required listening

CD Review

VARIOUS ARTISTS  -  Masterpieces Of Modern Soul, Vol.5

Kent Dance (UK) CDKEND 450

MIGHTY WHITES-Given My Life; LEON THOMAS-L-O-V-E; C.J.& CO.-Rainmaker; JOHN EDWARDS-Now Can I Go On Without You; STREET PEOPLE-Your Momma Had A Baby; INDEPENDENTS-Lucky Fellow; EDDIE FLOYD-Can We Talk It Over; WILL HATCHER-What Is Best For Me Is Better For You; MAJOR LANCE-That’s The Story Of My Life; MILLIE JACKSON-I’ll Continue To Love You; LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY -Mrs So And So’s Daughter; FELECIA JOHNSON & T.S.B. INC.-Franchise On Love; TY KARIM & GEORGE GRIFFIN-Keep On Doin’ Watcha Doim’ (pt.1); MODERATIONS-Ride The Disco Train; FOXFIRE feat. JOHNNY ADAMS-A Star In The Ghetto; LEE PORTER & PEACEFUL PERSUASION-Nobody’s Doin’ A Doggone Thing; CHET IVEY & his FABULOUS AVENGERS-Dose Of Soul; RAY GODFREY-I Ain’t Givin’ Up; EON-We’ll Go On; HEADLINERS-I’ll Live My Life Loving You; HERMAN DAVIS-Gotta Be Loved (pt.2); REGGIE MILNER-Hello Stranger; NEW EXPERIENCE feat. ELAYNE STARR-I Believe; FREDDIE SCOTT-I Guess God Wants It This Way

Remarkably, we are now up to volume five in the ‘Masterpieces Of Modern Soul’ series from Kent and as ever there is no letting up in range nor mixture of artistic content, ‘names’ like Eddie Floyd, Millie Jackson, Loleatta Holloway and Freddie Scott rubbing shoulders with such lesser-known artists - well, to me anyway - as Felecia Johnson, Lee Porter & Peaceful Persuasion and Herman Davis.  (Fortunately, compiler Ady Croasdell’s track-by-track run down in the accompanying 16-page, fully-illustrated booklet, fills in the yawning gaps in my knowledge.)  The far-less-than-onerous task is therefore for me to stop waffling, sit back and enjoy the two-dozen tracks on offer, nine of which are making their 2019 debut, either as previously unissued edits or as newly emerged from the vaults...  In the latter category first comes the opener, ‘Given My Life’ from the Mighty Whites, while we move on to ‘Ride The Disco Train’ from the Moderations, a Dave Hamilton song and production modelled on his ‘Ride The Gospel Train’ as recorded by the Tolbert Family; Ray Godfrey (aka Raeford Gerald) delivers ‘I Ain’t Givin‘ Up’, a number he produced on both Millie Jackson and Joe Simon.  The Headliners‘ ‘I’ll Live My Life Loving You‘ is another making its debut here, a production and songwriting opus from David Blake, best known for his work with Frank Dell (‘He Broke Your Game Wide Open’) and it’s back to the Dave Hamilton fold for the rippling ‘I Believe‘ by New Experience featuring Elayne Starr, the lady’s name being a pseudonym for Elaine Watkins who co-penned the item with Hamilton.  Elsewhere, alighting somewhat at random, Westbound’s C.J. & Co., most notable for their dancers, keep the toes tapping with ‘Rainmaker’, the aforementioned Felecia Johnson’s funky ‘Franchise On Love‘ is subject to a detailed tale in Ady’s liners and Foxfire’s spirited treatment of Phillip Mitchell’s ‘A Star In The Ghetto‘ - best known via Average White Band & Ben E. King - is fronted by Johnny Adams, not the New Orleans‘ superstar (in my book) but a gentleman from L.A.  Street People, long associated with writer/producer, Ray Dahrouge and their Spring and Vigor label releases, deliver a splendid, fully orchestrated and harmonised ‘Your Momma Had A Baby’, previously unearthed in 2016 from the Spring vaults and, sticking with the groups, who can resist the Independents‘ upbeat Wand album track, ‘Lucky Fellow’?  Now for volume six!                                                                                                                                           

review posted 18/9/19