Thursday, 16 June 2011


Looking forward to this, the second anniversary. Rare and underplayed soul music with resident dj's Stuart Bower and Neil Page, joined by the dj's from the Swan Worksop. If you're in the area don't miss it!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Jazz Funk

Jazz-funk is a sub-genre of jazz music characterized by a strong back beat (groove), electrified sounds and often the presence of the first electronic analog synthesizers. The integration of funk, soul, and R&B music and styles into jazz resulted in the creation of a genre whose spectrum is indeed quite wide and ranges from strong jazz improvisation to soul funk or disco with jazz arrangements jazz riffs, and jazz solos and sometimes soul vocals. Jazz-funk is primarily an American  genre where it was popular throughout the 1970s and the early 1980s, but it also achieved noted appeal on the club-circuit in England during the mid 1970s. Other possible names for this genre include soul jazz and jazz fusion, but neither entirely overlap with jazz-funk. Notably Jazz-funk is less vocal more arranged and featured more improv than Soul-Jazz and retains a strong feel of groove and R&B versus some of the Jazz-fusion production.

Friday, 3 June 2011

The Best of Soul Train Seasons 1-9 collection!

"The Best of Soul Train" presents an amazing and rare collection of performances from the Soul Train archives, many of which haven't been seen in over 30 years, including exclusive performances from Soul Train's most acclaimed era (1971 - 1979) by The Jackson Five, Marvin Gaye, The O'Jays, Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Sly & The Family Stone and more.

There are 50 performances covered in eight hours of classic Soul, from the longest first-run series in syndication history (on air from 1970 - 2006) along with more than three hours of bonus material.
Viewers will re-live the original dance styles and scene-stealing fashions from the heart of the `70′s as well as favorite moments from the Soul Train Dance Line to the beloved Soul Train Scramble Board. Also included are on-air interviews with the artists, classic Soul Train dancers, and some vintage commercials for Ultra Sheen and Afro Sheen products.

This special collection features the best moments from several original Soul Train episodes totaling 50 songs and performances, with more than three hours of bonus material including exclusive interviews with Don Cornelius, Smokey Robinson, Jody Watley and others.

"Time Life is proud to bring back one of the most enduring and culturally relevant shows in television history with "The Best of Soul Train" says Michael Mitchell, Time Life VP, Marketing/Strategic Partnerships. "Soul Train was `must see' television in black households across America in the 70′s and it also had strong crossover appeal. Soul Train fans have been waiting for years to re-live this exciting time!"

Soul Train founder, Don Cornelius says, "We're extremely proud of Soul Train's innovative history and legacy, and we look forward to sharing this with multiple generations to come. "The Best of Soul Train" offers a rare, insiders view of the golden era of Soul, marking a classic time and place which can never be duplicated. As always - Love, Peace and Soul!"

Soul Train Holdings CEO, Kenard Gibbs comments: " We are thrilled to partner with Time Life to make this unparalleled collection of soul music performances available for the first time on DVD. Don Cornelius' vision and devotion to soul music will forever inspire and captivate music lovers for many generations. "We wanted to share this music filled collection of memorable performances and message of LOVE, Peace and Soul with the world."

Many of the set's 50 performances have been heavily bootlegged over the years. But "The Best of Soul Train," released through Time Life, is the first time episodes from the show have been commercially available, the sound and images clearly remastered.

The set offers a nice, if slightly thin, encapsulation of a brilliant period in black pop, a time just after the Civil Rights and Black Arts movements. It was a period of seemingly fearless artistic exploration in which the music, dances and fashions embraced elements of Afrocentricity. "Soul Train" was ingenious and necessary for several reasons. Chief among them: The show helped redefine black entertainment in America. Acts of color with little to no crossover appeal now had a place to be seen and heard.

The 9-DVD set is packed with performances from Marvin Gaye, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, Jackson 5, Luther Vandross and many others. With a total of 130 performances, there isn't a millisecond that disappointments. There are the stellar live shows and the classic Afro Sheen and Ultra Sheen commercials that are in every episode - the vintage commercials alone are worth the buy!

Unfortunately, these are not full episodes, there is some heavy editing, which was probably due to the music rights, but the performances that are included are amazing. My personal favorite is Marvin Gaye singing "Let's Get It On" in the audience and the women going mad. Plus, it's always fun to see the fashions of the time -- bellbottoms and afros were all the rage.

About the Author
Since 1971, "The Best of Soul Train DVD" has been the "American Bandstand" of the African-American community. Even today, "Soul Train" continues to be the showcase of urban artists and their chart-topping singles. The program also continues to be the place for beautiful dancers and their dance moves, though the dance and the dancers' attire are a bit more risque due to the changing times.