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New Soul...

A couple of new releases I wanted to talk about – that are both certainly getting lots of airplay with me and on the show – are Khari Cabral Simmons’ ‘Clementine Sun’ and Lee Fields & The Expressions, ‘Faithful Man’.

Brand new – in many ways – for Dome Records, Simmons’ album sounds like nothing else I can think of ever having come out from UK’s Dome, which is a great thing!  Heavily summer soul and jazz-tinged, this bass player has rounded up an impressive array of talent for his debut release, including the brilliant bossa star, Sabrina Malheiros, who appears on the appropriately-named, ‘Major Bossa’; label-mates, Incognito, who deliver the album’s standout song, ‘How Can We Go Wrong’; Oteil Burbridge (who, as a quick aside, can also be heard on last year’s live release from Soulive, along with his brother Kofi Burbridge, ‘Bowlive’ – very worth the price of purchase if I may say!) who plays bass on ‘Ninos’; and India.Arie, who appears on the Stevie Wonder cover of ‘Never In Your Sun’, and had boasted Simmons as a member of her band for some years.


Secondly, we doth our proverbial caps to Truth & Soul’s marquis act, Lee Fields, who, along with The Expressions, delivers ‘Faithful Man’ – his official follow-up to the extraordinary ‘My World’ in  2010.  ‘Lee Fields’ releases now seem to be dripping consistently from the vault as ‘Problems’ and ‘Treacherous’ have both now been made available in the interim.  A record from Truth & Soul, brought to life by the quality of musicians including members of the Dap-Kings, is never going to be met with the question, ‘Is it any good?’, just, ‘How good is it?’, but the one gripe I’d make mention of is the length.  Clocking in well below 40 minutes, and consisting of nine songs plus an instrumental, you do feel that tiny bit short-changed as it’s a fraction more than EP status.  Short and punchy has always been the Truth & Soul/Daptone way, but when you compare that structure to songs like the album closer, ‘Walk On Through That Door’, it gives you an indication of what’s achievable when songs are allowed to be fleshed out a bit more.  Ultimately, another stunning release though from someone who’s fast becoming my most bankable name in traditional soul music!


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