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Commentary - I Still Like Albums

Commentary - I Still Like AlbumsThe other day I read someplace that in 2014, more Americans participated in "Black Friday," than participated in the 2014 Mid term elections. That is a pretty sad fact, but that level of apathy is also similar to how apathetic music fans have become about music. It seems that many music fans are simply willing to accept the mediocre music handed down by the "plutocrats" (one percenters) who run the music industry. My friends there is still GREAT music being produced today and will continue to be produced in the future. It's all just a click away, more accessible to you than ever before at any point in your lifetime. This issue of the Soul-Patrol Newsletter is dedicated to telling you about some of that music. You won't hear about this music in the "lame stream media," but you will hear about it right here. This music isn't controlled by the plutocrats who run the music industry. Instead, it is controlled by the artists themselves.


I still like albums, but I really don't like LP's. They are bulky and take up too much space. I like CD's and mp3's.

But it isn't really the storage media that I care about when it comes to albums.

I like albums because I like artists. And I enjoy listening to albums because an album represents a snapshot
of the sum total of their creative musical vision at any given point in time, using a family of songs that they created around the same time to represent that vision.

I want to understand what that vision was. And more importantly listen to the music in its totality to understand to what extent they were able to achieve that vision. In other words, did they "hit or miss."

Of course most of the time, most artists "miss."

But when they "hit," it is a thing of true beauty, that I can go back to at any point in time between now and whenever I die to recapture that vision at least in my own mind. It means that at least for that series of songs and perhaps more, I have formed a "kindred spiritual bond," with that artist that lasts a lifetime.

In my lifetime I have been fortunate enough to meet more than one artist whose music has had such an effect on me. And when I have had this conversation about one of their albums that has made me feel this way, it is a magical thing. When the artist is able to fully realize their vision for an album and that vision is then validated by someone they previously didn't know, something akin to (but not exactly) "friendship" is created (at least on a spiritual level.)

Even if you never get to meet the artist and have the conversation about the album, that "spiritual friendship," still exists.

If I can't get all of the above from an album, then what is the point of listening to the whole thing?
(or worse yet, suggesting to someone else that they waste their time listening to it?)

And that's why I like albums...

Scroll down, read the reviews and if any of what is being described strikes your fancy, go ahead and click on the links. If you do, I can assure you that listening will bring just as much of a smile to your face as it did for me.

Bob Davis - CEO Soul-Patrol
1636-44 Route 38 #310
Lumberton, NJ 08048
609-351-0154

--Bob Davis
609-351-0154
earthjuice@prodigy.net

Co-Founder www.soul-patrol.com


Album Review - Dominique Toney - "A Love Like Ours"

Press Release - TnT: Don't Let GoDominique Toney - "A Love Like Ours"
(Jazz/Funk/Soul/Neo Soul/Rap/Pop)
www.dominiquetoney.com

Every few years I get an album like this sent to me.
It is a fantastic package of music!

This album...

"WRAPS IT'S LEGS AROUND ME, SWINGS ME TO THE LEFT, SWINGS ME TO THE RIGHT, PULLS ME IN DEAD CENTER, THEN PULLS ME RIGHT BACK DEAD CENTER DARES ME TO PULL AWAY WITH THE FULL KNOWLEDGE THAT EFFORTS TO PULL AWAY, WILL RESULT IN THOSE LEGS JUST BRINGING ME RIGHT BACK TO THE CENTER..."

So as a result I don't know what "genre" of music that is considered to be. All I know is that I like it. NO (LOVE IT)

Discovering albums like this, is the whole reason why I started listening to music in the first place and more importantly, the reason why I continue to listen. And when I hear it, I know that it is an album that I am going to return to many times over, for many years to come.

Two examples of albums like this from the past that some of you may be familiar with, are "Adventures In Paradise" (Minnie Riperton) and "Wanting" (Gabriella Anders.)

It's quite remarkable, because it belongs to a genre that a few of you will recognize, but some of you may find yourselves wondering about. In fact I am told that few people today, in 2014 are interested in this type of music?

First of all it's an album.
A REAL album.
The individual songs don't matter.
In fact as good as the individual songs are, listening to any one of them all by itself, has the impact of marginalizing it. That's because Dominique Toney - "A Love Like Ours," is an actual fully realized suite of music, that tells a whole story and listening to a single song means that you are depriving yourself of the entire story. I may be "old fashioned," but I don't understand what any music lover would want to deprive themselves of an entire story.

In other words; "why wouldn't you want a nice set of legs wrapped around you, for as long as possible?"

This is a full body of work that represents true artistic vision. In 2014 I am told that this type of art is of little interest to consumers. However this is the type of art that I am EXPLICITLY interested in and seek out every single day.

The music (much like that "set of legs wrapped around you") is issuing a challenge to the listener.

