Front Page

CD Shop

New Releases

Forthcoming Releases

Back Issues

Serious Soul Chart

Quality Time Cream Cuts

Vintage Soul Top 20

Album of the Month

CD Reviews

Editorial Columns


Readers' Favourites

Top 20 most visited pages


Soul Express CD Review

Brass Strings 'n' Things
2008 Mo better Jazzfunk

1) Evolution 2) Cosmic Lust 3) I Like It 4) Pete's Crusade 5) Throw Down 6) Bahia De Palma 7) I'm So Happy 8) Nature Boy 9) Time 10) London Town 11) Movin' 12) (Somebody) Help Me Out 13) Goin' To See My Baby Pt 2 14) Time

How timely this release comes, hot on the heels of the superb Light Of The World re-release “Round Trip” album on EMI Gold (also reviewed here on Soul Express.) That album contained 7 tracks from this SUPERB live set, and made it doubly worth the time and effort to purchase, but don't for a moment think that because you have the teasers that you don't need this set! Oh, far from it! Recorded live at the wonderful Jazz Café in London. The performance is tighter than a mosquito's tweeter, as it has been said, and it is only the odd snatch of audience appreciation that belies the fact that this is NOT a studio set! Now, there's talent for you! The funk really is on fire throughout the set. It's pedigree runs like a streak throughout the set and what a phenomenal reading of Roy Ayers' classic “Evolution” to kick off the set; Orphy Robinson filling Roy's shoes effortlessly. Billy Osborne and Camelle Hinds underpin the set with their solid and stoical drumming. The excellent “Cosmic Lust” has long been a meat 'n 2 veg inclusion for the gang and the magic is definitely still there. In fact, the atmosphere is tangible – it feels like a lot of joy, love and dedication went into this performance. Miss them at your peril.

“I Like It” hits you with all the force you would expect, the brass punches, the bass does its job and the sax licks at you and has you caught up with the crowd – all from the comfort of your own home! There's a guitar rhythm to die for on “Pete's Crusade” which would make the Blackbyrds proud! Fans of brass will love the Kool & The Gang-like version of Tom Browne's classic “Throw Down” and the trumpet solos really enhance it too, along with tortured and edgy sax. “I'm So Happy” - a classic – is given a real good workout with a reggae twist , and Camelle Hinds steps forward to deliver Central Line's evergreen “Nature Boy”. This is a gentleman who can sing, and his beautiful vocals over the muted trumpet allows the Latin piano rhythm and flute to whisk you away. As you would expect, “London Town” features and the vibes are delicious! The boys really are at home on this groove and the infectious rhythm still gets you as much now as it did way back in 1980.

Not being a fan of live sets, part of me didn't relish this set but the proof of the pudding was definitely in the hearing. An excellent act, excellent music and an excellent venue. All captured on one CD. How good is that?!
- Barry Towler

The Latest CD Reviews
Albums of the Month in 2008
Albums of the Month in 2007
Albums of the Month in 2006
Albums of the Month in 2005
Albums of the Month in 2004
Albums of the Month in 2003
Albums of the Month in 2002
Albums of the Month in 2001
Albums of the Month in 2000
Albums of the Month in 1999
Albums of the Month in 1998
Albums of the Month in 1997

Other CD reviews
Back to our home page