You're Doing It With Her (When It Should Be With Me) (2:45)
Cry Myself To Sleep (2:06)
Review: Rhetta Hughes (Los Angeles, California, November 9, 1953) is a R&B singer and actress. She starred in the Broadway musicals Dreamgirls, Don't Play Us Cheap and Amen Corner: for which she was nominated for a Tony Award in the category for Best Actress in a Musical in 1984. She also appeared in the films Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, The Wiz (as a member of the choir) as well as the film version of Don't Play Us Cheap. She was also seen in the TV version of the musical Purlie, and appeared in an episode of Law & Order. In addition, Hughes had two entries on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart including "Angel Man (G.A.)" which hit #1 in 1983. "You're Doing It With Her (When It Should Be With Me)" is the kind of soul classic that the late Amy Winehouse could have taken her cues from while "Cry Myself To Sleep" appears on the flip.
Gyedublay Ambolley & The Steneboofs - "Simigwado" (4:36)
Review: Mr Bongo come through with two pounding slabs of Ghanaian magic from 1973. Up top Honny & The Bees live up to their sweet name on "Psychedelic Woman," a hypnotic, insistent mid-tempo bell-bashing, string twanging nodder that really arrests when the big harmonic chorus heaves in. Complementing this, Gyedublay Ambolley & The Steneboofs offer "Simigwado" which will appeal to all break diggers; powerful JB-level horn heaven, it's concentrated funk of the highest order.
Review: Late, great Japanese funk don Takehiro Honda's vaults get the treatment from HMV as two of his many famously fizzy jams enjoy a new lease of life. 1971's "Ain't It Funky Now" should be familiar by all as it subverts the good work of the greatest band leader of all time with mild jazz and funk fusion. "Greasy Spoon" on the B can be found a few years deeper into Takehiro's discography as part of his 1973 album "What's Going On". Another supreme, lucid fusion cut; not only does it still kick up a fuss on the dancefloor, it also salutes the best cooked breakfasts on the planet. Not to be slept on.
Review: Since 2003, Record Kicks has been the "explosive sound of today's scene" and, by the looks of this latest nugget from Martha High, they're right on track to fulfill that promise! The talented US vocalist was on the front row of James Brown's hits in the 60's and 70's, but she's since then focused on her own glorious soul material. "A Little Taste Of Soul" comes as a ray of shining light on a wet October afternoon, full of funky sensibility and heartfelt vibes, making for the perfect dance number for those looking for that groovy thang. For the B-side, "Unwind Yourself" slows the tempo down, breaks up the groove, and unleashes High's Goddess-like voice amid those tasty breaks - what a winner!
Review: Finnish revivalist funk combo the Soul Investigators are no strangers to collaboration, having previously provided backing for Nicole Willis, Myron and Ernie Hawks. Here, they once again join forces with the latter for two more chunks of instrumental funk and soul goodness. A-side "Scorpio Walk" is the kind of cut that should come with its own named dance; a shuffling, mid-tempo funk affair that layers Spaghetti Western guitar solos and fluttering flute lines over a backing track rich in flanged guitar licks, bustling bass guitar and on-point drum breaks. Flipside "Message of Love" is an altogether deeper and more dewy-eyed affair, with woozy backing vocals and electric piano solos rising above a shuffling groove.
Review: Athens Of The North celebrate the longstanding contributions of host, presenter, writer, personality and occasional singer Bernard "Spider" Harrison. Recorded sometime around 1970, and fetching large triple figures between collectors, the feel good bluesy soul cut "Beautiful Day" first landed on Lulu Records and has barely seen the light of day since... Until now. And it's loaded with a never-before-released drum cut. Don't sleep, though. Only 500 of these have been pressed.
Review: Legendary bandleader Eddie Palmieri took a rare groove excursion from his Latin legacy in the early 70s for two albums as Harlem River Drive. Criminally overlooked, Soul Brother have dusted off two of the many highlights from his self-titled debut; "Idle Hands" is a sleazy, Gaye-style message with an almost spoken word quality to the vocals and a smoky wooziness to the horns while "Seeds Of Life" is a real end-of-set belter that rises and rises with tight orchestration between the guitar, horns and drums. Incredible... This can't be slept on this time round.