It is saying something like...
"Ok you begged me for some high quality end to end p*ssy, now I have given it to you, can you truly deal with the reality of having what you said that you wanted..."

Here is the track listing...

Loving You's So Easy
We Are
Vengence
Love Like Ours
Pieces
I Can't Take That
The Last One
Move Along (Interlude)
Hello There
Blink of an Eye
Just Don't Know
I Will Love Again

Dominique Toney (who wrote most of these songs) is equal parts: -Alica Keys -Amy Winehouse -Dee Dee Bridgewater -Mary Wells -Erykah Badu

A obviously talented, visionary and brave young lady; to put out such an artistic masterpiece, in the headwinds of a music consuming public who
(apparently?) says that they aren't interested in music of substance in 2014.

One of the things that the genre of music that I like to call "a set of legs wrapped around you," will usually feature is a MONSTER set of backing musicians (think back to "Adventures in Paradise.") This album Dominique Toney - "A Love Like Ours" is no different, look who is playing behind Dominique Toney:

.Kevin Toney, Piano & Keyboards - 2x Grammy nominee with The Blackbyrds, songwriter of major smooth jazz hits "Kings" and "Aphrodisiac"
.Ray Parker Jr., Guitar - Academy Award nominee for Billboard #1 song "Ghostbusters." Other hits include Chaka Khan's "You Got The Love", New Edition's "Mr. Telephone Man", and Raydio's "A Woman Needs Love"
.Doc Powell, Guitar - Grammy nominated artist for cover of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On", credits include Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Kirk Franklin, Stevie Wonder
.Craig T. Cooper, Guitar - credits include Anita Baker, Bob Dylan, George Duke, Cheryl Lynn
.Rayford Griffin, Drums - credits include Toni Braxton, Anita Baker, Dave Koz, Michael Jackson
.Andre Delano, Saxophone - credits include Lionel Richie, Maxwell, Stevie Wonder
.Johnny Britt, Trumpet - credits include Josh Groban, David Bowie, Jennifer Lopez
.Andre Manga, Bass - credits include Chaka Khan, Donnie McClurkin, Les Nubians, Josh Groban
.Spencer Zahn, Upright Bass - credits include Father Figures, Empress Of, Brazos

Not sure what else I can tell you about this album, except that if you are the type of music listener who truly enjoys and savors having a nice set of legs wrapped around you for a long time, then this is a must have album that you will treasure for many years to come.

If however your not interested in that.
Then just keep moving along, there's nothing to see here...

www.dominiquetoney.com


Bob Davis - CEO Soul-Patrol
1636-44 Route 38 #310
Lumberton, NJ 08048
609-351-0154

--Bob Davis
609-351-0154
earthjuice@prodigy.net

Co-Founder www.soul-patrol.com


Album Review - Little Isidore & the Inquisitors - "Moxie" (Part 2)

Press Release - TnT: Don't Let GoLittle Isidore & the Inquisitors - "Moxie" (Part 2)
(Rock n' Roll/R&B/Slow Jams)
http://www.crystalballrecords.com/rock-roll/little-isidore-and-the-inquisitors-moxie-part-ii.html
I have heard the music of Little Isidore & the Inquisitors before. I was first turned on to them by our friend Angel Rissoff, who is occasionally a part of the group. The concept is simple, yet compelling. It's basically hardcore 1950's/1960's R&B/Rock n' Roll (hey aren't those two the same thing?), that is serious as a heart attack, with just a little bit of "tongue in cheek."

So this is music that has a heart & soul. It's as pure as the driven snow. And it's probably the last thing that one would want to produce if you were looking for success in the 2014 commercial music marketplace. Now things weren't always that way of course. If you flashback to the early 1980's a group out of Texas called the Fabulous Thunderbirds had a huge amount of commercial success with a very similar concept. At around the same time, a young man named David Forman (Little Isidore) developed a similar concept and created "Little Isidore & the Inquisitors," as a vehicle for those ideas and concepts.

The album "Moxie" (Part 2) is totally & completely in that vein. It combines both covers and originals, fast stuff and slow stuff to achieve this and I am totally in love with it.

Last year I was deep in conversation with our friend ELP56 about the current state of music, that went something like this:

ELP56: "Yo Juice, you are always talking about the need for music to be "compelling," you are so damn picky, what do you mean by "compelling?"

EARTHJUICE: "Well....right about now, I would find some damn Brenda & the Tabulations to be compelling..."

(long pregnant pause)

ELP56: "Yeah man, that would be compelling..."

