S.A.S. - Streets All Salute

More violence! More Gunplay! More street stories we’ve all heard before, only this time the voices are London accented. Unfortunately, for me this trip through UK Dipsetville was rather unenthused and wore thin very quickly. The album is long, seems like it will never end and I my friend am not even convinced that these boys are from the land of tea sipping. I assumed I’d be welcomed to the home town of these glassy narrators with a little bit of the native lingo and mentions of hood haunts I could visit when in the area. But no, what my ears witnessed was more so an almost soulless choreography produced by bird gang ghost writers. The most outstanding performance on SAS actually comes from Dipset’s always charmingly confident young star Juelz Santana speaking some of the realest words you’ll hear on this album. They say you shouldn’t fight for colors on a rag/ well we shouldn’t like we shouldn’t fight for colors on a flag/ America open yah eyes to the fact/ it’s a war goin on and it’s not in Iraq

This album is not in my personal rotation. It will never be. It only spun long enough for me to absorb it so I could regurgitate this short review. On another note I must say that I am rather impressed by the energy that is behind the Dipset movement that has reached the far reaches of the globe. Too bad the freshman release of S.A.S. is not as strong as the movement behind it.



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Wilson Pickett: 1941-2006

You know I don't even want to get into it. Another singing soul has made his journey in physical form and left us for his next mission. Over at Soulshower Blog of course the good people have posted a tribute. I feel it necessary to syndicate that post.

Wilson "Wicked" Pickett

Less than two weeks after the death of Lou Rawls, soul music has lost another legend. Wilson Pickett died of a heart attack today, he was 64. Pickett started out with a group called the Falcons and moved on to have an extremely successful solo career in soul music. His first solo hit was "In The Midnight Hour," a song Pickett co-wrote with Steve Cropper. "The Wicked Pickett" was more raw than many of his popular contemporaries and his hits were almost uptempo, danceable tunes. He recorded and toured for years after his prime, including 1999's critically acclaimed album It's Harder Now. Pickett is survived by a fiance and four children. The man's music will live on forever, no tribute is great enough to remember this man and a half.


Where is the Love ?

Les-tor Manchestor is looking for songs that shout valentine's day flowers and showers of tears from love so potent that it could crush diamonds. I'm looking for suggestions. Please send me links so I can achieve that loving feeling asap!


Sunny Days/Big Bank

Block Burners Video
Sunny Days/Big Bank


Modern Nostalgia Vol. 1. A mixtape to look forward to.

This mixtape looks to be a nice little piece of Hiphop to add to your collection. Don't be a sourpuss listen to a new artist. Give the kid a chance, he seems to know what he's doing. He has respect for the culture and doesn't have a scheme of getting rich off of some rhymes.

Check out the intro to Modern Nostalgia Vol. 1 courtesy of Free Hiphop Now's server.
"Listen/Elaboration - Redhead" play HiFi (mp3) download (1.81 MB)


Musical Massage: Leon Ware

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if certain music had never been released. If certain soul singers hadn't met their maker when they did. I also wonder what would have happened if certain individuals that created classic music material had actually had light shown on their greatness. I'll never know. But what I can do is spread the word about them. I can let all that read this become aware of their existance and proceed to enjoy the outstanding creations that they were responsible for.

Here's a little history of the album that can be found on AMG.


by Thom Jurek

Leon Ware's classic Motown offering from 1976 came about as the result of another classic recording done by Marvin Gaye. Ware had written the single "I Want You" for a demo recording to score T-Boy Ross a recording contract with Motown. Berry Gordy heard it and told Ware he had to have the song for Marvin Gaye's next single. He took it to Gaye, who also loved it. Later, as Ware finished the tracks and orchestrations for his own album, he was playing it back for friends at Gaye's home when Marvin came out of a bedroom to inquire about what it was. He asked for -- and received -- all the tracks from Ware for the legendary I Want You album. This left Ware no choice but to compose an entirely new set of songs for his own record; the result is Musical Massage. (It should be noted that, according to Ware, Gordy, Gaye, and others felt he should also give this album away as a follow-up to I Want You, but Ware refused.) Musical Massage is the perfect mix of soul, light funk, jazz, and what was about to become the rhythmic foundation for disco. Picture the Motown song orchestrations with arrangements by Barry White for the Salsoul Orchestra and you get a bit of the picture. The disc opens with two smooth soul wonders in "Learning How to Love You" and "Instant Love." Strings dominate the melodic arrangement and Ware croons directly to them as Ray Parker, Jr. fills the lines with a silky but chunky guitar. Ware's mellifluous tenor is deep in the swell of strings and guitars as the rest of the band provides a shimmering backbeat for his soul crooning. On a re-recording of the track "Body Heat" -- which Ware had recorded as a duet with Minnie Riperton for Quincy Jones' album of the same name a year earlier -- Parker and bassist Chuck Rainey set a groove for Bongo Brown, Gary Coleman, and Bobbye Hall's percussion orgy. Ware's vocals, augmented by a three-piece female choir, cover the tune with dripping, seductive, sexual energy. Bobby Womack guests on the title track and "Holiday," while Gaye also lends a hand on the latter. Both tracks are spurious soul-funk workouts with fat, smooth grooves underlying Ware's gorgeous voice that melts the heart strings like butter, sounding like the whispering of satin sheets. Produced by Ware with Hal Davis and engineer Cal Harris, the disc has the same sweet, swaying feel as Gaye's I Want You but is a bit tougher, a little funkier in the breaks. The string arrangements by Dave Blumbery and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson are among the best the Motown studios issued to date. Ultimately, Musical Massage is a little-known classic from the supposedly twilight years of Motown. This record reveals Ware as a talented but undercelebrated visionary; he envisioned the evolution of soul and went about to bring it to fruition. Musical Massage is a watermark not only for Ware, but for Motown as well. [Motown's 2003 CD reissue features excellent sound and balance, and includes five bonus tracks from the I Want You sessions, including "I Wanna Be Where You Are" and "Comfort (AKA Come Live With Me, Angel)."]

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