Soul Fantasy

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

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cheryl Fox - Early Morning Man 1984

Hello my friends, after several days of holidays, I'm here to present a very nice discovery which I found in July. I am  really impressed because this record 45" is very nice, but at the same time so unknown. 
This record 45" was released on GCS Records, label of Reginald Eskridge in 1984. Several copies were  also released in 1985.
In fact Cheryl Fox is an unknown singer who signed on Reginald Eskridge's label. She released a single entitled "Early Morning Man / Spending My Time". Both songs were recorded at Galaxy Studios, Memphis,Tn. Although both songs are nice, I chose to present the song "Early Morning Man". It was written by Moses Medlock, Marsha K.Weinfeld and Sammy Easley. Produced by Reginald Eskridge and arranged by the known guitarist Michael Toles and Andrew Jackson.

In 1986 Reginald Eskridge along with Cheryl Fox and Eddie Mayberry and others toured in Europe and Japan so as to promote the label.

Note: The above posted single is not played in full

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Time for holidays

I will be on holidays. I will leave for Zakynthos.

 Next post in late August.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

6th Anniversary

Yes, there have been six years since I opened my blog. Although I'm often tired to present articles, I love it and I will never stop doing it. As I remember at some time 5 years ago, I said that when I will find the vinyl of Grady Tate and Gwynne MichaelsI will stop presenting articles on my blog. I found the vinyl and now I say that I will continue doing it. In many occasions, the articles I have presented appeared for the first time in the world. I always try to present articles concerning special and rare vinyls.
First of all, I want to thank all my visitors. Especially I want to thank some musicians who gave me the opportunity to come in contact with them last year.

Special thanks to Lee Mays who is a real gentleman and helped me on my article Lee Mays - Real Love (Upcoming CD)For the past 15-17 years Lee Mays has written several songs which were "stashed away". The songs are available for the world to hear.

For Nick Fradiani what can I say? He helped me to make a great article in which I presented Nick and his band RhapsodyHis passion for music has been passed down to his son Nick Fradiani Jr. 

For one more time, I want to thank the guitarist, songwriter, producer and singer Ron Henderson Jr. who helped me on the article for Gloria Bagwell.

In 2013, I had the opportunity to speak with Gregg Jackson. All the collectors of soul music in the world hope one day to keep in their hands the album of Gregg Jackson which was released in 1982. The album includes the fantastic self titled song "One For The Road". I presented the album several months ago on my blog. It was a great time for me when I kept this album in my hands. I can't describe my feellings. I want to thank Gregg Jackson for all his info.
I must mention that it is a great suprise that Gregg Jackson is ready to release an album CD entitled "The Other Side Of Me".

Now, it is time for me to go on holiday and here comes "Holiday Madness".

This record entitled "Holiday Madness / Caribbean Christmas" was released on Luther Wilson Records in the mid 80s. Luther Wilson Jr. was a singer, songwriter and owner label. Here, Luther Wilson used on vocals the singer named Bettejo Miller. "Holiday Madness" was written and produced by Bettejo Miller. Co-produced by Luther Wilson Jr.

Note: The above posted single is not played in full

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Grady Tate and Gwynne Michaels - Love Winds

Grady Tate

Starting my article, it is worthy to mention that the legendary Grady Tate is one of my favorite singers, although he became known as a drummer of jazz music.

It was a night of October 2008. I was in Kavala in Greece. I tried to buy a 12" record by Grady Tate & Gwynne Michaels on ebay. I lost it in the last second. It was sold for $ 100.99. I was very disappointed. I remember this night like now. However I believed that I would find it some day.

