Review: Fresh from 1968, this Dionne Warwick-affiliated double-sided one-off by The Gentlemen Four returns in its original glory courtesy of Soul 7 and Jazzman. "You Can't Keep A Good Man Down" is a straight-up northern soul stomper with big drums, powerful momentum and emphatic harmonies. Looking for a more tender moment? Flip for the show-stopped ballad "It Won't Hurt" where the harmonies play an even more pivotal role in the dynamic. Nothing hurts with records like this.
Review: Fresh early 70s Cali soul, Edward 'Apple' Nelson and his citrus compadres self-released this on their own Sagittarius imprint back in 1971.Highly limited, it never got the justice it deserved... Until now. Thanks to Jazzman we can now enjoy the positive licks and charms of northern soul-fave "Love Brings Out The Best Of You" and get all reflective and romantic with "My Baby" as if they were recorded and released yesterday. Fruity.
Review: Another fine lesson in deep crate curation, Jazzman rediscover the criminally overlooked skills of Virginia troubadour Lenis Guess. Recorded during the late 60s and 70s, many of the cuts on this special triple-7" box set have never been further than the state line. Which is utter madness... Just listen to the lavish, lolloping bass jam on "How You Gonna Do It", the firing JB-style horn drama of "Thank Goodness Gotta Good Woman" and the raw belly-bound blues soul of "Workin' For My Baby" and you'll wonder how he remained an obscurity for so long. Complete with detailed liner notes, this is a must for all funk aficionados.
The Lost Generation - "The Sly, Slick & The Wicked"
Review: Stomping northern soul vibes abound on this recently unearthed gem from The Demures. With its pumping beats and heart melting harmonies it's hard to believe this went unnoticed for so many years. If you're after something a little softer and emotional then flip for The Lost Generation's "The Sly Slick And Wicked". No, they're not describing Juno's record reviewers, they're lamenting over love lost and heartbreakers in the most emphatic, string-drenched soulful way. Two beautiful cuts on one 7". Bonus.
Review: Straight from 68; Diane Lewis's Wand double-A has passed hands for well over L300 in the past, and it's really not hard to understand why... Northern soul anthem "Without Your Love" comes with gutsy vocals, full spectrum backing vocals and drums so lively and crisp they sound like they're marching out of the speakers. "Giving Up Your Love" plays the consummate soother; a raw soul ballad with strings and delicate harmonies, it's the ultimate antidote to the emotional frenzy on the A. Highly limited.
Review: Jazzman dip into the unreleased archives of Arkansas label Alley Records and pull out these two absolute gems that will find a welcome home in any self respecting Northern Soul or Funk selectors record box. This dinked 45 from Ike Noble and The Uptights is just the start for Jazzman with further sevens plus an albums worth of material planned after a successful trip to Arkansas. If you like your funk rippling with overwhelming vocal emotion you will love the raw and infectious nature of both "That's The Sound Of My Heart" and "That's What I Get". The A Side leans on an uptempo Midwestern funk vibe whilst Ike's tearing vocal turn on the flip is the perfect accompaniment to a pounding backing from the Up Tights.
Review: A stunning soul double A with a percussion heavy smoky soul cover of Leroy Lane & The Upstairs Maids' "There's A Man" and a big-swing, horn-heaved late 60s Motown-style ballad "I Have This World & You". Canadian soul act Joey Irving & Just Us only wrote and recorded a handful of songs and - madly - they couldn't get a deal on home soil so turned to Belgium's Baltic label which was usually the sole preserve of elevator music and native Flemish folk. Few original pressings have been spotted, but when they do they regularly fetch over L200. Jump on this.