So last week I was riding down the highway here in New Jersey, with Little Isidore & the Inquisitors - "Moxie" (Part 2) jamming on the box, smiling as I was cruising down the highway, patting my feet/snapping my fingers/using the steering wheel like it was a set of bongos......and then I was completely stopped in my tracks when track #9 came on. It was super sensuous cover version of Brenda & the Tabulations 1967 hit song "Dry Your Eyes." That just about did it for me :)

There are a TON of GREAT songs on this album.
And if you are a fan of 50's/60's R&B/Rock n' Roll (hey aren't those two the same thing?), then Little Isidore & the Inquisitors - "Moxie" (Part
2) is a MUST Have!!!


Track Listing: Little Isidore & the Inquisitors - "Moxie" (Part 2) http://littleisidore.net/<br>
* I Like It Like That
* Lickity Split
* Tell Me Something I Don't Know
* Pledging My Love
* You Gotta Love Him
* Foot Stompin
* Jelly Belly
* It's Late
* Dry Your Eyes
* Would I Mind
* It Ain't Nuttin'
* Memories Are Made Of This
* The One Who Really Loves You
* Don't You Just Know It
* I'd Rather Have You

Bob Davis - CEO Soul-Patrol
1636-44 Route 38 #310
Lumberton, NJ 08048
609-351-0154

--Bob Davis
609-351-0154
earthjuice@prodigy.net

Co-Founder www.soul-patrol.com


Album Review - TnT: Don't Let Go (7/5)

Press Release - TnT: Don't Let GoTn'T - "Don't Let Go"
(Mind Expanding Soul/Funk)
http://tritommusic.com/

Tn'T is an acronym. It stands for Tom and Trish. On one hand, the two of them are the antithesis of the stereotypes that surround our media driven view of what modern relationships are all about. They are a married couple who have been so for many years. On the other hand their reality has nothing to do with "stereotypes." Their reality is the same as it is for the rest of us. It's a series of ups & downs, good days & bad days, that observed in a vacuum seem to be pretty dull/boring. However obsevered in all of it's multi-dimensional totality represents all that is truly good and important in life. Understanding this requires something called "maturity," and the failure to acknowledge the appropriate level of importance leads to being unhappy.

That is what the music of Tom n' Trish is about. These are the issues & concerns that they try to highlight. It's important for all of us to try to consider these things, because at the end of the day it's really all about how we treat other people. And what you give is truly what you get back! That is the "mind expanding" part, it's taking the simple things that we have all been taught (and seemingly have forgotten) and using them as tools to solve the world of complexity that we deal with on an individual basis.

Given that we have an understanding that this is going to be the subject matter of just about any album by Tom n' Trish, what is it about. And the manner in which they deal with that subject matter is a big part of what makes this album compelling.

The other part is about the "monster groove." As a lifetime funk music fan I am always looking for that groove. As a New Yorker, I know that when that groove is laid down just right, that FUNK becomes something that I find it impossible to let go of. That is what I heard from start to finish. That's what made me listen to the whole album. That's what made me pay attention to the lyrics and ultimately the message that Tom n' Trish were trying to tell me.

As a music critic, I know that people for whatever reasons are very much concerned with musical styles. I would like to suggest to you that if you like the slow burning mid tempo funky groove of artists such as Sly Stone and Prince that you will like this album. If you like classic slow jams, then you will like this album. If you like to go out on Friday & Saturday nights to nightclubs and get all sweaty on a dance floor or even if you just like to stay at home and "dance in the dark," you will dig this album. And if you like any of the above done with a smile, then you will dig this album.

However as a human being, if you find the discussion of life's up's and downs to be of interest, then you will find Tom n' Trish's funk-d-fied presentation of the good, the bad & the ugly to be quite compelling!!!

My advice to you if you are reading this is to go ahead and give this album a shot, when it is released on 7/11, who knows, you might just get lucky by taking that shot!!!

http://tritommusic.com/

Bob Davis - CEO Soul-Patrol
1636-44 Route 38 #310
Lumberton, NJ 08048
609-351-0154

--Bob Davis
609-351-0154
earthjuice@prodigy.net

Co-Founder www.soul-patrol.com


Album Review: Abstract Truth - Fire & Desire: Tribute to the Songbook of Rick James and Teena Marie, Vol. 1

Album Review: Abstract Truth - Fire & Desire: Tribute to the Songbook of Rick James and Teena Marie, Vol. 1
Fire & Desire: Tribute to the Songbook of Rick James and Teena Marie, Vol. 1
(REAL DEAL - Jazz/Soul/Funk/Slow Jams)


http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/abstracttruthglawrence
http://www.abstracttruthmusic.com

As I listened to this outstanding new release from our friends Abstract Truth, a few thoughts went thru my head...

--What If 6 Turned Out To Be 9? - Rick James and Teena Marie are forever linked together in the minds of anyone who loved the music of either. However the "mass media" has always presented them as Rick ("mentor") & Teena ("protégé.") What if the reality is/was that Teena was actually the one who was more talented?

--Did Teena Marie ever have a conversation with Robin Thicke before she passed? - I dunno if that ever happened, but if it had, I wonder if Teena might have given young Mr. Thicke the following advice?

