New York Soul Serenade – Various Artists CD (Kent)
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Years have passed since Adrian Croasdell found first himself in the tape vaults at Scepter /Wand and Musicor. The endorphin rush he experienced then must have been so potent that the poor boy can’t stop himself from going back for more.
Ady’s addiction is one to be encouraged-.-it means we can all experience the ethereal pleasures only made possible by listening to the sounds of New York City Soul. This cleverly compiled collection, featuring tracks from 1962-72, brings together all of the musical styles necessary to ensure that everybody who tunes in will be satisfied, be they permanent residents of, or occasional visitors to the sound of, the Big Apple.
The CD kicks off with Johnny Maestro’s dramatic I’m Stepping Out Of The Picture, now regarded a classic side since its debut at the 100 Club – courtesy of you know who. With this track you’ll find yourself instantly transported back to what must have been groovy times – you don’t need a Tardis just close your eyes. The male artists are well represented with offerings from the mournful Ed Bruce, frantic Sammy Ambrose, pleading Chuck Jackson and an unissued Billy Byers. What more could you want? Well ‘Girls’ of course. Naturally there are plenty of those too. Two cracking sides from Judy Clay, an in-demand Maxine Brown tune and the essential Big Maybelle and Marie Knight. Group sounds abound: Northern sides being flipped over to reveal uplifting ballads from the Gentlemen Four and Porgy & The Monarchs-.-the Platters deliver a few words of sound advice-.-and Little Charles gives us a finger-clicking ditty that makes its first public appearance here.
This latest offering from Kent provides more soul than stomp, more ballads and more pleasure than Prozac. – Ace Records.