Monday, June 09, 2014


UB40 - ICON 

Named after the form to collect British unemployment benefits, this multi-racial blue-eyed pop-reggae outfit reflected its members’ working class roots. Following in the style of the U.K.’s post-new wave Two Tone movement, their politics and street credibility came through on such No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 chart-toppers as their distinctive covers of Neil Diamond’s “Red Red Wine” and the emblematic version of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” a song penned by Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore and George David Weiss. The band has been nominated four times for the Best Reggae Album GRAMMY® Award, and in 1984 they received a Brit Award nomination for Best British Group. One of the world’s best-selling bands, UB40 has sold more than 70 million records internationally. Other Top 10 U.S. hits featured on this collection include the covers “Here I Am (Come and Take Me)” and “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” as well as their No. 1 U.K. hit, a version of Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe” featuring Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders. Includes: Red Red Wine; The Way You Do the Things You Do;  Here I Am (Come and Take Me); Kingston Town; Bring Me Your Cup; I Got You Babe (featuring Chrissie Hynde); If It Happens Again; Rat In Mi Kitchen; Don’t Break My Heart; Cherry Oh Baby, and (I Can’t Help) Falling in Love with You.


The new Ambien Jazz Enselble album features 10 tracks and it features Neil Cowley (Jamiroquai), Finn Peterson (DJ Spinna), and George Shilling (Blur, Texas). Ambient Jazz Ensemble wrote music for the worldwide hit feature film Filth (starring James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Jamie Bell and written by Irvine Welsh). Neil Cowley plays keys, Finn Peters saxophone. The album was mixed by George Shilling (Blur, Calvin Harris) and mastered by Guy Davie (Erasure, Fatboy Slim). All tracks written by Colin Balrdy with long term writing partner Tom Kane cowriter of The Journey, Hallucinogenic, Waiting For Space and Vibration. The pair have been scoring tv, film and ad music for over 20 years. 


Pianist Johnny O'Neal is a mighty warm talent – and a hell of a singer too, working with this raspy tone that's very much his own – and definitely on the bluesier side of the jazz spectrum! This excellent live set has Johnny working at the height of his charms – shifting effortlessly between instrumental numbers and vocal tracks sung with his trio – in a mode that we honestly didn't think was being done this well anymore! The record's got the old school approach of work from the 60s Prestige Records generation – but also has a more open sensibility that's really in keeping with the Live At Smalls series – live tracks that are very spontaneous, but never too loose either – some of the best production that Johnny's ever had on record. The group features Paul Sikivie on bass and Charles Goold on drums – and titles include "I'm Born Again", "Uranus", "Goodbye", "Where Is The Love/Overjoyed", I'll Be Tired Of You", "Blues For Sale", and "Sudan Blue". ~ Dusty Groove

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