required listening

CD Review


Los Angeles Soul, Vol.2 : Kent-Modern’s Black Music Legacy 1963-1972

Kent Soul (UK) CDKEND 486

CHUCK WALKER & the VIPS with BOBBY McVAY-I’ll Be Standing By; Peace Of Mind/JIMMY BEE-At Last/RUDY LOVE & the LOVE FAMILY-Hungry Children; Then I Found You/B.P.S. REVOLUTION-Mighty Clouds Of Joy/FELICE TAYLOR-Honey/VERNON GARRETT-Slow And Easy/Z.Z. HILL-Where She At/STACY JOHNSON-Don’t Believe Him/OTHER BROTHERS-Nobody But Me/BOBBY JOHN-Like I Do/LARRY DAVIS-Whole World Down On You/AL KING-It’s Getting Late/EARL FOSTER-Jodine/CLAY HAMMOND-The Good Side Of My Girl/JEANETTE JONES-The Thought Of You/VANETTA FIELDS-You’re Still My Baby/MILLIE FOSTER-Rock Me Baby/CHARLES TAYLOR-What Is This World Coming To/LOWELL FULSON-What The Heck/FOUR TEES-Funky Duck/ARTHUR K. ADAMS-I Need You/JOHNNY COPELAND & his SOUL AGENTS-Ghetto Child

Here we take a second look at the Los Angeles soul music scene between the ten years 1963 to 1972 via the output of the Bihari Brothers’ Kent and Modern (plus subsidiary) labels, an outfit hosting some of the most splendid examples of the musical format.  Just a glance at the two dozen track listing above will highlight some of the host of ‘names’ that passed through the record company doors, delivering a variety of styles, whether the dance ditty, ‘Funky Duck’ from the Four Tees, the organ-backed blues of ‘Ghetto Child’, courtesy of Johnny Copeland and his Soul Agents, the strong beat ballad, ‘Then I Found You’, just one of the two offerings from Rudy Love & the Love Family or the chug-along ‘Honey’, a previously unissued item from the lady who ultimately saw more success in the UK than her native America, Felice Taylor.  Another lady with a newly-earthed item here is Millie Foster, who delivers a very nice distaff take on the classic ‘Rock Me Baby’, popularised by B.B. King, itself a King release from three years earlier.  Sitting on this cd either side of Millie’s outing, we find the powerful ballad, ‘You’re Still My Baby’, a Chuck Willis composition from former Ikette, Vanetta Fields and an energetic, self-penned ‘What Is This World Coming To‘ by Charles Taylor and a 1971 Mo‘ Soul release while, elsewhere, the aforementioned ‘variety‘ is sustained by way of such items as Jimmy Bee’s spoken-intro’d take on the now standard, ‘At Last’, some uplifting gospel soul - ‘Mighty Clouds Of Joy‘ by the four-strong femme outfit, B.P.S. Revolution - the funky, upbeat, brass and drum-led ‘Nobody But Me’ from the Other Brothers, further funk in the tale of the “Female Jody”, viz Earl Foster’s ‘Jodine‘ and the absolutely delicious, string-supported ballad, ‘The Thought Of You‘, from the ever-welcome Jeanette Jones.  As always with Ace/Kent releases, the whole is accompanied by a fully-detailed liner booklet, in this instance - as often - 20 pages annotated by hard-working compiler, Ady Croasdell.                                                                                                                                           

review posted 11/10/19