Double LP £19.99 SJRLP270
Heavyweight vinyl gatefold 2LP on Soul Jazz inc. Syd Dale, Reg Tilsley, Johnny Pearson, Barry Stoller etc.
CD £13.99 SJRCD270
CD on Soul Jazz inc. Syd Dale, Reg Tilsley, Johnny Pearson, Barry Stoller etc.
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This is great! The latest comp from Soul Jazz is full of spy themes from the '60s and '70s so as you'd expect there's lots of jazzy brass blasts and moody basslines and a very English funk sensibility that you don't hear so much of these days. Instead of their usual book full of information about the artists, this one has a 60-page "graphic novel" written by "celebrated 1960s pulp fiction cult novelist" Mark ‘Badly’ Antringham. I use the quote marks because I'm genuinely not sure if he's real or just a fictional author who has been invented to make this package a bit more fun. The quote on the back of the book by "Andreus Twitsy-Falmerton, The London Post" makes me think it's almost certainly the latter, but if I'm wrong then sorry Mark!
The book itself is a neat little bit of twisty-turny cop noir based in '60s London, anyway, but more interesting is what's on the record. I don't have a lot of time to listen to it but I've had a very good time with the bits I have heard, in particular Dave Richmond's 'Heavy Lead' with its skulking Hammond chords and shivering blasts of tremolo picked bass guitar alongside some neat funky hi-hat work and a slightly Italian-sounding flute line. Really top notch instrumental this one. Another highlight is The International Studio Orchestra's 'High Diplomacy', a booming and grandiose take on the spy theme genre with lots of fast-bowed violin providing a backbone for some entertainingly arranged thrills and spills as a melodic theme gets passed around. That's just dipping my toe into the delights this album has to offer, though.
This album is a whole bundle of mysterious, danceable fun that all you soundtrack buffs should snap up right away. These Soul Jazz compilations really are reliably fantastic.
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