absolute gems. Here John Kong hand picks a brilliant selection of Canada's finest jazz recordings and how many of us really knew that their jazz scene was so good. All the tracks were chosen for today's dancefloors and Mr Kong deserves a pat on the back because they do exactly what they say on the sleeve. These tracks only received infrequent airplay on CBC and were available in very limited quantities, so it's great to have a starter, to kick off the show. Simply this is beautiful and a great to start your Canadian jazz collection.
Simon Harrison, 06/05
Various Artists - Ready Or Not 2Do Right Music
John Kong, head honcho at Do Right further delves into the Canadian Broadcasting Company's archives to bring us another fine selection of deep jazz grooves. Highlights include Nick Ayoub's 'Perception' and Alvin Pall Sextet's 'Melancholy', both exceptional modal pieces, The Montreal Black Community Youth Choir's take on Roberta Flack's 'Tryin' Times' and the funky fusion outings 'Hidden Strength' and 'Beloved Gift' by Ted Moses Quintet and Bernie Senensky Trio respectively. Note there are 12 tracks on the CD but only 6 on the vinyl version. However the vinyl does feature 2 exclusives not found on the CD, Elizabeth Shepherd Trio's 'Soya' and the firing dancer 'Capricorn Dance' again from Bernie Senensky Trio.
Andy Allen, 12/06
Various Artists - Real Sound of Chicago and beyondBBE
This compilation of lost and now found Chicago musicians is the product of vinyl connoisseurs Mark Grusane and Mike Cole. Together they have compiled some hidden gems from the late seventies to the early eighties that captures the Chicago dance music era before house music took off. There are a number of treats that you’ll enjoy such as “It Ain’t Easy”, a polished yet smoothed out disco tune by Crystal Wind. “Play that funky music” is one of the stronger tunes here; an aptly titled instrumental soul jazz tune filled with scorching horns. “Lover” by Lily Fields is another highlight, a disco tune reminiscent of Vince Montana’s Salsoul Orchestra’s compositions. There are a few that needed to stay on the shelf like “She’s Hot” by Sun Sect, an up-tempo boogie tune with a recycled bass guitar groove made worse by the corny dialogue. Aside from a couple of duds, there are plenty of tunes here that will have you commending Mark and Mike for all their heavy lifting and crate digging. This is just another sampling of the rich musical history of Chicago dance music that is certainly worth checking out.
Reg Dancy, 11/11
Various Artists - RenovationsTokyo Dawn Records
This double album from Tokyo Dawn records is totally rammed to the brim with corking instrumental's, slow jamz, sultry soul, fat hip-hop and adult house vibes.
With a whopping 35 tracks spread over 2CD's - this really is what a quality value compilation is all about.
The first cut focuses more on the down tempo side - but don't get me wrong, this is down-tempo not downbeat. There is the experimental beat process of the 'Radiobugs' side by side with the bumping tones of 'The Tape Vs RQM'. The blissed out 'Jumper' by Spencer Doran is so short and sweet you could almost miss it, and the track by 'Causes & Forces' sounds like its been lifted from some classic Blaxploitation movie.
The second slab is a more housey affair, lots of low-slung 4/4 drums for those 4 a.m. moments or back room warm-ups. Some of the tracks sound like a cross pollination of noises from Herbert and Charles Webster's studio's. The more 'well-known' artists appear on this second slice with tracks by the excellent Henrik Schwarz and Maddslinky along with Tokyo Dawn favourites Comfort Fit.
This label really knows how to compile a very audible album, which I would definitely recommend to the discerning listener who likes their beats slightly altered and not from the mainstream.