Finally, it’s Soul Togetherness time again. The 20th edition features yet again an amazing mix of modern, neo and jazzy soul tunes, put together by Ralph Tee and Richard Searling. And what a monster mix it is this time, with a lot of new discoveries, like the incredibly soulful “Need Somebody To Love” by T.L. Shider, only available so far on his website. The track is taken from his new album “Some How Some Way” and has all the ingredients of a classic early 80s soul anthem. Listen to the background vocals for example. They remind me of the best Luther Vandross or Tawatha Agee vocals from back in the day. A fantastic track.
Magoo from France is back here on this comp. He too seems to have inhaled all the ingredients of early 80s styles and sounds, with his “Still Really Love” bringing back The S.O.S. Band or Loose Ends. Never heard of singer Dawn Claudette Rose before. She is featured here as D.C.R. with “Positive Vibes” and once again, early 80s soul is in the house. The production quality of “What Turns You On”, the opening track by Lukas Setto from London, is top notch and the perfect entry to this 15-track journey.
The duo Steal Vybe covers “Make It Last Forever”, recorded by the immortal Inner Life in 1981 with Jocelyn Brown on vocals. The new version here with Alexa Gold is pure sexiness and underlines the importance of songwriters Patrick Adams and Greg Carmichael. They have truly created an anthem. Old school soul singers are back and in demand as witnessed here by the two entries from Glenn Jones and Rockie Robbins. Rockie can be heard with the solid title track from his 2019 Expansion Records album “Good Life” (his first album in 34 years) and Glenn is back with a song that Rockie actually recorded for his 1980 LP “You And Me”. Even though that particuar title track from the album remains Rockie’s best output to date, Glenn does it justice with a chilled-out, jazzy version. Good news that there is a new album, “Love By Design”, on the horizon.
UK soul singer Shaila Prospere is featured with a grooving “Plus One” and Angie Stone is back with her independently released “Full Circle” album, from which Ralph and Richard have chosen “Same Number”, a solid Angie soul stomper.. The Hamburg-based Terri Green Project has the light-footed “Giving It Up” and its Chic-like strings added here and Budapest is part of the game, too. The swinging “Tell Me” by Solatimusic actually has some Berlin input as well: Toni Snetberger plays drums on this really shining cut with vocals by Kriszta Pocsai. “Love Ballad” quotes are part of “When I Get Back” by Tre Williams and we get a cute duet by Raheem DeVaughn and Jamecia Bennett with “Need To Know” (actually from 2016). Solid modern R&B stuff.
Another special discovery for me is singer Andre Laville whose “Thirty One” is simply mesmerizing. And straight out of the Reggie Lucas/James Mtume book. The album closes on yet another highlight and the only real 70s tune here, the 1978 “All My Life” by Steve “Doc” Willoughby. Another high quality soul compilation edition which will save us during the upcoming winter months. And thank you for bringing us T.L. Shider!