MARC STAGGERS - BACK 2 SOUL
Really rich work from vocalist Marc Staggers – a singer who's got a very classic approach to his music, and a style that most other contemporaries can't match! Staggers has a fullness to his range that almost recalls contemporary gospel – but his musical approach is definitely secular, and has this warm mix of rhythms and vocals that sparkles with loads of sweet 70s touches – not in a retro way, but just in a mode that shows that Marc's already on course to serve the kind of music you'll be going back to again and again over the years! The set's self-produced, and features great original material – a wonderfully unpretentious, ungimmicky album that's almost in the territory of classic work by The Isley Brothers. Titles include "Soul Summer Love", "You're My Everything", "Not Gonna Stop", "There's Nothing Better Than Love", "Key To My Heart", "Let's Just Take Our Time", and "With The Things You Do". Dusty Groove
STILOVE4MUSIC (VARIOUS ARTISTS)
One of the hippest sets we've ever heard on the Still Music label – a massive blend of tracks that feel a lot more like classic disco than some of the contemporary work you'd usually expect from Still Music! CD1 is especially great – and features a set of killer edits and remixes by Jerome Derradji – work that really has the deeply soulful feel of the late 70s/early 80s underground, tweaked a bit towards contemporary dancefloors – but still filled with some wonderfully rich vocals and warm clubby instrumentation! Tracks on that CD include "Bass Is The Place", "Watchadoin", "Disconnect", "Always On My Mind", "Says Alright", "Adaptive Control", "SOS", and "Situation". CD2 features a wider range of work – remixes and original tracks by some of the contemporary underground geniuses that Still has introduced us to over the years – but still all artists who are really influenced by older club, house, and disco. Titles include "Mysticmerlin" by Al Kent, "Mozambique" by Shepp, "My Voyage" by Rick Wilhite, "Nocturnal Jam" by Be, "Blackeyedsoul" by Jamie Finlay, "Goin To Chicago" by Weekend Express, and "102Point7" by Ricardo Miranda. ~ Dusty Groove.
THE FAT BABIES - 18TH & RACINE
One of the coolest combos working in Chicago these days – a trad jazz group with a really wonderful sound – one of the few modern groups who can really illustrate the improvisational excitement of jazz back in the Windy City scene of the 20s and 30s! These guys have a freshness that you'd never find with other trad combos – maybe an energy that's generated by their youth, or the fact that in the 21st Century we're now so removed from the cliches of the trad revival, folks can start over again and really get things right. Whatever the case, their sound is great – an electrifying revival of modes we never thought we'd like this much from contemporary players. The lineup includes string bass, cornet, clarinet, alto sax, trombone, piano, drums, and banjo – and titles include "The Stampede", "18th & Racine", "I Can't Dance", "Stardust", "Oh Baby", "The Chant", and "Blueberry Rhyme".~ Dusty Groove