Saturday, December 03, 2005

Dare I Say Blue-Eyed Soul?


I am not a particularly a fan of the term "blue-eyed soul", but I am not sure how else I would describe the sound of Lewis Taylor. The first time I heard Taylor was on KCRW. Jason Bentley was playing selections from Taylor's release Stoned on his Metropolis show. I remember thinking to myself that somehow Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield had created a lovechild and this was the result. Singing in a seductive falsetto, Taylor's music is as soulful a voice as you could imagine. The surprise comes into play when you realize he's a white man from Britain. That's where that term I used earlier has to apply at some juncture. Taylor hails from North London and started in the rock world before forging his way into r & b and soul. Luckily, some of the rock influence is heard on this release. David Bowie, Elton John, Chaka Khan, Paul Weller, Joan Armatrading etc. all jumped on board supporting him. It took 3 years for us to get his Stoned release, which is an expanded version of 2002's Stoned Pt. 1 released in the UK. Taylor not only provides the vocals on this release, he provides all of the instrumention and produced the entire record, as well. Fans of old school r & b and the newer wave of nusoul, will find something to love on this album. Take a listen to Nic Harcourt's interview and Taylor's live performance on Morning Becomes Eclectic. This session was recorded in the UK and includes 2 sets of music, as well as, an interview with Taylor. Yet another reason to become a member of KCRW. The station that continues to supply me with a musical education I am forever grateful for.

I want to toss another link to you, as well. A good friend at work (jw), who loves female vocals and glitchy electronica (especially of the Nordic persuasion), turned me onto Midaircondo. Three gorgeous women, all singers, all musicians who formed their group during a knitting session. I certainly hope their music career does not hinder their knitting. I'd like to put in an order for a scarf so I can go visit them in Sweden! I have only heard singles and not en entire release, but what I have heard is out of this world. Think Bjork-like vocalizations coupled with some electro-jazz. I will going out to buy this release pronto. Just another example of how much music is coming out of areas like Sweden and Norway! Keep it comin'!!!

In lieu of a guilty pleasure today, I am going to institute a new feature that will pop up from time to time. This feature will be entitled Sherman's old friends. This will give us a chance to revisit an older release. Something that is never taken out of Sherman Jr. just 'cuz we love it so much. Our old friend today is actually a series of releases. The Nude Dimensions series on Naked Music. This 3 cd series contains some of the finest deep house music you will find anywhere. Naked Music was founded in 1999 and has been delivering some of the slickest, sexiest compilations around. Check out their site and feel free to judge the music by the covers. Each cover is as ground breaking as the label's music artists. You cannot go wrong with any release on this label, but I have a very soft spot in my heart for the Nude Dimension's series. Smooth, sweet vocal house from the likes of Lisa Shaw, Miguel Migs, Gaelle, Aquanote and Nathan Haines, just to name a handful. Naked Music keeps releasing hits and continues to break new ground with every artist they support. Check out their catalog on iTunes.

Have a stellar weekend!

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