Soul-Patrol Newsletter

SPN: Soul Summit, Jason Miles, Maysa, Susan Tedeschi, Karl Denson, Richard Elliott, Steve Ferrone, Bob Babbit, Mike Mattison, Reggie Young
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Welcome To The Soul-Patrol Newsletter

Almost from day one of, some of you have been emailing me and lamenting the loss of something called the "Chitlin Circuit". People remembered those great R&B bands like King Curtis & the Kingpins, the Funk Brothers, MFSB and others who backed up the great singers like Aretha Franklin, the Motortown Revue, the Philly International stars, James Brown and others.

I want to take up a few moments of your time to not only tell you all about a brand new, landmark album, but to also describe just a little bit of the thought process behind it. The name of the album is SOUL SUMMIT and it was created by a collective of truly funky musicians; Jason Miles, Maysa, Susan Tedeschi, Karl Denson, Richard Elliott, Steve Ferrone, Bob Babbit, Mike Mattison, Reggie Young!

It's a landmark album for several reasons:

1. SOUL SUMMIT is a LIVE album featuring great musicians and singers, "doin it to death", in front of a LIVE audience.

2. SOUL SUMMIT truly is an album that defies any sort of categorization, because it covers almost every category of Black music JAZZ (Jason Miles, Richard Elliott, Bob Babbit, Mike Mattison, Reggie Young), BLUES (Susan Tedeschi), NEO SOUL (Maysa) and CLASSIC SOUL (Steve Ferrone) and JAM BAND (Karl Denson)

3. If Black music is to have any sort of future whatsoever, it will be one that is in effect a "fusion" of these different styles, under a modern context

4. SOUL SUMMIT brings back the concepts first seen on the "Chitlin Circuit" at places like the Howard, the Uptown, the Apollo, Royal, etc from 50 years ago, with GREAT singers like Maysa Leek and Susan Tedeschi, singing great classic soul songs, and fronting a STANK AZZ collective of great players.

This is an album that will have far reaching impact, into the future because of all of this. It is quite literally a definition for "NuSoul" and will be an influence on the next great period of growth for Black music. It raises the bar for what these younger artists will have to bring to the table and it defines what the audience is going to demand from them.

In a few years, all of the "cool white kids" will be touting this album and it's influence. You need to get it now, so that you can tell them; "I brought that album when it first came out, you are just now discovering it…"

It is an album that reaches back to the past, in order to insure that Black music indeed can have a future. In my opinion, that is something that is well worth investing a few of your hard earned dollars in order to make certain that it happens.

You can click on the links scattered thru this edition of the Soul-Patrol Newsletter and go to Amazon to not only listen to clips from the album, but also to pick it up if you like what you hear once you get there.

Thanks in advance...

--Bob Davis

Album Review: Jason Miles - Soul Summit (Featuring: Bob Babbit, Karl Denson, Richard Elliott, Steve Ferrone, Mike Mattison, Maysa, Jason Miles, Susan Tedeschi, Reggie Young)
(Great Black Music From The Ancient To The Future)

Click Here to get more info about Jason Miles - Soul Summit For all practical purposes I reviewed this newly released album a year ago. You can read what I wrote about it below. For the past few years musical visionary Jason Miles has been on a one man crusade to save Black music from destroying itself, by helping it to remember what it once was. Very quietly (unfortunately) over the past few years, he has put out an exciting series of "CTIesque" albums that on the surface might appear to be "tribute albums." However these albums are less tributes than an opportunity to reexamine the majestic artistry of like Marvin Gaye, Miles Davis, Grover Washington Jr, and others inside of a contemporary context. Jason's albums are meant less for those who are old enough to remember and more for those who aren't old enough to remember.