"If you are going to fool around with Black people's music/culture, you better not be a fool about it. And certainly don't fool around with Marvin Gaye's music, cuz Black folks will never forgive you, for trying to make a fool out of Marvin Gaye..."

My guess is that conversation never took place :(

Rick James & Teena Marie not only "fooled around with Black people's music/culture," they expanded it and did so with both drama & flair.

Right now Black music is doing everything possible to destroy itself and has been doing so for quite a while now. Quite frankly it seems to be on a "suicide mission," and a successful "suicide mission" at that.

IMHO the future of Black music requires us to better understand it's past, learn its lessons and use that knowledge to chart it's future. That is EXACTLY what this album is doing. This album is a part of a small, but growing movement that is trying to save Black music from itself. I see various artists, promoters, radio folks and others across the spectrum of soul/jazz/blues/rap taking the position of moving forward, by looking back, taking stock of our assets (music/cultural legacy) and then using those "assets" as a springboard for moving forward.

--It's happening outside of "knee-gro radio/tv."
--It's happening outside of the "knee-gro elite."
--And it's certainly happening outside of the "twitterverse." It's happening "underground," just as it originally did, outside of the corrupting influences of the "mainstream."

It is all quite exciting, and I applaud ALL of these efforts!!!

This isn't really a "tribute album." Tributes are about the past. This album is really an exploration of a musical legacy, that actually provides us with some direction for the future.

The album, Fire & Desire: Tribute to the Songbook of Rick James and Teena Marie, Vol. 1 by Abstract Truth, "fools around" with the music of Rick James/Teena Marie and the end result is outstanding.

--And that is no small feat. The music of Rick & Teena is far more iconic and influential that the mainstream gives it credit for. Therefore that music screams out to be respected in this manner. These songs aren't mere "covers." They channel the original recordings that are etched into our brains. If you are a longtime fan of the musical legacy of Rick James and Teena Marie, all it will take is a single listen to any of the songs on this album to bring both a smile to your face and a tear in your eye (at the same time!)

--If you are new to the music of Rick James & Teena Marie, the album affords you the opportunity to retrace the steps that made their music so essential to the timeframe when it was originally conceived. For example, listening to the Teena Marie songs will also begin to understand just why the current mainstream offerings of so called "blue eyed soul" (ex: Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, etc.) are so weak in both their concept and execution.

Abstract Truth is a Jazz/Funk band out of Philly and on this album, they really let loose and bring home THE FUNK on this album. The musicianship is outstanding, and the vocals are on point. The band has also been touring the east coast of the United States performing these songs live as well. So this is in fact not manufactured, not fake, not conceived by a computer or from the minds of "marketing executives in corner offices"....

IT'S THE REAL DEAL!!!....Here are the songs...

1. You Make Love (Like Springtime)
2. Lover Girl
3. You and I
4. Out On a Limb
5. I Need Your Lovin'
6. Fire & Desire
7. Happy
8. Behind the Groove

The legacy of Rick James and Teena Marie seems to be one that somewhat "suspended in time." The thing that most people seem to want to remember most about them is the beautiful music that they released during the 1980's, a period of time when both as solo artists and as a team, became musical & social icons. I suppose that is to be expected. However both Rick James and Teena Marie continued to grow as artists. In fact their last releases Rick James ("Urban Rapsody" - 1997) and Teena Marie ("Congo Square" - 2007) are true artistic masterpieces, despite relatively poor sales for both. Hopefully since this is just "Volume 1" Abstract Truth will explore more of the Rick James & Teena Marie Songbook in subsequent releases?

In the meanwhile, if you are a Rick James and/or a Teena Marie fan, this album; Fire & Desire: Tribute to the Songbook of Rick James and Teena Marie, Vol. 1, is an absolute must have!

I was quite fortunate to have met and interviewed both Rick James and Teena Marie, on more than one occasion. (And I think that they would approve!)

Go to their Abstract Truth's websites for a taste...
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/abstracttruthglawrence
http://www.abstracttruthmusic.com
--Bob Davis
609-351-0154
earthjuice@prodigy.net

Co-Founder www.soul-patrol.com


If you have a news item, update, review, commentary, etc that you would like to submit to the Soul-Patrol Newsletter, please send them via email for consideration to:

earthjuice@prodigy.net


Hopefully you enjoyed this edition of the Soul-Patrol Newsletter.
We will be back soon with the next edition, with email alerts for local events, Soul-Patrol website updates/chat sessions or breaking news in between, as required.

If you have any comments, questions, etc feel free to drop me an email and let me know what's on your mind.
Bob Davis
earthjuice@prodigy.net

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Bob Davis - Soul-Patrol
1636-44 Route 38 #310
Lumberton, NJ 08048
609-351-0154




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