soul Archive

Roy Ayers’ Positive Vibrations

Few popular musicians have been successful at making a switch from one genre to another while holding on to a substantial fan base. Singer and vibraphonst Roy Ayers has done it, and more than once. Famously gifted a set of vibes mallets by bandleader Lionel Hampton, Ayers earned one of his first professional breaks as

Quick Takes, Part Three

Today I take a quick look at ten archival releases of note. Tim Buckley — Wings: The Complete Singles 1966-1974 The music of Tim Buckley (yeah, late father of the late Jeff Buckley) has earned a reputation as difficult. And while I’m not here to flatly counter that impression, I must say that this collection

Quick Takes, Part Two

More quick-take reviews … Pop Co-op – Four State Solution Making an album via file sharing – instead of the old-fashioned method of gathering in a studio – is now a well-established practice. The title of this set refers to the approach used to make it. Steve Stoeckel’s name will be familiar to pop connoisseurs;

The Nth Power: Maximum Musical Skills

New Orleans supergroup delivers spirituality and soul live onstage and on a pair of new albums The hypnotic, deep-groove funky soul of The Nth Power is a big draw on the jam band circuit. On the group’s web site, the New Orleans-founded quartet claims that it’s “on a mission to share the light.” There’s no

Amy Black’s Latter-day FAME

Singer’s Muscle Shoals Revue honors music made at legendary Alabama studio Amy Black didn’t set out to showcase the music of Muscle Shoals, Alabama’s FAME Studios; things just worked out that way. “It wasn’t planned,” she says. “It was kind of organic.” Black originally planned to record most of her 2014 album This is Home

Album Review: Mushroom — Psychedelic Soul on Wax

File next to: Brian Auger’s Trinity, Can, David Byrne The four cuts on Psychedelic Soul on Wax are as different from another as can be, but then Mushroom has always confounded easy classification. “Flesh Failures (Let the Sun Shine In)” is a cover of the hit tune from the Hair soundtrack, served up here in

Coffey Talk: A Chat with Guitar Legend Dennis Coffey (Part 2)

Continued from Part One … Dennis Coffey was part of a new venture, the Producer’s Workshop, led by legendary Motown bassist James Jamerson. As he recalls in Guitars, Bars and Motown Superstars, “Motown had already got rid of its staff producers who were hitless, so the remaining producers continued to develop their ideas during the

Coffey Talk: A Chat with Guitar Legend Dennis Coffey (Part 1)

The 2002 film Standing in the Shadows of Motown introduced viewers to The Funk Brothers. That name – originally coined by session drummer William “Benny” Benjamin – was retroactively applied to a large and loosely-defined group of musicians responsible for a staggering amount of the pop music that came out of Detroit, Michigan in the

Postmodern Jukebox: Breathing Old Life into New Classics

It’s one of those inspired ideas that leads listeners to wonder why someone hadn’t thought of it before: take modern-day hit songs, and recast them in the styles of yesteryear. That’s the winning approach of the fiendishly creative – and prolific – Postmodern Jukebox. The brainchild of New York City pianist and arranger Scott Bradlee,

New Albums from Larry, Tracey and Murali Coryell

There was a time in the late 1960s and early ’70s when it looked as if Larry Coryell would break out as the Next Big Thing. A fiendishly gifted guitarist with a deep interest in (and more importantly, a thorough mastery of) many different styles of music, he was and remains quite prolific. Whether as