Soul Fantasy

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The New Minstrels - Smile



After my article concerning the japanese band ChickenShack, I decided to present an article for a great show band from Philippines. The band named New Minstrels is a popular show band of the 70s in Asia. The New Minstrels (Second generation) started in the late 70s. The group won 2nd place at the 3rd Metro Pop Music Festival for their song “Ikaw, Ako, Tayo, Magkakapatid”. Later they released a single with english lyrics entitled "Smile / I Don't Love You Anymore". It was released on OctoArts International in Philippines. Both songs were written by Butch Monserret. Arranged by Eddie Munji. Enjoy the beautiful song "Smile".



Later as they wanted to change their format, they also decided to change their name to Something Special. Under that name, they enlivened the entertainment night scene in the most popular bars during that era.

Note: The above posted single is not played in full

Sunday, November 30, 2014

ChickenShack (Self-Titled) 1986 Lp




ChickenShack is a japanese band that was formed in the mid 80s. The members of the group were Hidefumi Toki (Sax), June Yamagishi (Guitar), Darek Jackson (Bass), Toru Tsuzuki (Keyboards) and Koji Miura (Drums). Τhe band released some albums from 1986 to 1990. One of them is the debut self titled album in 1986. The album was recorded at Smoky Studio, Ginza. It was released on Meldac Records.
The additional musicians were Teruo Matsusoto & Marty Bracy on drums, Yoshikazu Kishi on trumpet and Shizue Hirano on trombone. Backing vocals by Paula Desmond, Michael Wilson, Valerie W.Walker, Dempsey Leonard and Lonnie Hirsch.
Produced by ChickenShack. I chose two tracks entitled "China Blue" and "Verano". The lyrics of "China Blue" were written by Darek Jackson and Nancy Krasn, and the music by Darek Jackson.
The lyrics of "Verano" were written by Darek Jackson and the music by Hidefumi Toki.





Note: The above posted tracks are not played in full

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Roberta Flack And Friends - Cream Smooth Jazz 1982 Lp


I decided to present an album which I recently discovered in Athens. I immediately understood that many people ignore this album and they have not given the appropriate attention. It seems that fans of soul and jazz music don't know about it, because this album was recorded for the Manischewitz Wine. It was released on Ron Records in 1982. Almost all the songs are related to the wine.
Manischewitz Wine invited Roberta Flack so as to record an album.
The album was recorded in two studios, at Rosebud Recording Studios and JAC Recording, both in New York.. 
Two songs, which were recorded at Rosebud Recording Studios, were produced by Roberta Flack, Bill Eaton and Ralph McDonald and arranged by Bill Eaton and Roberta Flack. All the other songs, which were recorded at JAC Recording, were produced by Joel Herron and arranged by Leon Pendarvis, David Spinnoza and Joel Herron.
On the first studio, at Rosebud Recording Studios, participated some great musicians such as Paul Griffin, Eric Gale, Yogi Horton, Ralph McDonald, Marcus Miller, Tom Scott and Richard Tee.
From these recordings, I have chosen the song "A Cool Glass Of Wine" which performed by Roberta Flack.



On the second studio, at JAC Recording, participated also great musicians such as Paul Griffin, Jon Faddis, David Spinozza, David Friedman, David Tofani and Bucky Pizzarelli. On vocals appears the one and only Grady Tate. I want to note the album mentions that some songs are performed by Roberta's Guys and Roberta's Girls. The names of  the vocalists are unknown.
I have chosen two songs, the masterpiece song entitled "You Go To My Head" which is one of my all-time favorite songs and the song "Things For You To Do When I'm Not There" which was performed by Grady Tate.
"You Go To My Head" is a popular song of 1938, composed by J.Fred Coots, with lyrics by Haven Gillespie. The original song was recorded by Teddy Wilson's Band with the vocals by Nan Wynn. The same year it  was also recorded by Billie Holiday. Enjoy this masterpiece.







Note: The above posted tracks are not played in full.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Rick Bowen - Want My Love 1980 Lp


I discovered this album in this summer. It is not soul music but includes very nice music. I saw it for the first time on ebay. Later, I was fortunate to find it in a record shop in USA.
Rick Bowen was a business man and president of a manufacturer's rep firm. In order to save his company, he tried to write and sing radio commercials. One of those commercials had such a big success that the audience kept requesting the commercial thinking it was an actual song.
After being informed by the radio producers, he went to the Ronnie Millsap label Ronjoy Music and collaborated with Rob Galbraith in order to turn the spot's tune into a possible hit song.


The result was that Rick Bowen recorded an album entitled "Want My Love" in 1979. It was released in 1980 on Gemini Records. Produced by Bruce Dees. The self-titled song is a disco tune which was written by himself. Rick Bowen along with the talent singer Vicki Sue Robinson sang the self-titled song.



Here's one more song entitled "Believe Me Baby". This song was written by Chip Hardy and Cross Keys.



I want to note that he wrote his first song called "Snake In The Grass" in 1977, about a guy who could not find a girl friend.