Review: For their latest dive into the depths of funk history, Athens of the North travels back to 1978 and the debut of John Hawes and Velma Bunch's obscure Hard Drivers project. The record initially appeared on Hawes' own short-lived imprint, and his since become a sought after 7" amongst serious collectors. "Since I Was A Little Girl" is a disco-era funk gem, with guest singer Vivian Lee providing a brilliantly confident vocal to compliment Hawes and Bunch's driving, horn-heavy backing track. On the flip you'll find original B-side "Straight Talk", a touching torch song full of harmony backing vocals, impassioned builds, and lyrics capable of melting even the stoniest of hearts.
Review: Herbie Hancock has been responsible for many era-defining records over the years - "Rockit" being a particularly good example - but few of his compositions have been quite as game changing as "Chameleon". First featured on 1973 album "Head Hunters", the 15-minute epic was revolutionary in a number of ways, not least in its use of a killer 12-note bassline, "percussive" style guitar parts and loose-limbed funk beat. It remains one of the greatest jazz-funk moments of all time, as this timely reissue proves. This time round, it comes accompanied by another "Head Hunters" classic - Hancock's groovy, synth-laden re-recording of his own 1962 composition "Watermelon Man". Two stone cold classics for the price of one: what's not to like?
Review: Two out-and-out rarities from Hancock's Columbia-era output. Strictly the sole preserve of DJ promo back in 79/80, the clue is in the title 'special' disco remixes. Smooth, soulful and arranged with such style, every element of Herbie's essential ingredients is brought to the fore in its own time with its own space. "Stars In Your Eyes" swoons with a soulful ballad feel while "Saturday Night" pumps and jumps with party-pulling allure. Simply essential.
Review: Hot on the heels of "Outta My Head / Give Me Something" the Haggis comeback is in full effect as they drop another sure-fire brass-blasting blunderbuss: "Take It Back" features slippery lyricism of writer/comedian/MC extraordinaire Doc Brown alongside their signature tight groove and rolling sense of playful funk. Loaded with an instrumental on the B, this one is guaranteed to sizzle your summer.
Give Me Something Better (feat John McCallum - Werkha remix) (4:00)
Review: Northern collective The Haggis Horns have been at the forefront of the UK funk scene since they came to prominence as a horn section on the legendary album "Keb Darge Presents The New Mastersounds" in 2001. They then went on to form their own full band in 2004 and have three albums under their belt: "Hot Damn!", "Keep On Movin" (First Word Records) and recently released "What Comes To Mind" (Haggis Records). They've been rocking crowds the world over for years winning fans with their signature sound that crosses over with breakbeats, afrobeat, soul and hip-hop. The seven piece band call upon John McCallum on vocals and guitar for the absolute funk explosion that is "Outta My Head" while on the flip their track "Give Me Something Better" gets a lovely rework by Manchester's nu-jazz broken beat wunderkind Webkha.
Review: Chicago eight-piece Hypnotic Brass Ensemble return with their first album in the best part of 10 years. Maturing with age, experience and decoration, they're even more rich, measured and magic than ever before. Our souls are arrested from the moment the slow spell-binding arpeggio of "Lead The Way" ignites the smouldering journey and the dreamy drama doesn't let up until the final whirling synth echoes of the finale track "Royalty". Highlights include the yearning trumpets and pensive plucks of "Midnight", the insistency and pace of "Heaven & Earth" and the playful swooning signature switches on "Now". Once again, a truly singular trip from the Cohran brothers. Essential.
Review: Earlier this year, Acid Jazz signed a deal with soul legend Leroy Hutson to license his vast catalogue of work. Having already reissued a number of key releases, the long-running London label has now put together this retrospective of his solo work. It contains material from albums and singles recorded between 1972 and '84, plus a couple of cuts that were previously unissued before they appeared on wax earlier this year (most notably the brilliant "Positive Forces"). Naturally, there are plenty of must-haves present, including classics such as "Cool Out", "Lover's Holiday", "So In Love With You" and "Closer To The Source", making it a near perfect introduction to Hutson's sensual musical world.
Review: In 1979, a year after he co-founded Yellow Magic Orchestra, Haruomi Hosono joined forces with acoustic guitarist Takahiko Ishikawa and keyboardist Masataka Matsutoya to record "The Aegean Sea", a gloriously sunny set of jazz-fusion, disco and jazz-funk cuts shot through with Mediterranean musical influences. It's the kind of thing that would now be considered "Balearic", so it's little surprise to see the set getting a European reissue for the very first time. There's much to admire throughout, from the funk-fuelled dancefloor cheeriness of "Reggae Aegean Woman" and Bob James/Jimmy Smith-influenced bliss of "Image", to the sun-baked gorgeousness of "Day Break" and thrillingly jaunty "Atlantis".