BRANDOM WILLIAMS – XII
A hell of a record from keyboardist and producer Brandon Williams – an artist who may well be the Larry Mizell of the 21st Century! Like Mizell, Brandon's a hell of a musician at the core – really strong and soulful on his work here – but also like Larry, Williams really has a great way of reaching out and working with others – a quality that's already gotten his music exposure on records by some other big artists, and which also opens the door here to include guest contributions from Jesse Boykins III, Robert Glasper, Frank McComb, Don Blackman, Bernard Wright, Pharoahe Monch, Nicholas Payton, Choklate, Deborah Bond, and others! That lineup should really give you an idea of the depth of this record – as Brandon finds a way to make all these great talents come together, while still letting all the individuals shine during their time in the spotlight – no egos ever taking things over, not even Brandon's own – as the album rolls along with a majestic blend of jazz and soul. Titles include "Intimidation", "Pinball Number Count", "Godsend", "Everything", "Now I Know", "Feel Free", "Yasmin", "Velas Icadas", and "Make Believe". ~ Dusty Groove
LUXURY SOUL 2015 (VARIOUS ARTISTS)
Live like a prince, but on the budget of a commoner – thanks to this sweet Luxury Soul collection, which offers up 3CDs' worth of killer contemporary soul – but all for the price of a single disc! This volume continues the wonderful vibe of the series – and provides a great overview of some of the best underground soul of recent years – pulled from the Expansion family of labels, and some other indies as well – and put together with a really great track selection overall! Titles include "Think About Why" by Jarrod Lawson, "Feel" by Victor Haynes, "It's All About You" by Marc Staggers, "Pill" by Eric Roberson, "I Promise (MONEY)" by Angela Johnson with Raul Midon, "Struggling" by Imaani, "Luther" by Real, "Philly Line (Colin Watson Philly rmx)" by Soulution, "Your Smile" by Neo feat Drizabone, "With Me" by Kloud 9, "Perfect Love Affair" by Shaun Escoffery, "Someone Else" by C Robert Walker, "It's Just Like Love" by Sheree Brown, "What Took You So Long" by Tyrone Lee, "Just Can't Give You Up" by Diplomats Of Soul with Noel McKoy, and "Dondi" by Ed Motta. 3CDs and 35 tracks in all! ~ Dusty Groove.
THE BRAZILIAN BOOGIE COLLECTION: FROM RIO TO SAO PAULO (1976-1983) (VARIOUS ARTISTS)
Think Brazil only gave the world bossa nova and samba? Think again – because this set is a great example of the nation's rich legacy of soul music – especially the kind of upbeat, hard-grooving styles that still stay strong on today's global dancefloors! The groundbreaking collection is a wonderful batch of rare club, disco, and boogie tracks from the Brazilian scene of the late 70s and early 80s – music that's not just a copycat of American dancefloor styles, but often a unique hybrid of funk and regional Brazilian styles – blended together with top-shelf studio perfection, and served up with loads of jazzy touches in the instrumentation. The grooves here are razor-sharp throughout – and many tracks may well blow away better-known US cuts from the time – and the set does a good job of mixing a few longtime standards with some fresher tunes that really keep things interesting! Titles include "Relax" by Painel De Controle, "Funk Funk La" by Robson Robson, "Nao Va" by Tim Maia, "A Paraibo Nao E Chicago" by Marcos Valle, "Saiba Ser Feliz" by Tarantulas, "Rio Babilonia" by Jorge Ben, "O Amigo De Nova York" by Emilio Santiago, "Expresso Madureira" by Banda Black Rio, "Olhos Coloridos" by Sandra Sa, "Aleluia" by Robson Jorge & Lincoln Olivetti, and "Central Do Brasil" by Cassiano. ~ Dusty Groove