Gwynne Michaels

I started to search in web concerning this record. I found only a mention on Jet Magazine of June 1984. Later I was looking concerning Gwynne Michaels. I found some information about some live performances she did in New York during the 90s and later. In one of those performances, Gwynne Michaels appeared in June 1990 at New York Women's Jazz Festival along with the bassist Carline Ray, the pianist Bertha Hope, the trumpeter Jean Davis and the saxophonist Carol Sudhalter.
Some day, I called my friend Nicolas Drosos so as to speak with him for that masterpiece. I gave him the sample of the song "Love Winds". He agreed with me. Nicolas and I tried to come in contact with the best collectors in Europe. We spoke with Richard Searling, John Ridley and many other collectors or DJ producers but eyes had never seen this record.
Of course, I was dissapointed. As I remember since that night, I never stopped searching on ebay for this record. Every time, every morning, every afternoon and every night I was searching for it.
In the early 2009 (3rd January), I tried to come in contact with the late Barrie Lee Hall Jr. He was a trumpeter, music director and band leader of the Duke Ellington Small Band.

Barrie Lee Hall Jr.

He played solo trumpet on the song "Love Winds". I spoke with him through email two times. He was trying to remember this recording. However what he said to me was really important. Barrie Lee Hall Jr. told me that the last time he had seen Rudy Stevenson was ten (10) years ago in Berlin, Germany.
Rudy Stevenson was a guitarist, composer and producer from New York. He worked with the famous singer Nina Simone, The Fifth Dimension, The Lloyd Price Band, Cedar Walton, Dexter Gordon, Chuck Cissel and with many others playing guitar and flute or composing music. He was a member of the legendary Duke Ellington Orchestra. In 1988 he relocated to Berlin. Rudy Stevenson was composer, arranger and executive producer on both Grady Tate's songs which were recorded in New York at A&R Recording Studio.

Rudy Stevenson

I started to search for him in Germany. First in web. Later I found a female friend from Germany named Jean. Jean tried to call Rudy Stevenson in phone. She spoke with him. Although there have been many years, Rudy Stevenson still remembered this record. However he could not remember where the vinyl was. In fact, I waited one day for Jean to send me a message saying that Rudy gave her the vinyl of Grady Tate & Gwynne Michaels. For one more time I was disappointed. Jean had some personal troubles and later disappeared. I was thinking maybe Jean got the vinyl from Rudy Stevenson and that this was the real reason she disappeared. I don't know anything about that and I am not sure. Later I sadly learned some bad news as Rudy Stevenson passed away on 12th December, 2010 in Berlin.

Nicolas Drosos, Freddie Cole and I

On January 25th, 2011, I went at the Half Note jazz club. I decided to go so as to meet the legendary Freddie Cole. In fact I believed that Freddie Cole will help me to come in contact with Grady Tate, because I discovered some photos of him along with Grady Tate. So I went in Half Note. It was a beautiful night. I had the opportunity to speak along my friend Nicolas Drosos with him. He said to me some things concerning Grady Tate. However I did not manage to find him. It was very difficult.
Three months later, I received a message from the Pittsburgh Jazz Network. I am a member of this website. I received a message that Grady Tate will be doing a live appearance at the August Wilson Center, along with New York pianist Sumi Tonooka, saxophonist Kenny Blake, drummer Roger Humph­ries and other distinguished local and national artists. I tried to go there, but it was very difficult, because I needed more time. For one more time I was disappointed.
Then I continued to search every day for the record. As I remember I discovered that Gwynne Michaels collaborated with the songwriter and pianist Andy Rajeckas from New Jersey. In 2008 she sang a song entitled "Heal The World With Me" which was included on the Rajeckas debut album CD named "Peacework".

It is worthy to note that Andy and Gwynne performed the song "Heal The World With Mein Hardwick, N.J. on Saturday, Nov 15, 2008 in front of 350 people.


