soul Archive

Seratones: Power Takes Time

In the music business there’s something known as the “difficult second album.” Some call it a sophomore slump, arising from the idea that the artist has his or her entire life to write songs for the first record, and then mere months to craft material for a follow-up. It’s the rare artist that sidesteps this

Jerry Jemmott: The Groovemaster (Part 5)

Continued from Part Four… Starting in 1978, Jemmott’s group, Souler Energy, played a mix of styles that showcased the range and versatility of its rotating cast of players. Jemmott also got into arranging, work for theater, and instruction. In addition to recording and releasing a trio of solo albums, Jemmott has produced a number of

Jerry Jemmott: The Groovemaster (Part 4)

Continued from Part Three… The studio gigs kept coming. “I was busy,” Jemmott says. “I was real busy.” But as much as he enjoyed his heavy session schedule, he was starting to burn out. “Duane [Allman] and I wanted to part ways with making records at one point,” he says. “In fact, I think it

Jerry Jemmott: The Groovemaster (Part 3)

Continued from Part Two… Jemmott knew how King’s music usually sounded, but he also knew why people booked him as a session bassist. “People usually call me to do something different,” he emphasizes. “So it was a matter of watching his hands. Whatever he did, I did something different. It was always that blues triplet

Jerry Jemmott: The Groovemaster (Part 2)

Continued from Part One… But now he had to learn to play the new instrument. “And it didn’t happen right away,” Jemmott says. “I had encountered it before, but the sound just turned me off. I said, ‘I will never play one of these things.’” But he felt that he had no choice. “I knew

Jerry Jemmott: The Groovemaster (Part 1)

Jerry Jemott is known as the Groovemaster. An in-demand session musician, he’s one of the most recorded bassists ever. Though his musical foundation is in jazz, he played on many of the greatest and most well-known singles and albums across a wide swath of genres. That’s him on Aretha’s “Think.” Jemmott plays bass on B.B.

Hundred-word Reviews for January 2020

Every so often – pretty often, in fact – I find a stack of CDs has accumulated on my desk. They’ve made the cut as albums deemed worthy of sharing with my readers. In the space of just one hundred words, I endeavor to convey what’s noteworthy or even special about these releases. Each of

30 Days Out: January 2020 #2: Jake Shimabukuro, Tinsley Ellis, The Seratones, Ashley Heath & Her Heathens

Artist: Jake Shimabukuro Venue: The Orange Peel Date: Friday, Jan 24, 8 p.m. Door: $30 Ukulele probably isn’t the first instrument that comes to mind when one thinks of powerfully rocking music. But Jake Shimabukuro is the sort of artist who can make that comparatively humble instrument work in a surprising variety of contexts. His

Album Review: Empire Strikes Brass — Brassterpiece Theatre

Some creative projects are the result of a carefully thought-out plan. Others happen through a special combination of good fortune and the participants’ openness to whatever develops. The latter is the case for Asheville’s Empire Strikes Brass. The group came together in 2012 for what was planned as a one-off event. Founder and saxophonist Paul

Hundred-word Reviews for December 2019, #3

Here’s the final installment of the year (and the decade!) of my quick, condensed album reviews. Ten titles, 100 words each. Seven are new releases; the remaining three are archival and/or reissue releases. There are some SERIOUS gems in here. Sweet Lizzy Project – Technicolor When most people think of Cuban music, their thoughts turn