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First Listen: Herb Partlow takes us to the "Next Level"
(April 9, 2020) Multi. That is the prefix that must go before whatever word used to describe Herb Partlow. A multi-instrumentalist, Partlow plays keyboard, piano, bass and drums. Basically, he’s a one-man rhythm section. Partlow composes, produces and engineers music and he has also been a manager and an on-air radio personality. If it involves music, Partlow has done it.
Partlow brings those gifts to his upcoming contemporary jazz project that has a scheduled summertime release, but he has dropped the lead single and title track, “Next Level.”
First Listen: Badge and Talkalot explain "The Situation"
(April 8, 2020) There’s a lot going on on Fragments of the Soul, the new, socially conscious album by Badge and Talkalot. The disc, which is the brainchild of Gilberto Caleffi, combines funky R&B with a view of real life situations going on in the world – much like what we would have heard in the early 1970s from the likes of Sly and the Family Stone or even Marvin Gaye.
World Premiere Video: Stephanie McCourt comes out smoking on "Save Me"
(April 8, 2020) There’s a seemingly easier way and there’s the harder way. The easier way for an R&B artist to advance in this industry may be to adopt the vocal stylings and instrumental arrangements of contemporary R&B. The more challenging route would be for an artist to embrace the elements of classic soul and advance and interpret them on their own terms.
Bigg Robb: The bridge between Bootsy, Zapp and Southern Soul
(April 7, 2020) Roger Troutman had one simple request when he tossed the keys to his limousine to Robert “Bigg Robb” Smith. “I didn’t know how to drive a limo, and he just threw me the keys and said, ‘Don’t wreck this thing,’” Bigg Robb recalled.
We mourn the passing of legendary soul and jazz great Onaje Allan Gumbs
(April 7, 2020) This week is unfortunately starting the way last week ended, as we bid a sad goodbye today to legendary pianist, bandleader and songwriter Onaje Allan Gumbs. Gumbs, (born Allan Bentley Gumbs) was a noted jazz sideman for many years, working with the likes of Thad Jones and Kenny Burrell, September 3, 1949 - April 6, 2020) was a New York-based pianist, composer, and bandleader. And he was also a master behind the scenes, working with many of the greatest popular artists of the last 50 years.
World Premiere: Binky Womack shines on "Let's Do It Again"
(April 6, 2020) He is music royalty, there is no question about that. And there aren't many families that have had more of an impact on soul music than the legendary Womack family. And that talented family continues to make an impact through the emergence of Curtis "Binky" Womack. Binky is the son of the late Curtis Womack of The Womack Brothers and has made a career for himself as a top tier session guitarist.
SoulTracks 10 Gems: Michael Kiwanuka
April 6, 2020 — Welcome back to 10 Gems, our new series featuring 10-song, single-artist playlists that we think may especially appeal to SoulTrackers. The focus here is not on track position or “hits,” although some are included; rather, it’s all about quality, atmospherics, groove, and feel.
First Look: Brian McKnight honors his wife with "Nobody"
(April 5, 2020) For close to 30 years, R&B legend Brian McKnight has been churning out memorable ballads that have impacted multiple generations. Songs such as “One Last Cry,” “Still In Love,” “Anytime” and “Back At One” continue to resonate with fans and peers. His latest single release successfully follows such rich musical history and continues his successful romantic run.
R.I.P. Patrick Gibson of disco group The Gibson Brothers
(April 5, 2020) In a week that was just too much for many of us, we’re sad to report another musical death. Patrick Gibson, vocalist and drummer for the group has died, reportedly from the coronavirus. The France-based trio scored on charts around the world in the late 70s with the dance hits "Cuba" and "Que Sera Mi Vida".
“Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll” creator Vaughan Mason dies
(April 3, 2020) If you were of a certain age in 1980, you were no doubt dancing or roller skating to the omnipresent “Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll.” It was the signature hit written and produced by multi-instrumentalist Vaughan Mason for his group Vaughan Mason and Crew, and it was a jam. We are very sad to report the death of Mr. Mason at age 69.