It was the moment that I got the opportunity to come in contact with Andy Rajeckas. I wrote him a message on August 3rd, 2011. For some days I waited to receive a message from him. However the days passed and I did not receive any message. About three months later in the late October of 2011, I got a message from Gwynne Michaels. As it seems Andy Rajeckas informed Gwynne Michaels concerning my message. It was a great time for me, for two reasons. The first that I had the pleasure to speak with the singer who sang one of my favorite songs and the second the fact that I was very close to take the vinyl in my hands. Although it was a great moment for me, I was disappointed because Gwynne Michaels could not give me the vinyl because she had only one copy for herself.
However, I continued to search, and on March of 2012, I discovered a female singer of jazz music named L'Tanya Mari . She studied with Grady Tate at the start of her career. For this reason I tried to come in contact with her. I spoke with her only one time and she told me some things mentioning the name of Ron Walker. I understood that Ron Walker was the manager of Grady Tate. Immediately I started to search about him. Then I came in contact with the percusionist Wilson "Chembo" Corniel. "Chembo" received a Grammy Nomination by Naras in 2009 for “Best Latin Jazz Album” for his 2009 CD release entitled "Things I Wanted To Do". He collaborated with Grady Tate and for this reason I asked him concerning Grady Tate and his manager Ron Walker. However I got a negative answer because Walker had passed away. "Chembo" had contact with Grady Tate only through Ron Walker. For this reason I could not find Grady Tate for one more time.
The years passed and sometimes I was still thinking that I will never find the vinyl of Grady Tate. In 2013 I noticed on ebay a rare 7" record by Corinda Carford. She is a singer of rock and jazz music from New Jersey. She has collaborated with the great Bruce Springsteen as a backing singer. In 1979 she released a 45" single which today is an ultra rare and hard to find. I tried to speak with her because at that time she collaborated with Rudy Stevenson and I wanted to find more information concerning the man who wrote and produced the songs of Grady Tate's and Gwynne Michaels's vinyl.
Finally, the great moment came for me so as to find this vinyl for which I have been looking for 6 years. I received a message from ebay that the record entered for sell on ebay. I had put automatic search system. I said immediately that this vinyl was mine. So on 16th June I bought it for $ 380. I can't describe my feelings. What can I say more ?

The 12" record was probably released in 1984 on Zeus Records in New York. Both songs were recorded at A&R Recording Studio, New York. Both songs were penned by Rudy Stevenson. Of cource the song "Love Winds" is a masterpiece soul/jazz song and in my opinion one of the best ever. Barrie Lee Hall Jr. plays fantastic solo trumpet.

(Mix Samples)

The other song "It's Time To Settle Down" is a nice ballad.


In order to talk about Grady Tate, I would need many hours to write several pages. So I decided to write some things about Gwynne Michaels. Her professional name is Gwynne Michaels and she is from New Jersey. She also uses the name Hearns because she has been married. She started her professional career in the 70s. She sang as backing vocalist on the Loudon Wainwright "T'Shirt" album in 1976.
She did many live performances such as in the late 80s for Brooklyn Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble. A year later she appeared at New York Women's Jazz Festival. In the mid 90s she and her quintet appeared at the Jazz Cafe at Flushing Town Hall, Northern Boulevard. It is thought an excellent place for music concerts in the great hall. It is a beautiful building that's Victorian-era on the outside. In 1997 she did a live performance along with the saxophonist Harold Ousley in New York.

In 2000 UGHA she hosted the "Heroines of Rhythm and Blues" at Symphony Space (NYC). The show featured The Original Chantels, Barbara English and the Clickettes, Ruth McFadden, Della Griffin and her Enchanters, Cindy Taylor and The Cliftonaires, along with the Decibelles. She joined the stage as backing singer of Della Griffin. She was simply superb!
She toured all over the world such as in Japan, Thailand, Phillippines, Italy, Spain, France and Chile.
During the last months I came in contact again with her. It is my honor speaking with her, because she sang one of my all-time favorite songs. She told me some things about Rudy Stevenson. From what I understood, Rudy Stevenson was a great man and musician. Finally I dedicate my article only to those who know how to appreciate good music.

Note: The above posted tracks are not played in full

Friday, July 18, 2014

Gayle Smith - Hey Little Girl

I decided to present another obscure record 45". It is a special song which reminds me of jazz standard songs. However it is an original song which was written by Gael Smith in the late 70s. He performed under the name Gayle Smith. His real name is Gael Gorman Smith and was born in 1946.
He released a single "Hey Little Girl" on Tama Records in 1979. It was recorded at T.J.Productions, San Antonio, Texas. Arranged by Mike Feliciano.

Note: The above posted single is not played in full