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Classic 80s soul from Johnny Kemp – a sweet-voiced singer who steps out beautifully on this Columbia debut! Johnny's got a sound that's somewhat informed by some of the crossover soul of a few years back – but although his music is commercial, it's still got plenty going on at the ... CD
Poppy passion from Krystol – a sweet 80s trio with a definite way with a hook! The set's got a well-balanced mainstream sound – one that helps the vocals find a fullness right away, either on the leads or harmonies – both woven together over the top of the tight, beat-heavy ... CD
Two Arista gems from Mandrill – back to back on a brilliant CD! New Worlds is a bit smoother than some of the group's earlier work, but still plenty darn great – and in a way, there's a warmer, more soulful vibe going on here that really opens things up! The album kicks off with the ... CD
An early 80s gem from Aretha Franklin – one of the best of her years at Arista Records, thanks to solid help in the studio from the mighty Arif Mardin! Mardin's in perfect form here – the same blend of older soul and jazzier, more sophisticated styles that he was also bringing to Chaka ... CD
A jazz funk masterpiece, and THE record by the legendary Don Blackman – the only one issued under his own name for many many years, and a famous little set that's been sampled endlessly over the years, and for good reason! The vibe here is one that's barely been matched again – a blend ... CD
A great one from Gil Scott-Heron – and another wonderful collaboration with Brian Jackson – who handled all the arrangements on this set, and gave the record that sweet jazzy sound that makes Gil's work from this time some of his best ever! There's loads of excellent electric piano ... CD
The last Arista album from Phyllis Hyman – and a set that really sums up all the genius she expressed at the label! Some tunes are upbeat and catchy – the kind of tracks that had Hyman reaching a much wider audience in the early 80s – while others are more sophisticated and ... CD