A bombastic party courtesy of Legacy Records. The festivities begin with an unedited "Wake Up Everybody" by Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes, flows into Isley, Jasper, Isley's "Caravan of Love," and then switches to adult theme ballads, the stature of "Me & Mrs. Jones," "Kiss and Say Goodbye," and Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine." Brenda & the Tabulations' breezy but despairing "One Girl Too Late" is delightful. The Intruders' "Cowboy to Girls" and Major Lance's calypso-ish "Hey Little Girl" are irresistible. Includes Labelle's potent "Lady Marmalade" and MFSB's contagious, six-plus minute "Love Is the Message."
A Dutch R&B/pop group that performs original songs as well as covers of R&B/soul hits, Ladies of Soul were formed by Trijntje Oosterhuis, Candy Dulfer, Glennis Grace, Berget Lewis, and Edsilia Rombley, who have known each other since childhood. They first got together for a series of Whitney Houston tribute concerts after the R&B diva's death in 2012. The shows were so successful that the quintet organized an arena show for Valentine's Day 2014, which sold out, resulting in a second sold-out show scheduled for the day before. Their resulting album, Live at the Ziggo Dome 2014, hit number two on the Dutch album chart, and the following year Live at the Ziggo Dome 2015 peaked at number three. The Ladies performed in Belgium later in 2015, with another Ziggo Dome concert planned for 2016.
This four-CD, 100-song set is the best representative body of work ever assembled (or ever likely to be assembled) of the R&B and soul releases from Henry "Juggy Murray" Jones' Sue Records. The range of sounds runs the gamut from ex-Drifter Bobby Hendricks' first hit for the company ("Itchy Twitchy Feeling") in 1959, through the string of hits by Ike & Tina Turner, to the company's last hits some seven years later. Not only is every chart single that the label ever had represented, but so are club hits from the mid-'60s and solo sides by uniquely New York-associated figures. The contents of the box are almost ideal, along with their arrangement – in contrast some other box sets, this one follows strict release order, which is a great way to follow the history of the label (though not ideal for anyone, apart from owners of multi-disc players, who simply wants to hear the label's best-known tracks in one sitting).
This session comes from close to the end of the line (1959) in the erstwhile swinging company of Barney Kessel on guitar, Ben Webster on tenor, and naysayers will be quick to point out that Lady Day wasn't in peak form here…
Although Orrin Keepnews' Riverside Records was primarily a jazz label, the company dabbled in blues in the 1960s – and one of the bluesmen who recorded for Riverside was John Lee Hooker. Recorded in 1960, this Keepnews-produced session came at a time when Hooker was signed to Vee-Jay. The last thing Keepnews wanted to do was emulate Hooker's electric-oriented, very amplified Vee-Jay output, which fared well among rock and R&B audiences. Keepnews had an acoustic country blues vision for the bluesman, and That's My Story favors a raw, stripped-down, bare-bones approach – no electric guitar, no distortion, no singles aimed at rock & rollers.