Soul Summit is a live recording of a magnificent concert that I was fortunate enough to attend in the spring of 2007 @ the Berks Jazz Festival. With the vocals anchored by singers like Susan Tedeshi & Maysa Leek and heavy duty funk players like Steven Feronne, Karl Denson and others, the Soul Summit concert is nothing less than a modern day re-creation of the great stage shows that one could see damn near on a daily basis at legendary venues like the Apollo, the Howard, the Royal, the Uptown and others that once formed the golden jewels of what was known as the "chitlin circuit". As I listen to the album in 2008 I am taken back in my mind's eye to the concert itself and the clarity that being a year removed brings to me. This album wasn't recorded inside of a crumbling ghetto music palace, in front of ghetto residents who paid $1.50 to get in 40 years ago. It was recorded in a modern acoustically perfect, pristine theater in suburban Reading, Pa in front of a suburban audience that paid a healthy penny to see the show. In other words it was recorded in front of a portion of it's intended audience (the people who never visited the "golden jewels of the chitlin circuit") as a live show and will most likely find its way to that intended audience as a recording as well. Now that is a good thing, but it's the "other portion" of the intended audience who were neither at the show, nor or they likely to hear this album, that Jason Miles really wants to reach and that would be the people who were far too young to ever even think about going to places like the Howard, the Royal, the Uptown, etc. Those are the real people who need to hear this album, because if they could ever experience and absorb this kind of artistry, their lives just might be changed forever, and with that the future course of Black music itself might just escape from the cesspool that on most days in 2008 that it feels like it's destined for.

Look for these songs playing as as "buzz cuts" on Nu Soul @

--Bob Davis

Concert Review: Soul Summit @ Berks Jazz Festival in West Reading Pa (3/24/2007)
(Great Black Music From The Ancient To The Future)

This show took place on 3/24/2007 and was a part of the Berks Jazz Fest at the 1,200 seat Scottish Rite Cathedral in West Reading PA.

It was a special all star aggregation of musicians assembled by our own Jason Miles called "Soul Summit". The whole idea was to do an evening of Soul/Funk music within the context of a two week long "smooth jazz" extravaganza. It was a badd azz 90 minute show. Our girl Maysa Leek was there and turned it out as well.

Here is the line up for the show: World Premiere Concert Soul Summit Featuring

Jason Miles
Susan Tedeschi
Maysa Leak
Richard Elliot
Mike Mattison
Karl Denson
Steve Ferrone
Reggie Young
Sherrod Barnes
Barry Danielian
David Mann

Soul Summit Group Shot Backstage

I really enjoyed this concert!

There were tributes to legends like Jr. Walker & the All Stars, Irma Thomas, Dusty Springfield (Susan Tedeschi) and others. However the highlight of the show was the James Brown Tribute (featuring I Feel Good, I Got The Feeling & Sex Machine), which closed out the show.

Our girl Maysa Leek "channeled Lyn Collins" during the James Brown set, but it was really Karl Denson who turned out!

Not only did he make the aggregation sound like "the JB's" on sax, but as he emerged from the horn section in the back to come out front and take over the lead vocalist role, Karl Denson slid across the floor (a' la James Brown), just like a "sex machine".

Of course as all of this was transpiring, I was up on my feet grooving to this stank azz funk. However I did notice that I was virtually alone inside of the 1,200 seat Scottish Rite Cathedral (which appeared to be full to my eyes).


I looked around to see if there was indeed a sign posted that said


But there was no such sign.

Then I remembered two very important facts:

1. The concert was in "West Reading, PA" and not in "Reading, PA". I have spent quite a bit of time during my life in the city of Reading and its surrounding areas. It is indeed a "tale of two cities" & it's not a pretty "tale" at all.

2. This was a "smooth jazz" crowd (which by definition is "DevoidOfFunk")


The show ended and I bolted backstage to see if I could talk to the performers and to congratulate them on a great show. As I was "bolting", I noticed in the corner of my eye a tall/slender white woman calling out my name. I stopped, turned around and saw that it was our friend Kayte Connelly (Former Executive Director of the Berks Jazz Festival & the R&B Foundation). We hugged and without missing a beat Katie said "I thought that had to be you when I saw a Black dude standing up, dancing & and writing in a notebook at the same time during the show, I gotta get you backstage..."

