Today I’m going to introduce you to that new soulful voice you’ve been looking for for some time now. He’s singer songwriter, Tony Momrelle! He has been laying down amazing groove oriented soul from across the pond for years. Sorry, your favorite terrestrial radio station may be clueless to who he is and thus will never air his talent in any rotation. Their loss! Momrelle is a talent who has for years been the lead vocalist for the flat out bad ass British band Incognito; a featured vocalist for the dance and smooth grooves group Reel People; as well as a backing vocalist for my girl, Sade. Yep!
Momerelle with Sade
Momrelle’s Extended Play (EP) titled Fly was release almost a year ago and is still kickin’ today. The standout tracks are the eponymous “Fly”–an up tempo jam with a James Brown “funky drummer” shuffle rhythm which opens up a vast space where Momrelle demonstrates bright flashes of the vocal stylings of Stevie Wonder. His lyrics are both simple and fantastically poetic. Upon listening to the song, SoulBounce writer Ivory, stated, “Hope and happiness seem just within reach on this joint” and imagined through the lyrics “getting away from it all could be so simple.” While his second track Spotlight spins a tale of meeting that special someone amid a crowd of people. This cut finds Momrelle’s voice settled deep in the soul aesthetic surrounded by a driving groove.
This is Tony Momrelle Ladies and Gentlemen! Take a listen and know this is the soulful voice you been looking for. Add some Momrelle to your iPod and you will thank me later!
For a few weeks now I have shared some of my favorite neo soul and jazz artist in an effort to reveal what I call good music–part of my endeavor to listen to good music this year. So far I’ve only shared female artists who embody the elements of what I call good music. Exposed in my search for good music, I’ve found female soul artists are simply more abundant and fill every nook and cranny of the soul genre. But the Men are not lost in this crowd.
With that being said we switch gender. Below is the first of many men to follow who are deeply committed to creating various styles of good music from soul to R&B to jazz.
Lorenzo Ferguson, better known as Zo! to his fans, latest album ManMadewas released a year ago and is a shining example of well thought out fun and conscious soul. Zo!, who hails from the Foreign Exchange (+FE) camp of talented singers, songwriters, and musicians, has orchestrated, as usual, a great collaborative effort. Zo! recorded this album with familiar, amazing and capable voices like underground neo-soul artist-soon-to-be-legend Gwen Bunn on bouncy cut “Count To Five”; Erro Soul himself: Eric Roberson on the retro 80s jam “We Are On The Move; and duets by Choklate with Phonte (“Making Time”) and Anthony David with Carmen Rogers (“Show Me The Way”) bang out some awesomeness that you must to hear.
Overall the album is couched in the modernity of astutely assembled soul. It fills the genre of “synth soul.” Zo!’s release is polished yet grooves in a raw organic way. The music and lyrics are straightforward and positive. They have substance! Also Zo! has a talent for crafting strong and catchy choruses, which make the album highly listenable from beginning to end.
Enough said! If you are craving some good modern soul to make your head bop and you weren’t sure where to look for it, here it is! Take a listen and enjoy it’s not too late!
Add Zo!’s ManMade to your iPod. You will thank me later!
Our mothers are indeed special and become even more special when we begin to assess their favorite song and ascertain why the song is special to them at all. Songs are meaningful and certain songs hold particular capital with our mothers. Their favorite songs are revealing in that they give us a wonderful glimpse into the person, character, and women that is our mother. It’s an amazing sight to watch your mother sing or dance to her favorite song. Yep mothers are special!
Personally it’s been more than ten years since I’ve seen my mother wrapped up in the melody of her favorite song. Today I hold fond memories of her singing and listening to her favorite music. My mother’s musical taste was eclectic. It spanned the genres of classic Motown, country to folk to funk and R&B. Each genre of music resonated with her. Each song brought out her personality and character. My mother’s favorite songs musically narrated special moments in her life. These songs continue to happily remind me of the life she lived.
This Mother’s Day get to know your mother’s favorite song/songs and hold on to them.
Here are a few of my mother’s favorite songs from an era that held special meaning for her. You may want to add these songs or your mother’s favorite songs to your iPod—you might thank me later.
This is a two for one iPod add. Oh snap! There are several jazz vocalists who are part of the exciting new wave of artists in the jazz genre. Vocalist such as Gregory Porter and José James, just to name a few, are definitely members of the new wave. To be sure, Miami born pianist, singer, songwriter Cécile McLorin Salvant and London born singer, songwriter musician Zara McFarlane are emerging movers and shakers in the genre.
Salvant and McFarlane share Caribbean roots and have attained European music training over the past few years, which in a sense makes them truly international. Together they contribute to the wonderful world of jazz in terms of their skill, sincere performances, and honest lyrics that speak of their life’s journey thus far.
I’m ecstatic to have added Salvant’s Womanchild, (2013) and McFarlane’s If You Knew Her, (2014) to my collection. This week double up your jazz and add these fine ladies to your iPod! You will thank me later!
