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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Jean CarneCollaborations ... CD
Expansion (UK), 1970s. New Copy ... $9.99
Smooth modern duets from one of our favorite ladies in soul music! Jean Carne's a heck of a singer – with a career that stretches back to early soul jazz recordings with (then) husband Doug Carn, to solo recordings on Philly International in the late 70s, to appearances on records by other artists – sessions from the 70s, 80s, and 90s in which Jean lent her vocals to a wealth of great recordings! This great collection focuses on work in that category – uncollected sides from a three decade period, brought together in one album that shows just how great Jean can sound when she's singing with other artists. Many of these titles are quite hard to find otherwise, and haven't even shown up on other collections of Jean's work – and tracks include "Good Thng Goin On" with Billy Paul, "Holdin On" and "Dreams Of Tomorrow" with Dexter Wansel, "Keep In Touch" and "The Look Of Love" with Grover Washington Jr, "Lean On Me" with Nathan Heathman, "If You Don't Know Me By Now" with The Temptations, "Love Is Beautiful" with Universe, "Star Flower" with Lonnie Liston Smith, "Let's Stay Together" with Bobby M, "I'm Back For More" with Al Johnson, "You Might Be Surprised" with Roy Ayers, "Mother Of The Future" with Norman Connors, and "Valentine Love" with Michael Henderson. Also features the bonus solo track "Trust Me" – never on CD before! CD

Close matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Tyrone DavisDo You Feel It? – The Real Soul Of Tyrone Davis ... CD
Columbia/Expansion (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy ... $9.99
Some of our favorite work ever from Tyrone Davis – a massive compilation of his post-Dakar work for Columbia Records! Although Davis first rose to fame on the earlier label, we love his work from this second stretch even more – as Tyrone really changed up his game a lot, and moved past the familiar modes of his previous hits – into richly sophisticated territory with a wonderfully warm and mellow vibe! There's a depth to these tracks that's hard to describe accurately – and most of the material has been crucially overlooked for years, which is why the compilation's such a treasure. Tyrone's vocals are still as deeply soulful as before, but they really hit a new level of maturity too – a sound that's smooth, slinky, and completely sublime! Titles include "Overdue", "Never Stopped Loving You", "I Won't Let Go", "I Just Can't Keep Going On", "Love", "I'm Still In Love With You", "Playing In The Sand", "In The Mood", "Do You Feel It", "Satisfy You Before I Satisfy Me", and "Ain't Nothing I Can Do". CD

Close matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
EmotionsSunbeam ... CD
Columbia/Expansion (UK), 1978. New Copy ... $8.99
A great little album from The Emotions – largely because it sounds a lot like prime mid 70s Earth Wind & Fire, with female vocals added over the top – ultimately, pulling away with a soulful charm all its own! Maurice White produced the whole set, and it's got a soaring spacey sound that provides a perfect spiritual edge to the girls vocals – taking them way past the hits, into much more sophisticated soul territory. There's a beautifully righteous vibe going on throughout – a sound that's almost like Minnie Riperton at her 70s Capitol best – and titles include "Love Vibes", "Walking The Line", "Time Is Passing By", "I Wouldn't Lie", "Smile", and "Spirit Of Summer". CD
Also available Sunbeam ... CD 8.99

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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Joanna GardnerJoanna Gardner ... CD
Expansion (UK), 1985. New Copy ... $8.99
A rare lost modern soul gem, which we too rarely come across! Recorded in 1985 for the Philly World label as Gardner's debut LP, the story as we understand it is that this record never really hit the shelves – for some reason it was pulled at the last minute by the label. We can't figure out why, as the set's got very nice 80s Philly production and arrangements courtesy Dexter Wansel, Bobby Eli and Nick Martinelli – with a smooth 80s groove soul sound that would have been a big hit then, and is even more sought after now. The album includes Joanna's great cut "Pick Up The Pieces", an excellent stepper's cut, plus "We Can Make It", "Special Feelings", "Watching You", "Spooky" and "I Could Never Love Another Like You". CD

Close matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
GonzalezGonzalez ... CD
Soul Brother/Expansion (UK), 1974. New Copy ... $9.99
Sweet funky jazz from the 70s! Gonzalez were an obscure UK combo – probably known a lot better over in England, but pretty darn hard to find over here in America – and they've got a tight style that reminds us of some of the more well-produced jazz funk coming out on labels like Blue Note or Blue Thumb during the mid 70s. Some cuts have vocals, but most of the record's instrumental – and it's filled with great guitars, and some excellent sax work that goes way past the usual funky tenor line! The groove's a nicely sophisticated blend of jazz funk and modern soul – with the kind of groove that you might expect to hear on some of the Capitol Rare compilations. The CD brings together cuts from the group's first album Gonzalez, plus a few more from the album Our Only Weapon Is Our Music. Titles include "Pack It Up", "Funky Frith Street", "Saoco", "Ahwai Five-O", "Rissoled", and "Adelanto Nightride". Very nice – and the kind of group we love to discover! CD

Close matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Al Hudson & The Soul PartnersSpreading Love/Happy Feet ... CD
ABC/Expansion (UK), 1978/1979. New Copy ... $16.99
A pair of ABC Records gems from Al Hudson & The Soul Partners – back to back on a single CD! Spreading Love is excellent early work from Al Hudson – a soulful talent who stood his own in the late 70s, forging an up-tempo funk sound that lived long past disco, and which was sort of a platform for groups of the 80s to build a new dancefloor sound. Hudson relied heavily on bass-y funk to hit his groove, but he also gave strong focus to the good singers who worked with his groups – adding in good ballads that act as a showcase to members like bassist Kevin McCord, who sings some great vocals on this set. The album kicks off with the up-tempo groover "Spread Love", an anthemic dancefloor tune that almost points the way towards soulful house, and it's got some other nice cuts, like the ballads "Lost Inside Of You" and "Love Me Forever", plus the funky numbers "How Do You Do", and "Dance, Get Down". Happy Feet is joyous, bouncy sounds from the legendary Al Hudson – a sweet little set with his Soul Partners group, done in a mode that's right up there with the best music of his One Way combo! The grooves are uptempo, yet are much more rooted in ensemble funk than some of the disco of Al's contemporaries – and if anything, the album really shows a great evolution from the funk bands of the previous generation to a newer, more sophisticated style overall. Hudson's work at the helm is wonderful – and helps steer the group towards some nice mellow moments too – with arrangements from Kevin McCord, Rudy Robinson, and Dave Roberson. Alicia Myers serves up some great early vocals with the group – and titles include "I Don't Want You To Leave Me", "Another Love Song", "You Can Do It", "In The Basement", "Call Me", and "Rock". CD

Close matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Webster LewisTouch My Love (plus bonus tracks) ... CD
Epic/Expansion (UK), 1978. New Copy ... $9.99
Webster Lewis takes off wonderfully here – finding a completely unique groove that's equal parts club, soul, and fusion! The album's almost as sublime as Roy Ayers' best from the time – and has a similar balance that's perfectly done – a depth of thought that goes way beyond conventional club, and a willingness to bring in lots more complicated elements from various jazz sources. Webster's keyboards are nicely out front in the set – and there's some great vocals by a female chorus who sweeten up the sound nicely, but not in ways that are too commercial or cliched. The whole thing's great – a righteous masterpiece through and through – and tracks include "Hideaway", "There's A Happy Feeling", "Touch My Love", "Believe In Yourself", "Barbara Ann", and "Loving". CD features 4 bonus tracks too "Wee Church", "Japanese Umbrella", "Spirit Of Love", and "Touch My Love (alt mix)". CD

Close matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
O'JaysSerious (with bonus tracks) ... CD
EMI/Expansion (UK), 1989. New Copy ... $9.99
The O'Jays hit a bit of a new jack mode with this late 80s set – picking up the beats, and giving themselves a chunkier rhythm than usual – but all while keeping things in that laidback territory that suits their famous vocals so well! The mellowest cuts here are our favorites – as they remind us that the O'Jays perfection never falters, but is especially nice when the trio are right up front, and really able to dominate a tune with their well-tuned sense of harmony and warm interplay! The group members wrote a number of the songs on the set – a nice change from the Gamble & Huff era – and the younger Gerald Levert helped out a bit on the album, which might explain some of the Levert-like touches in the grooves. Titles include "Out Of My Mind", "Leave It Alone", "Fading", "Rainbow", "Friend Of A Friend", "Have You Had Your Love Today", and "Serious Hold On Me". CD features bonus tracks – "Serious Hold On Me (single mix)", "Serious Hold On Me (inst)", "Out Of My Mind (radio)", "Out Of My Mind (Soul 2 mix)", "Have You Had Your Love Today (club)", and "Have You Had Your Love Today (power radio mix)". CD

Close matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
LJ ReynoldsTell Me You Will ... CD
Fantasy/Expansion (UK), 1987. New Copy ... $8.99
The strong late 80s release from soul veteran LJ Reynolds for Fantasy! At this point, the ex-member of The Dramatics had been proving for years that he's a pretty great modern soul singer in his own right – having delivered a string of solid solo efforts throughout the 80s – and Tell Me You Will is a real gem! It's got a good modern soul feel to it, and a small combo backs LJ up on most of the tracks. It's got a tight synth soul backdrop and timelessly soulful vocals from LJ. Titles include "I Will Always Love You", "Tell Me You Will", "Olivia", "Got To Give My Love", "He Can't Love You", and "Magic Love". CD

Close matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Sylvia StriplinGive Me Your Love (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Uno Melodic/Expansion (UK), 1981. New Copy ... $14.99
Amazing! This lost Roy Ayers-produced gem from the early 80s has not only been one of the biggest sample records of all time, but it's also become one of the holy grails of the groovy record collecting scene! It's a stellar bit of jazzy soul with the same production vibe that's characterized Roy's best work – but made all the more sublime thanks to Sylvia Striplin's beautifully fragile and soulful vocals, which sound a bit like Minnie Riperton's at times – but also has a fuller, richer quality too. The record's got arrangements by Sylvia, Roy, and James Bedford (who also recorded for Uno Melodic), and it includes classics like "Give Me Your Love", "You Can't Turn Me Away", "Look Towards The Sky", "All Alone", and a great cover of Roy Ayers' "Searchin". CD features two bonus tracks – 7" mixes of "Give Me Your Love" and "You Can't Turn Me Around". CD

Close matches11
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
VariousAshford & Simpson Songbook ... CD
Expansion (UK), Late 60s/1970s/Early 80s. New Copy ... $9.99
Ashford & Simpson recorded plenty of great work on their own, but they were also a tremendous pair of songwriters – and had a way of penning can't-miss work that sounded great in just about anyone's hands! This collection is great testament to that fact – as it starts with gems the duo first wrote back in their early Motown days, then quickly moves up to their late 70s fame, and the way they had a major impact on the dancefloor. The tracks here are often quite familiar, but the actual recordings are sometimes obscure – lesser-known takes on some of Ashford & Simpson's best numbers, laid out back to back as proof of their genius talent for a groovy soul tune. Titles include "Top Of The Stairs" by Collins & Collins, "Keep It Coming" by Tata Vega, "Rough Times" by Angela Bofill, "California Soul" by Marlena Shaw, "Bourgie Bourgie" by Gladys Knight & The Pips, "Have You Ever Tried It" by The Main Ingredient, "I Wouldn't Change The Man He Is" by Blinky, "It's In There" by Jennifer Holiday, "Clouds" by Chaka Khan, "Over & Over" by Sylvester, "Hit & Run Lover" by The Dynamic Superiors, "The Boss (ext club)" by Diana Ross, "Is It Still Good To Ya" by Teddy Pendergrass, "Keep It Coming" by Tata Vega, and "Keep Away Girls" by Stephanie Mills. CD

Close matches12
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
VariousMusic Inside Me – 30 Soul Gems & Lost Grooves ... CD
Expansion (UK), 1970s/1980s/1990s/2000s. New Copy 2CD ... $16.99
A great collection of grooves both old and new – pulled from a decades-old tradition of soul music, with a vibe that really lives up to the piles of dusty old records on the cover! The set begins with rare 70s soul, then moves up to the present – and all along the way, there's a focus on well-crafted tracks that really stand out from the mainstream – definitely a few cuts by bigger artists, but not their hits at all – mixed with some great gems from up-and-comers, in a way that makes the whole thing a fantastic discovery in soul! The collection's got a total of 30 tracks in all – all handled by Tony Monson, who gave us the excellent Ethereal Magic collections – with titles that include "Body" by Foreign Exchange, "Don't Let Me Down" by Vesta Williams, "Roster" by Jahiem, "Breaking It Down (downtown orig mix)" by Petalpusher, "Dance Freak" by Chain Reaction, "Rio De Janeiro" by Ugly Duckling, "Don't Be Lonely" by Cameo, "Running Stop Lights" by Mel Waiters, "Don't Wanna Wait" by Lew Kirton, "Twenty Four Seven (Yoruba mix)" by 1968 Featuring Rasheed Ali, "Rescue You" by Ryan Leslie, "Something Inside My Head" by Gene Dunlap, "Afro Jump (nick mix)" by Solodinjgo, "Hangin On" by The Affair, "New York City Blues" by Mark Winkler, "Happier" by Lisa Grand, "Saved By Love" by David Lasley, and "Music & Wine (funkaphonic voc mix)" by Blue Six. CD

Close matches13
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
VariousSoul Desirables – 15 Modern Soul Delicacies ... CD
Expansion (UK), Late 90s/Early 2000s. New Copy ... $9.99
The title's a bit clunky, but the grooves are wonderfully smooth – a great assortment of hard to find tracks from recent years, all brought together in one totally wicked set! The cuts here are pulled from a variety of sources – Japanese-only CDs, previously unreleased sessions, and now out of print albums – all with a warmly contemporary vibe, but one that's steeped in older soul modes from the 70s and early 80s. Many of the artists here are familiar, but they're represented by tracks you probably don't have in your collection – tunes that are definitely "desirables", both for their quality and rarity! Titles include "Bad Company" by Luther Vandross, "Dance" by Sara Devine, "Tell Me" by Tiffany, "For You" by Jack Herrera, "It's Good To Be Loved" by Ronee Martin, "For Goodness Sake" by K Fox, "Cloud 9 (DJ Spinna rmx)" by Donnie, "Dreamin Of One" by Trina Broussard, "Where Did We Go Wrong (so right mix)" by Incognito, "Days Like This (black sand mix)" by Kenny Lattimore, "No Matter What I'll Do" by Donald McCollum, and "Can't Get Over You" by Brigette McWilliams. CD

Close matches14
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
VariousSoul Togetherness 2018 – 15 Modern Soul Room Gems ... CD
Expansion (UK), 2018. New Copy ... $9.99
A sublime entry in this always-great series – a selection of cuts that are mostly contemporary, but which bubble with a classic soul vibe all the way through! And by "classic", we mean the sound of the early years of modern soul – those late 70s/early 80s groovers from the period when disco started to wane, and a new, more sophisticated groove came into the mix – often more of a midtempo mode, with great songwriting, instrumentation, and an impeccable sense of presentation! There's a few older cuts in the mix, too – and also some nice surprises along the way – and titles include "Your Love" by Kenny Thomas, "That Feelin" by Cornell CC Carter, "Right On Time" by The Apx, "I'll Take Your Word For It" by Lexi, "He's A Hurricane (boogie back ext mix)" by James Day with Cheryl Pepsii Riley & Joe Cunningham, "Pleasure" by Mousse T with Peven Everett, "All Night Long (ext mix)" by John Reid, "Hit Or Miss (album mix)" by Change, "One More Praise" by Brian Courtney Wilson, "One & Only" by The Ritchie Family, "About Your Love (ext mix)" by Jaki Graham, "Lies (groovy soul rmx)" by DJ Spen with Asia Yarwood,"Around The World" by Imaa, and "Shine Your Light (main mix)" by Prefix One with Andrae Melody Palmer. CD

Close matches15
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
VariousSoul Togetherness 2019 – 15 Modern Soul Room Gems ... CD
Expansion (UK), 2019. New Copy ... $14.99
A killer collection of contemporary soul – served up in a way that really understands what makes classic soul music so great, then finds a way to provide a similar vibe from music that's new! And by that, we don't mean that the music is retro, or old-sounding at all – just that it's got the right balance of righteous energy, warm grooves, and all-out joy that we love in some of the older music that we first started loving from both Soul Togetherness and Expansion Records – a great team when it comes to finding the best of the best of the contemporary underground soul universe! Titles include "What Turns You On" by Lukas Setto, "Giving It Up" by Terri Green Project, "Thirty One" by Laville, "Tell Me" by Solatimsic, "When I Get Back" by Tre Williams, "Good Life (ext)" by Rockie Robbins, "Need Somebody To Love" by TL Shider, "Still Really Love" by Magoo, "All My Life (long version)" by Steve Doc Willoughby, "You & Me (R&B version)" by Glenn Jones, "Make It Last Forever" by Steal Vybe with Alexa Gold, and "Need To Know" by Raheem DeVaughn & Jamecia Bennett. CD

Close matches16
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Al Hudson & the Soul PartnersEspecially For You/Cherish (with bonus tracks) ... CD
ABC/Expansion (UK), 1977. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Two fantastic early albums by Al Hudson – working here with his initial group, The Soul Partners! First up is Especially For You – a record that's kind of a first chapter to all the excellent work by One Way to come – even though Al's not using that group name at this time! The record's got this cool, classy vibe – an update of an earlier Detroit soul mode, and one that maybe followed that city's shift a few years later than 70s soul changes in Philly during the decade – and handled with a similar blend of groovers and mellow cuts! The vibe is similar to the great shift The Dramatics were making on ABC Records at the time – and Al and the group work here with production by Al Perkins and arrangements by Jimmy Roach. Titles include "Baby Let Me Love You", "I Got A Notion You Got The Motion", "Real Love", "You're So Wonderful", and "Trying To Prove My Love". Cherish is a funky soul classic from Al Hudson and the Soul Partners – a second full length set, and one that really has Hudson finding his groove! The rhythms are funkier than before – thanks to strong work on bass from Kevin McCord, who also joins Al a bit on vocals – in a mode that still continues the group's strong work on midtempo numbers, but also maybe answers a 70s disco wave with more of a Detroit funk overall! Great work from the group that would later turn into One Way – with titles that include "Tripped, Slipped, Stumbled, & Fell", "If You Get Caught", "If You Feel Like Dancing", and "I Like Everything About You". CD also features bonus tracks – "Feelings (7" version)" and "If You Feel Like Dancin (12" version)". CD

Close matches17
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ One Way featuring Al Hudson#New Old School ... CD
Expansion (UK), 2019. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
The title definitely gets it right – because the album's a new one from the legendary One Way, but definitely holds on to the sound of their old school classics! As you can guess from the cover, Al Hudson's still at the helm – working with an evolved version of the group that includes some younger musicians and a few contemporary touches – but all shaped towards that great blend of groovers and midtempo numbers that One Way brought to their wonderful albums on MCA at the start of the 80s! And yes, the costumes may look a bit dated on the front cover, but the production and sound aren't at all – thanks in part to a shifting lineup of singers that includes Hudson, Jeanette Jackson, Dave Roberson Jr, and Candyce Grey. Titles include "Heat It Up", "Let's Dance", "Don't Kno What Cha Missin", "Hard To Walk Away", "Doin It Like This", "We Won't Stop", "I Wonder If She Knows", "I Want Your Luv", "U Liked To My Mama", "Hold On To U", and "Old School Funk Tonite". CD

Close matches18
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Candace WoodsonDesire ... CD
Expansion (UK), 2019. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A killer album from Candace Woodson – the kind of set that takes us back to the glory days of sophisticated female soul – the generation of Phyllis Hyman, Chaka Khan, and Jean Carne – when it seemed as if quality records like this were something we could really take for granted! Turns out, they weren't – and it's such a welcome change to have a record like this in the racks – a great return to soul music that's sophisticated, adult, and very well put-together – kind of that later legacy of the Philly International sound – in a way that really makes a singer like Woodson open up and soar. The tunes are tight and catchy, but never slick or commercial – really classic, right from the start – on titles that include "Desire", "The Answer Is No", "Nothing Better", "Back On Top", "Just A Dream", "Perfect", and "Don't Think I Want It". CD

Close matches19
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ VariousLuxury Soul 2020 (3CD set) ... CD
Expansion (UK), 2020. New Copy 3CD ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
Soulful luxury at a mighty nice price – 3CDs and 35 tracks of music from the contemporary underground, plus a few cuts from back in the day – all put together with the top-shelf style of the Expansion Records label! The package is one of the best so far in this annual series – and like the others, it has a great way of turning up unusual numbers we might have missed otherwise – some subtle gems and overlooked sleepers, which makes the package as much of a place for new discovery as it is a musical bargain. As with other volumes, contemporary soul expert Ralph Tee handled all the tracks selection – and titles include "Follow" by Paul Johnson, "In The Mood To Take It Slow" by Najee with Meli'sa Morgan, "Speak Love" by James Day with Glenn Jones, "Slow Down" by Bill Henry Band, "Let Me Do It" by Halo, "Jakarta Dreams" by Incognito, "Never Let Go" by Candace Woodson, "Together" by Rockie Robbins, "Friends" by Rick Clarke featuring Don E, "It's You" by Terri Green Project, "I See Love (Metlife rmx)" by Cornell CC Carter, "Love Up" by Zo with Eric Roberson and Carmen Rodgers, "Lovestruck (2019 rework)" by Frankie Fandango, "Who's Been Kissing You" by Soulutions, "Clouds In My Mirror (Nigel Lowis sholes mix)" by Franciscsa Thomas, "It Should Have Been You" by Lasperanza with Izzy Chase, "Reach Out" by Laura Jackson, "Who Do You Love" by Victor Haynes, "We Won't Stop" by One Way with Al Hudson, "Don't Hold Back" by Alex Puddu with Gene Robinson, Jr, "Your Satisfaction Is Mine" by Ed Motta, and "Better Man" by Glenn Jones. CD

Close matches20
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ VariousNew Soul Woman ... CD
Expansion (UK), Late 90s/Early 2000s. New Copy 2CD ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
A wonderful overview of contemporary female soul – none of it commercial, and nearly all of it from the mighty Expansion family of labels – home to some of the hippest Neo Soul around! Work here is from both American and overseas sources, and although a few tracks are issued under the name of a male artist, they also feature a female singer taking on a key lead vocal for the cut. 2CDs and 30 tracks in all, with titles that include "Stay With Me" by Steve Harvey with N'Dambi, "Joy From That" by Tonia Smith, "Same As I Ever Was" by Adriana Evans, "That's What Love Can Do" by Yvonne Shelton, "Love Will Get Us Through The Times" by Preston Glass with Latoya London, "Closure" by Maysa Leak, "Shine" by Aja, "Let's Not Lose" by Kloud 9 with Karen Bernod, "Good News" by Noel Elmowy with Erana Mei Leef, "Is It Love" by Brigette, "Out Of Luck" by Jackie Campbell, "Sensual Loving" by Nicole Jackson, "Blew My Cool" by Eleana Young, "Vanilla Tree" by Gwendolyn Joy, and "I Can't Let You Go" by Steve Harvey with Ledisi. CD

Close matches21
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ VariousSoul Chasers – Volume 2 ... CD
Expansion (UK), 1970s/Early 80s. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
One of our favorite series ever of modern soul material – done back in the 90s, when nobody else was willing to dig for tracks these smooth and groovy! There's a great blend of material here – from mellow soul to jazzy funk, with a few bits of early 80s club as well – in a way, the collection's a great illustration of the way that soul like this was kept alive in British soul crowds, even at a time when other folks around the world weren't rating it as strongly! Titles include "Love Love Love" by Donny Hathaway, "I Can't Forget About You" by Ronn Matlock, "Say You Will" by Osamu Kitajima, "I Can't Tell You" by New Horizon, "Fragile Handle With Care" by Sam Dees, "Ripe For The Pickin" by The Trumains, "Come Into My Life Again" by Ndugu & The Chocolate Jam Co, "Good Times" by Rosie Gaines, "Keep On Doin" by Glenn Jones, "I'm Not Ready" by Ujima, and "Overdose Of Joy" by Eugene Record. CD

