Content tagged 'R&B'
Roots (Album of the Day)
Though it's often overshadowed by his classic soundtrack to the film Superfly, Curtis Mayfield's ROOTS is equally noteworthy. The 1971 studio album, the singer-songwriter's second after leaving pioneering soul group The Impressions, finds Mayfield pairing insightful and compassionate lyrics with music that is both sweet and funky. Produced by Curtis and originally issued on his own Curtom label, the collection reflects the issues of its day without feeling dated; such anthems as "We Got To Have Peace" and "Beautiful Brother Of Mine" still strike a chord. A Top 10 R&B hit, ROOTS is one of the finest soul albums of the '70s, and an ideal way to remember Curtis Mayfield, who passed away on this day in 1999.
Back To Back (Live In Paris) (Album of the Day)
If today one travels to festivals like Coachella or Glastonbury to see multi-act concerts, in decades past those shows came to the fans in the form of package tours. In 1967, preeminent Southern soul label Stax/Volt sent some of its top artists to Europe for a series of concerts, including the one immortalized on BACK TO BACK (LIVE IN PARIS). Cut at that city's Olympic Theatre, the album presents sets by Booker T. & the M.G.'s and the Mar-Keys, both crack instrumental outfits renowned as backing bands for R&B royalty as well as hitmakers in their own right (“Green Onions,” “Hip Hug-Her” - both heard here). The 10 songs on BACK TO BACK brim with fiery performances, starting with the insistent grooves of M.G.'s bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn, who was born on this day in 1941.
Sings Bessie Smith (Album of the Day)
Though one of the all-time great female blues singers, Bessie Smith had long vanished from the charts when LaVern Baker championed her music with a tribute album in 1958. Such hits as “Jim Dandy” had ensured Baker a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but SINGS BESSIE SMITH fits her like a glove. The Atlantic collection features a dozen songs popularized by the Empress of the Blues (“Gimme A Pigfoot,” “Empty Bed Blues,” “There'll Be A Hot Time In The Old Town Tonite” among them), though LaVern gives each her own charismatic vocal stamp, With hot jazz-influenced accompaniment by a band including trumpeter Buck Clayton, SINGS BESSIE SMITH is both a superb introduction to a blues legend and a brilliant calling card for LaVern Baker, who was born on this day in 1929.
Coast Along With The Coasters (Album of the Day)
Though the cover of their final Atlantic album might lead you to think otherwise, The Coasters drew their name from their West Coast (specifically Los Angeles) origins and the East Coast (specifically New York) base they adopted shortly after their formation. The 1962 COAST ALONG WITH THE COASTERS was a collection of singles from the preceding three years, including the classics “Little Egypt (Ying-Yang)” and “(Ain't That) Just Like Me.” Aided by the Leiber and Stoller songwriting-production team, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers are in fine voice and good humor on these dozen tracks. Ronnie Bright - bass singer for most of the band's 60+ years of existence – was born on this day in 1938, and we'll tip our hat to him with the wonderful COAST ALONG WITH THE COASTERS.
Celebracion: The Warner Bros. Recordings (Album of the Day)
Originally a Bay Area R&B group called The Malibus, Malo was among the first wave of Latin-influenced rock bands in the early 1970s. Led by singer-guitarist Jorge Santana (Carlos' brother), the band signed to Warner Bros. and promptly produced a classic self-titled debut album and Top 20 single, “Suavecito,” which decades later would be sampled in Sugar Ray's chart-topping “Every Morning.” CELEBRACIÓN: THE WARNER BROS. RECORDINGS takes the story from there; the 4-disc set include all four of the group's albums (MALO, DOS, EVOLUTION and ASCENCIÓN), all of their non-LP single versions and a previously unreleased edit of "Pana,” all remastered from the original tapes. With a stronger jazz influence than most of their Latin rock brethren, Malo carved out a distinctive niche during their original two-year lifespan, and this comprehensive and highly listenable set is truly cause for CELEBRACIÓN.
Spanish Harlem (Album of the Day)
Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul (Album of the Day)
All In The Name Of Love (Album of the Day)
Formed in White Plains, New York in the late 1970s, Atlantic Starr relocated to Southern California and recorded a string of albums for A&M Records before switching to Warner Bros. for ALL IN THE NAME OF LOVE. Anchored by brothers David, Wayne and Jonathan Lewis, the quintet also featured percussionist Joseph Phillips and Barbara Weathers, whose sultry vocals helped turn ballad “Always” into a No.1 pop single. With such additional gems as R&B Top 10 hit “"One Lover At A Time” and “Armed And Dangerous” (the Maurice White-produced title song for the John Candy film), the 1987 collection couldn't miss, and it became the group's best-selling album. Atlantic Starr singer, songwriter and guitarist David Lewis celebrates a birthday today, and we'll serenade him with the Platinum smash ALL IN THE NAME OF LOVE.