There is always an imaginary musical pot bubbling away at Kent with contenders for the next volume of this fine series. Many leads are followed, the most spectacular of which this time was following the Salt & Pepper story on the Soul Source internet forum. It’s the tale of how six GIs stationed in Thailand managed to form a group, gig regularly around the country, compose their own material and record a great double-sider of a 45, all within their allotted year’s conscription.
While the rest of the Ace compilers are drinking warm beer and watching old ladies on bikes on the village green, Alec Palao is out and about excavating tape vaults and documenting the musical history of his adopted country. In the process he has become the fountain of knowledge on artists such as Lord Luther, an R&B man from Salinas CA. Alec’s Ace CD of Luther’s 50s and early 60s sides has just been issued, but he saved this 1968 soulful anomaly for our rare soul comp as it fits perfectly. These tracks are from the recently accepted funky end of Northern Soul and it is the fluidity of the rare soul dance scene that makes it so interesting. We’ve positioned a wodge of funk-edged soul into the CD and hope to have your toes-a-tapping if not actually four-cornering around your living room by the end of it.
Alec also managed to find the master tape of Troy Dodds masterpiece ‘Try My Love’ from the tiny El Camino label which was part-owned by Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain, a famous basketball player of the day. Melvin Davis recalled how the owner of the similarly small and unsuccessful KeKe label’s dad owned a “coupl’a steel mills”. Producer Dave Hamilton managed to employ an accomplished brass section for the date and the sax solo is so skilful that I’m thinking “maybe Sonny Stitt?”
The Flodavieur label is one of the west coast’s rarest imprints and we’re proud to present its two most collectable items. The sheer brilliance of the better known Antellects ‘Love Slave’ as atmospheric a soul dancer as was ever cut and deserving of its thousands of pounds price tag; nobody quibbles with that. The lesser-known Inconquerables single should have been dubbed as by the Unobtainables so few are its sightings.
Jesse James’ ‘Are You Gonna Leave Me’ may be a straight Impressions pastiche but what a one it is. The trademark guitar chords herald an ultra-soulful lament and the brass section apes Johnny Pate’s Impressions arrangements to a tee. Our other Jesse, Mr Davis demoed his big beat ballad ‘There’s Someone For me’ for none other than Dean Martin who must have been on a bender when he foolishly rejected it. The record was issued on three different labels, the story of which is revealed here for the first time; all these Jesse 45s fetch £1000 +.
Please don’t despair up and coming DJs, even with limited budgets there are records such as Jimmy Holiday’s ‘I’ve Been Done Wrong’ that sound like a million dollars in a club, they’d set you back the price of a talc shaker and a beer towel but last much longer. The Gypsies ‘Diamonds’ would similarly beef up your box for a song (literally). Alternatively just stick this CD on and get to the bar.