Close matches22
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Victor HaynesTake It To The Top (with bonus tracks) ... CD
Expansion (UK), 2019. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
Really great work from Victor Haynes – the soul singer who's been giving us some great albums for Expansion Records over the years – real gems that have slowly been creating an instant-classic collection of music that keeps on going strong! Haynes has this positive, upbeat vibe that takes us back to that initial explosion of UK soul at the start of the 90s – a way of drawing on the spirit of the classics, but really looking forward – using sophisticated phrasing on his vocals, but never in a way that calls too much attention to itself – just continues to deliver this really well-crafted approach to contemporary soul! Production, arrangements, and everything else about the album is rock-solid – and titles include "Take It To The Top", "Do I Qualify", "Hopping Skipping So In Love", "My Sweetest Temptation", "Jazz Street", "Spend Some Time", "Who Do You Love", "Help Me Feel The Sun", and "Strong Love (Groovemay mix)". CD

Close matches23
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ VariousChristmas Of Emotions ... CD
Expansion (UK), New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A stunningly soulful Holiday set – one that goes way past the overplayed Christmas soul tunes of the 70s and 80s, and which has a lot fresher feel than a Christmas Slow Jams set as well! Most of the numbers here are contemporary, and are a mix of Neo Soul artists from the underground, and a few favorite voices from years past – all represented in a batch of tracks that are mighty darn great, and will help your December listening get way past "This Christmas" and Motown Holiday records! Titles include "Give Me A Star" by Bebe & Cece Winans, "Christmas At My House" by Rahsaan Patterson, "Thank You" by Ledisi, "Christmas Day" by Frank McComb, "It's Not Really Christmas" by Trina Broussard, "A Love Letter Christmas" by R Kelly, "Christmas Time Is Here" by Jeffrey Osborne, "Cold Winter In The Ghetto" by Lonnie Hill, "December 25th" by Rosie Gaines, "Christmas Love & You" by Will Downing, "A Kiss For Christmas" by Luther Vandross, and "Christmas Of Emotions" by Eddie Sea with Shauntia Toussaint. CD

Close matches24
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✨✧ VariousLuxury Soul 2019 (3CD set) ... CD
Expansion (UK), 2019. New Copy 3CD ... Out Of Stock
A fantastic assortment of contemporary soul – put together by one of the labels who kept the underground soul groove going, long before the generation of Neo Soul! Expansion Records is a London-based imprint who started out recording American soul artists from the 70s who were still going strong, but who were ignored by US labels in the 80s – then, as the years progressed, the label continued to find newer artists to work with too – at a level that made them one of the first companies to really push the idea of contemporary soul at a level that was far from the charts – which resulted in the kind of legacy that makes this 3CD set such a treasure. Most of the cuts here are from recent Expansion projects, and the set also includes gems from other sources too – and some classic cuts from their older catalog – all wrapped together in a great package for the price. Titles include "Falling Back Into Love" by Marc Evans, "Pressure" by Maysa, "Hopping Skipping So In Love" by Victor Haynes, "I Want Your Love" by One Way, "My Baby" by Ronnie McNeir, "I Want You Back" by Boogie Back with Cheri Maree, "I'll Always Love You" by Rockie Robbins, "Stay Away From You" by Chris Ballin, "Drifting" by Kim Tibbs, "So Nobody Else Can Hear" by Jimmy Cobb, "Are You Using Me" by Inner Shade, "Much Love" by Euge Groove with Rahsaan Patterson, "Stronger" by Nickee B, "Don't Judge Me (mellow mix)" by Phillip Leo, "Special Day" by Natasha Watts, "No Explanation" by Christ Standring with Mica Paris, "Secret Lover" by Saskia, "I Want Your Lovin" by Zed Soul with Rose Vincent, "Last Song" by Darien Dean with Tiffany T'Zelle, "Free To Be Me" by Lindsey Weber with Norman Brown, "Dangerous Romance" by Steve Nichol with Ellene Masre, and "Standing Ovation" by Blu Mitchell. 35 tracks on 3CDs! CD

Close matches25
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ VariousSoul Chasers – Volume 1 ... CD
Expansion (UK), 1970s/Early 80s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A classic collection of 70s and early 80s modern soul tracks – one of the first-ever sets of work like this, and proof that the Expansion label was always on the right track! The set's filled with numbers that are still plenty hard to find on vinyl, even all these many years later – and in a way, the music here is almost a blueprint for the way soul reissues have gone well into the 21st century. 14 titles in all – including "Do It Any Way You Want" by Robert Winters, "Call Me" by LJ Reynolds, "Would You Believe in Me" by Jon Lucien, "Looking Up To You" by Michael Wycoff, "All Of My Love" by Genobia Jeter, "Top Of the Stairs" by Collins & Collins, "Got to Get Away" by Sheree Brown, "I Want To Be Your Everything" by High Fashion, "Trying To Get To You" by Valerie Carter, "Never Stopped Loving You" by Tyrone Davis, and "Hold Tight" by Magic Lady. CD