Note: The above posted tracks are not played in full.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Announcement

Hi everybody. I'm sorry for the delay. I'm very busy with my job. I want to inform you that I will be back on Thursday... 
Best Wishes

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Laura Theodore featured with Thom Gambino and The Umano Orchestra - If I Could Touch The Stars 1983



Laura Theodore is a jazz singer from Cleveland of Ohio and an actress. She grew up in the theatre and developed a passion for films and musical theatre as a young girl. After she moved to New York,  and started her acting career, she appeared in over sixty plays and musicals. She also partcipated as a guest artist on many records and soundtracks. It is thought that she has one of the most striking voices in jazz music. She recorded and released six albums in her career. Her debut album was released in 1995. However in 1983 she released a single entitled "If I Could Touch The Stars / Wake Up" on Pachay Records. Both songs were recorded under the direction of Thom Gambino
Thom is a saxophonist from New Jersey who played alto, soprano saxophone and flute for The Lionel Hampton Orchestra in the early 70s. In 1978 Thom and Larry Gambino founded The Umano Orchestra, a 26-piece jazz-rock ensemble.

The Umano Orchestra in 1981
In 1983 Thom Gambino and The Umano Orchestra collaborated with Laura Theodore. They recorded two songs at Unique Recording Studios, N.Y. Both songs were produced, arranged and conducted by Thom Gambino.


In the song "If I Could Touch The Stars" the music was written by Thom Gambino and the lyrics by Stan Bronstein and Flo Moree. Solo alto saxophone by Thom.




In the other song "Wake Up" the music and the lyrics were written by Stephanie Chapman. Marc & Kim Gambino on backing vocals. Solo alto saxophone by Thom.

As I mentioned before, her debut album was released in 1995. She collaborated with the pianist  Don Rebic. The album was entitled "Tonight's The Night" on Bearcat Records under the name Laura Theodore featuring Don Rebic. This album contains six originals and three cover tunes. On the album feature some of New York's finest musicians, such as Randy Brecker on trumpet, Joe Beck on guitar, Chip Jackson on bass, Michael Berkowitz on drums and Lou Marini with Andy Snitzer on saxophone.


This album was born when Don Rebic, the musical director of Laura, called her in order to compose and produce their own jazz music. It received a Musician Magazine Award. It was recorded at R.P.M. Studios, Interface and Brielle Studios, New York. Horn arrangements & orchestrations by Alan Foust.
I have chosen the great self titled song "Tonight's The Night" which was written by Laura Theodore & Don Rebic. Backing vocals by Norma Garbo and Maria Bartolotta. Solo sax by Andy Snitzer. Enjoy it...



In 2009 she released a jazz album with the late guitarist Joe Beck entitled "Golden Earrings" which was selected to appear on the 52nd Grammy Award list in the category of "Best Jazz Vocal Album".

Note: The above posted tracks are not played in full.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Damaris - Damaris 1984 Lp


Her entire name is Damaris Carbaugh. She was born on November 4, 1955, in New York City. Her father was a singer. As a teenager, Damaris and her two sisters sang as a trio. At the age of 15 , she managed to sing at a recording studio. After this moment she was in demand by producers and advertising agencies in New York. She has performed vocals on countless advertising jingles and commercials, often in Spanish, which she speaks fluently.
In 1982 she won the American Song Festival Talent Search and received a recording contract with CBS Records. The album was released in January 1984 under the name "Damaris". It was recorded at A&R Recording, New York.   


In this album participated some known artists like Leon Pendarvis on piano and synthesizer, David Spinoza on guitar, Yogi Horton on drums, Jimmy Maelen on percussion, Luther Vandross, Phillip Ballou and Fonzie Thornton on background vocals. The album produced by Deborah McDuffie. Executive produced by Cecil Holmes.
I chose to present three tracks. The first is entitled "What About My Love". This song previously was written by Patrick Moten and was recorded by Johnny Taylor in 1982. However I can say that both versions are fantastic. The second song is entitled "You Stopped Loving Me". This song previously was written and recorded by Luther Vandross in 1981. Luther helped Damaris on background vocals.
The third song "Giving Up On Love" is a nice duet by Damaris and David Simmons. This song was written by Deborah McDuffie.








After this album she sang on commercial jingles for some of the world’s biggest advertisers, including Coca Cola, Pepsi, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Minute Maid and Wrigley’s Double Mint Gum. Due to the fact that the desire of Damaris Carbaugh’s heart was to be a servant of Christ, she decided to record only gospel albums. In fact she did not want to pursue a career. For more info concerning Damaris Carbough you can see here.

Note: The above posted tracks are not played in full

Friday, September 12, 2014

Cergon - Play It Funky 1979


One more discovery in this summer. Nice dance songs on both sides. Cergon was an unknown group from Florida. The members were Venancio Cervera and Frank Gonzalez. In 1977 they created a company called Cergon Songs Publishing Company. Two years later, they released a single entitled "Play It Funky / Do What You Feel" on CSC Records.  Both songs were written by Venancio Cervera. Produced by Budd Snyder.
I chose the song "Play It Funky".



Note: The above posted single is not played in full