Review: Sampled by the likes of Groove Armada and The Herbaliser, "Turn Off The Lights" runs with one of those bass licks you've known forever without realising. Flip for the jazz boogie badness of "Fuel For The Fire". Taken from the same 1975 album, here we find the same vocalist, Linda Logan, sharpening her tongue and getting her scat on with furiously funky results. Hard to find on 45, it's yet another example of AOTN's expert curation prowess.
Review: Back in the early 1970s, the Yum Yums' 1965 single 'Gonna Be a Big Thing' was a big favourite at legendary Northern Soul club the Wigan Casino. Here it gets a fresh pressing on limited-edition red vinyl courtesy of reissue specialists Outta Sight. The Jerry Ross-produced number is certainly cheery and life-affirming, with infectious female group vocals topping off a horn-heavy, Detroit style soul workout. As it did back in '65, the song is paired with the obscure quartet's insatiable and uplifting version of early Ashford and Simpson number 'Looky, Looky (What I Got)'. This is great, too, though it never quite caught on within the 'Northern' scene like 'Gonna Be a Big Thing'.
Review: It would be fair to say that Timi Yuro's "As Long As There Is You" is a sought-after single. Something of a "holy grail" amongst soul collectors, original copies of the 1969 7" on Liberty Records regularly change hands for upwards of 1,000 quid. Happily, you can now acquire a fresh copy for a fraction of the cost thanks to this facsimile Expansions reissue. Fuzzy, heartfelt, stomping and blessed with wall of sound style production, "As Long As There Is You" is the kind of sad-but-happy track that used to make Northern Soul dancers go weak at the knees. Yuro's Central American influences can be heard loud and clear on "It'll Never Be Over For Me", where Mariachi style trumpet lines and sweeping strings rise above a heavy, bossa-influenced groove.
Review: Earlier this year A Tribe Called Quest's Ali Shaheed Muhammad and renowned composer Adrian Younge's Midnight Hour project revealed the duo's musical depth and dexterity with the likes of Luther Vandross, Bilal and Cee Lo leading from the front. Now comes the instrumental album where the duo's compositions spring to life with a different energy and sense of imagination. You can really hear where their work scoring Luke Cage had an influence on moments such as the big strings and lilting guitars crashing dreamily on "So Amazing" and the subdued introspection of "Don't Keep Me Waiting". A stunning fusion of soul and jazz wrapped up with hazy downtempo sentimentality, this is just as essential as the original vocal version.
Don't Keep Me Waiting (feat Marsha Ambrosius) (3:18)
Bitches Do Voodoo (feat Angela Munoz) (0:55)
Possibilities (feat Eryn Allen Kane) (3:11)
Dans Us Moment D'errance (feat Laetitia Sadier, Questlove, Keyon Harrold) (3:05)
Love Is Free (feat Eryn Allen Kane) (2:45)
Together Again (feat No ID, James Poyser) (3:21)
Feel Alive (feat Karolina, Loren Oden) (2:56)
There Is No Greater Love (feat Loren Oden, Saudia Yasmein) (2:18)
Review: As foretold on Kendrick's Untitled two years ago, composer Younge and Tribe Called Quest's Muhammad have been conjuring behind for many years (since 2014 to be precise, on Souls Of Mischief's album There Is Only Now) and Midnight Hour is the incredible result. 20 tracks of ageless Harlem wisdom; the warmth and fusion is rich throughout as we glide from each soulful moment to jazzy highlight with the help of vocalists such as Cee-Lo Green, Luther Vandross and Angela Munoz. Everything about this body of work smacks with class and authenticity; from the sweeping orchestral dynamics of "Gate 54" to the dreamy lo-fi jazz of "Smiling For Me" via the soul jazz vibrancy of "Dans Us Moment D'errance". The night is young...