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✨✧ EliminatorsLoving Explosion ... CD
Soul Brother/Expansion (UK), 1974. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A rare funky soul classic! This one was originally issued on Brunswick in 1974, and it's darn impossible to find in the original, probably because Brunswick was having a great deal of financial trouble at the time. Whatever the case, the record's a great one – and it's got a tight ensemble funky sound, mixed with some great soulful vocals, and a strong indie soul groove. The band originally came from North Carolina, and they've got a style that's similar to some of the other south coast funk groups that were operating in the 70s in cities like Washington, Richmond, and other points south. Most tracks have deep soulful vocals, but there's some very nice instrumentals too, and the band's got a pretty tight approach to playing. Titles include "Rump Bump", "Loose Hips", "Get Satisfied (parts 1 & 2)", "Loving Explosion", "Give It Up", and "Blood Donors Needed". CD

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✨✧ James MasonRhythm Of Life ... CD
Soul Brother/Expansion/Chiaroscuro, 1977. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
One of our favorite albums ever – and every track is a masterpiece! The album was originally cut for the tiny Chiaroscuro label in 1977 – and it's got a sound that's unlike anything else we can think of – soaring, soulful, jazzy, and righteous – wrapped up in a blend that's never been done this perfectly again! James Mason's a player who's know for a bit of keyboard work with other artists – but here, he's really working as a collective power – bringing together a brilliant ensemble that work as one to hit some sublime sounds – much in the way that Roy Ayers could work some key magic with his groups at the same time, but with a vibe that's very different too. Players include Ayers associates Justo Almario on saxes and Philip Woo on piano – and a young Narada Michael Walden adds some excellent drums to the record – a lot more powerful and funky than on most of his own albums! Lead vocals are by Clarice Taylor – who's got this unique voice that really makes the record – proud, but sensitive at the same time too – and Mason plays lots of Fender Rhodes, polymoog, Arp, and a bit of guitar. Titles include the breakbeat classic "Funny Girl", the monster groover "Sweet Power Your Embrace", the funky "Slick City", and the massive "Free" – but every cut's a winner, and others include "Mbewe", "Rhythm Of Life", and "Dreams". This is the kind of album that makes us proud to be in business! CD
Also available Rhythm Of Life ... LP 11.99

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✨✧ Side EffectEffective ... CD
Soul Brother/Expansion (UK), 1973. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
The rare first album by Side Effect – recorded in 1973, before their more famous albums for Fantasy Records! The set shows the group in more of a straight soul mode – with less of the jazzy touches that would show up in the late 70s, and an approach that has them focusing more on tight harmonies, and sweetly grooving tracks that should have made them huge. The production, handled by Jim Gilstrap, has the album bouncing in a light but lively mode that actually holds together better overall than most of the group's later albums – blending uptempo and ballad tracks beautifully, shifting lead vocalists in the group to fit the mood of each track on the set. Great stuff all around – way better than you might think, and the kind of album that might have made the group huge, had it actually been released at the time! Titles include "Jim's Wrapp", "Spend It On Love", "Listen To The Beat Of The Drum", "Do Your Thing", "Tree Of Love", and "Wash Your Troubles Away". CD

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✨✧ VariousBest Of Uno Melodic Records ... CD
Uno Melodic/Expansion (UK), Early 80s. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
A fantastic tribute to one of the greatest soul labels of the 80s – the groundbreaking Uno Melodic imprint, started by soul legend Roy Ayers as a showcase for some of his more creative projects! The vibe here follows perfectly from Roy's classic late 70s work on Polydor – and his famous album with Ramp – with a wicked blend of jazz, soul, and funk – all given a very sophisticated, righteous spin – with rhythms and instrumentation that are way different than the mainstream! That doesn't mean that these tunes aren't groovers – just that many were so far ahead of their time, they've only gotten full acclaim in recent decade – thanks to new discovery by DJs and hip hoppers, who've sampled more than a few of these cuts. The whole thing is wonderful – with a strong focus on some of the female singers that Roy was working with – and titles include "Remember To Remember" by Rick Holmes, "It's Your Love" and "I Know You Care" by Ethel Beatty, "Interlude" by Justo Almario, "Baby Don't You Know (inst)" by Bobbi Humphrey, "Just Keep My Boogie" by Jaymz Bedford, "Everybody" and "Chicago" by Roy Ayers, "Give Me Your Love" and "You Can't Turn Me Away" by Sylvia Striplin, and the cuts "Sing Me", "I Knew That Love", "Ladies Of The Eighties", and "Turned On To You" by Eighties Ladies. CD
Possible matches: 5
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GutsPhilantropiques ... CD
Heavenly Sweetness (France), 2019. New Copy ... $16.99
Guts bills this set as "an Afro-Tropical experiment" – but to us, the album's just a further expansion of his wonderful talents as a producer – which have really come a long way in just a few years! Guts maybe got his start in hip hop, but he's able to embrace a globe's worth of sound, especially in a project like this – which we might liken to some of the more globally-conscious records by Quantic – although Guts is working here on the Parisian scene, and maybe has even closer access to cross-cultural channels! The set includes work by plenty of guests – a lineup that includes Pat Kalla, Pinduca, Nazare Pereira, Emma Lamadji, Kandy Gura, CAtia Werneck, Djeuhdjoah, and others – on titles that include "Voyaging Bird", "Ja Nao Ha Mais Paz", "Li Dous Konsa", "Sa Ce Kado", "Kenke Corner", "Mucagiami", "Penda", and "Matadou". CD
Also available Philantropiques ... LP 26.99

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LasperanzaSeeds ... CD
Dome (UK), 2019. New Copy ... $15.99
A tight debut from Lasperanza – aka arranger producer Rico Garofalo, who put together the whole set as a tribute to older jazz, funk, and soul that laid the seeds for his own music in recent years! The record has a vibe that's a bit like that strong UK soul tradition started with Incognito, and carried forth by a number of other artists in recent years – with a really strong vision at the core, handled by a musician who's also a maestro in the studio – who then opens the door to a shifting array of singers who really make the record sparkle with a great sense of variety! Lasperanza has sax or flute solos on most tracks, and seems ready to rise up there with the cream of UK soul labels like Dome or Expansion in recent years – and guest singers include Decosta Boyce, Hannah White, LaAerial, Kayleigh O'Neill, Colette Connor, Keni Stevens, and Izzy Chase. Most tracks are remakes of soulful classics, completely changed up – and titles include "Let's Stay Together", "Give Me The Night", "Kilimanjaro", "Under The Moon & Over The Sky", "Early Morning Love", "Working Day & Night", "In The Mood", and "It Should Have Been You". CD

Possible matches32
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Patron SaintsFohhoh Bohob (expanded edition) ... CD
Time Lag Records, 1969. New Copy Gatefold ... $5.99
A largely unheard psychedelic gem from the end of the 60s – originally private pressed by the group of suburban NY teenagers responsible for the wild sound! There's a cosmic rock groove and a bit of doe-eyed innocence in these cute odes to mind expansion – with freewheeling guitars, hand percussion, keys and a conversational vocal style that sounds like a wildly tripping, speak-singing Neil Young! Titles include "Flower", "Nostalgia Trip", "Reflections", "Do You Think About Me?", "White Light", "Relax", "My Lonely Friend", "Andrea", and "The Goodnight Song" – plus bonus tracks that include demos and live recordings! CD
(Limited edition. Great gatefold cover sleeve!)

Possible matches33
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VariousWind Down Zone Vol 1 – 14 Ultimate Soul Classics ... CD
Elevate (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy ... $9.99
One of the first collections on the now-legendary Expansion label – a wicked batch of modern soul and mellow grooves – initially compiled back in the early 90s, at a time when few other folks were looking at this music! The track list is wonderful – a hip batch of cuts that's perfect for a mellow stepping dancefloor, or for laidback, late nite soulful listening – and even after all these years, many of these numbers still haven't been compiled heavily on other labels. Titles include "Curious" by Midnight Star, "Stay" by The Controllers, "Happy" by Surface, "Heaven Sent You" by Stanley Clarke, "Portuguese Love" by Teena Marie, "Why People Fall In Love" by Ronnie McNeir, "Oasis" by Helen Baylor, "Gonna Get You Home Tonight" by Eugene Wilde, "Buttercup" by Carl Anderson, "Tic Tok" by Lorenzo, and "Don't Be So Distant" by Gary Taylor. CD

Possible matches34
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✨✧ Kidd Jordan/Alvin Fielder/Joel Futterman/Steve SwellMasters Of Imrovisation– Live In New Orleans ... CD
Valid, 2018. New Copy ... Out Of Stock
The set's billed as the "masters of improvisation" – and it definitely lives up to that title with the performance – which features three long, improvised tracks that really bubble and bristle with dynamic energy! These guys are surprisingly sensitive of each other's space and sound at times, but also can come together beautifully as a whole – with great sonic building blocks from the tenor of Kidd Jordan, trombone of Steve Swell, piano of Joel Futterman, and drums of Alvin Fiedler. The set was recorded at the Old US Mint in New Orleans – and titles include "Expansion", "Residue", and "Sawdust On The Floor". CD
Partial matches: 1
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✨✧ Tenderlonious featuring the 22 ArchestraShakedown ... CD
22A (UK), 2018. New Copy ... $13.99 14.99
We kinda want to hate the guy for such a hokey name like Tenderlonious – but this album's a surprisingly great little gem, and one that mixes lots of openly-blown work on flute with some sweet keyboards and other jazzy rhythms! The approach is maybe a bit like the Jason Lindh or Chris Hinze albums of the early 70s – and by that, we mean their better sets – with a flute approach that's less biting than the generation of Herbie Mann and Roland Kirk, using the instrument more in these spacious ways that are pretty darn great – especially against the heavy percussion and basslines of the 22Archestra! There's a few nice moments that almost have a Bobbi Humphrey sort of warmth – and titles include "Togo", "SV Interlude", "Expansions", "The Shakedown", "Yussef's Groove", "Red Sky At Night", and "You Decide". CD

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