(and that was exactly what she

Once backstage Jason Miles introduced me around by saying... "This is Bob Davis of the REAL SOUL-PATROL, everyone here needs to get to know him"

Karl Denson & Steve Ferrone Backstage

- I interviewed Maysa Leek and congratulated her for making's best of 2006 for her album "Sweet Classic Soul". Maysa told me that she's got another solo album (remember she's also a member of Incognito) coming out soon!

- I interviewed Karl Denson and we had a wide ranging discussion mainly focused around the topic of "How come Black people don't support Black Music anymore?" I told Karl that is just so happens that I know a whole bunch of Black people who support Black music and best of all "I know where they live....".

- I interviewed the legendary funk drummer Steve Ferrone (Passport, AWB, Pat Metheny, Duran Duran, Eric Clapton, Anita Baker, George Benson, Jonathan Butler, Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, Freddie King, Marcus Miller, Jeffrey Osborne, Paul Simon, Bernie Worrell, Jaco Pastorius, etc). Steve Ferrone was well aware of Soul-Patrol and he told me that he's got a LIVE CD that he wants to get into my hands. (I can hardly wait)

We all took some pictures and then the backstage area quickly emptied out.

Jason Miles & I walked out into the lobby we talked about the 2007 Soul-Patrol Convention and he said that he would be there. I said you betta be to get your award cuz your name is on the

Jason then said...
"You mean TWO awards Bob, cuz I also won one in 2005..."

I said...
"My are correct...

"What's Going On Tribute To Marvin Gaye" (2006)
"Miles To Miles" (2005)"

Jason Miles was indeed selected to Soul-Patrol's "Best of" TWO YEARS IN A ROW!

Jason Miles & Maysa Leek @ the Soul Summit

Quiet as it's kept, Jason Miles is doing a whole lot more than most to make sure that the legacy of Black music is something that indeed will have a future. Not only has he done award winning tribute albums to Marvin Gaye & Miles Davis two years in a row, but the staging of this "Soul Summit" concert as a part of the Berks Jazz Festival was truly a great thing. Onstage during the show Jason made several thoughtful comments regarding the still onging crisis in New Orleans as well as the need for these type of concerts to connect people together. I enjoyed the heck out of the show.

In the meanwhile check out the SOUL SUMMIT album online at:

As I left the Scottish Rite Cathedral and drove back towards Route 422 I decided to take a detour and cruise around the city of Reading for a little while. The city of Reading is pretty much a "hell hole" (not unlike places like Camden, Chester and other places around Philly where the industry has left, leaving both the economy & the people "depressed".) I drove past Reading's most famous "landmark" the long deserted station of the Reading Railroad on Chestnut & 7th (made famous by the Monopoly board game, during a time when both the railroad & the city were "industrial giants"). I looked outside of my car window in horror as I drove down streets that looked like "someone forgot to turn on the street lights" at repeated scenes of large groups of young people with nothing to do, hookers, pimps, drug dealers, etc. I wondered if the music that I had just heard at that wonderful STANK FUNKY concert, just an hour before might make a difference in the lives of the people that I saw on the streets of Reading, PA, near and around the site of one of the most famous places in American popular culture (The Reading Railroad Train Station)?

Although the "Soul Summit" concert had taken place less than two miles from Chestnut & 7th in Reading. It might has well have been on another planet.

I don't think it's the fault of the concert organizers or anyone else. "It's just the way things are in today"

I do however think that there is something wrong with our society that we can't somehow figure out a way to move these "two worlds" just a little closer together?

My view is that if we can find a way to move these "two worlds" closer to each other we will do two things

- Save our culture
- Save ourselves

NP: "What's Going On"
--Marvin Gaye

--Bob Davis

Soul Summit:
Jason Miles, Bob Babbit, Karl Denson, Richard Elliott, Steve Ferrone, Mike Mattison, Maysa, Susan Tedeschi, Reggie Young)

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:

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

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