When Tennessee born, guitarist, singer, and songwriterValerie June is asked about the type of music she plays she simply responds by saying “it’s Organic Moonshine Roots Music!” Of course it is! Valerie June writes and records music reminiscent of the serendipitous Seeger family re-discovery, Elizabeth Cotton. Cotton was indeed one of the many progenitors of turn of early century guitar based root blues and gospel music of the South. June easily fits in that genre with a little soul, country and R&B added in the mix. Her latest and first studio produced album Pushin’ Against A Stone(2013) is a grand example of her stated style of music–Organic Moonshine Roots Music (OMRM). Co-Produced by Dan Auerbach of the awesome Black Keys and features legendary artist Booker T. Jones (Booker T. & The M.G.’s), this album is entirely grooving down a decidedly different road–a respite excursion from any terrestrial radio today. For me, it hits the spot on my quest of listening to good music this year!
June’s album features the song “You Can’t Be Told”. This is a bold and catchy mid tempo song that will make one hum its chorus long after the song has ended. It begins with a crunchy and gritty guitar riff as well as handclaps that keep the listener (well the indoctrinated listener) rooted in raw Southern gospel. This establishes the chorus. You are instantly hooked! Junes voice, piercing and shinny, slides in to the verse to sustain the songs momentum. She soon takes a guitar solo that is skillful and compelling. This joint is rockin’!
Also not to be missed on June’s album are “Workin’ Woman Blues” and “Somebody To Love”. Yes I’m enjoying Valerie June’s OMRM! Add Valerie June’s “You Can’t Be Told” to your iPod and you will thank me later!
Check out June’s video for “You Can’t Be Told” and an awesome interview below:
Ever since I first heard artist, singer, songwriter, and soon to be reality T.V. starLeela James belt out a song I was hooked. James’ voice oozed a soulful and funky consistency that reminded me of more than a few of the best soul singers some decades ago. Her raw classic voice, when she first arrived on the music scene, was a welcome sound to my ears in 2005. Her first album A Change is Gonna Come was her own personal statement that her voice and her style of music (classic soul) was relevant and certainly need amid the pop music muck. In short, James was about the work of regenerating and maintaining classic American soul.
A few weeks ago, after reading one of my posts, a friend of mine (A.K.A. my soul brotha from anotha motha like no otha) asked me if I listened to Leela James as her music is a new discovery for him. I proclaimed in the affirmative and was immediately flooded with the memory of her music. Of course I binged on her music for the next few days.
Listening to James I was reminded of her determination to preserve soul music. She sings with a feeling and sincerity and a mission to make good music. She carries with her the vocal and attitudinal influence of luminaries such as Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, and Mavis Staples to contemporary artists such as Jill Scott, Ledisi, Musiq, and Anthony Hamilton. James’ mission can be heard on all her albums from A Change is Gonna Come (her statement piece) to Let’s Do It Again (2009) (a celebration of soul and a little funk music of the 70s), to My Soul (2010) (her highest charting album), to finally Loving You More . . . In The Spirit of Etta James (2012) (which she dedicated to the memory of Etta James and her music).
Today Leela James is hard at work recording good music. At the moment James is working on a new album and has recently released a duet with fellow soul artist Anthony Hamilton called “Say That” and “Fall For You”-a nice soulful ballad that trumps anything you heard on the radio lately. [Listen Below]
Do yourself a favor and add Leela James to your iPod and binge on some excellent heartfelt soul . . . you will thank me later!
I believe I make a decent effort to broaden my music listening experience from a global perspective. The entire world makes music. For me listening to music has become much more rewarding as I venture beyond the boarder of the U.S. and enter into international spaces. Although, at times, I am limited by language in terms of fully understanding the content of song, the music still speaks for itself. However, until I am able to understand more languages, I tend to gravitate toward artists who sing in English.
I’m so glad I came across the vocally well-schooled and former saxophonist Joya Mooi. Mooi is one of many great Afro-Dutch artists hailing from the Netherlands. Her latest album Crystal Growthfinds Mooi fully immersed in the African-American jazz and neo-soul genres. Recorded with live instrumentation with a capable band the music draws the listener in to feel the what’s being played. Well, for me it does.
As you know I dig great voices. Mooi’s voice for me is hard to describe without getting it perfect. I fear I may miss the nuances that make her voice unique. Mooi’s voice has been described as “one of those crystalline voices that just leave you wanting for more” by Miss Awa’s Blog and in terms of her latest single “Way of Life” she has “effortless vocals” as mentioned by Ivory at SoulBounce, noting her ease and mastery in the genre. When pressed, ultimately, I describe her voice as boldly tender and humble. Her music is listenable. Her lyrics tell a story. Her singles “Beyond of You” and the up-tempo “Way of Life” are wonderful pieces of jazz and soul. However, her (not released as a single, yet) slow burner “Out of Love” evokes the feel of Billie Holiday (yes I said it!) in it’s pace and rhythm and Mooi and the band give it time to develop and breath. Yep, it is a must listen. Joya Mooi is an amazing artist who understands and interprets the African-American genre well with a voice you need to hear. Add any one of her songs or her album to your iPod. You will thank me later. Check out Joya Mooi previous album Hard Melk, too! Listen to “Way of Life” and “Out of Love” below: