This morning, the sad news reached us that soul man Leon Ware had passed away at the age of 77. He embodied Motown and in addition to his solo work, wrote some incredible music with the likes of Marvin Gaye, Minnie Ripperton and Quincy Jones, for which he will be fondly remembered. Fusion guitarist Larry Coryell also passed away earlier this week; an artist who, with his group The Eleventh House and through collaborations with Herbie Mann, Leon Thomas and Michal Urbaniak , helped shape what jazz became in the 1970’s. Both artists will be missed tremendously, but in spite of their loss, music continues to develop as artists take inspiration from their ideas and form entirely new musical concepts.
There’s been plenty happening on the new music front this week, check out the news from Band on the Wall-affiliated artists below.
José James is everywhere at the moment! The Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack, upon which James features, entered the Billboard 200 albums chart at no. 1 this week and his new album Love In A Time Of Madness, is no. 1 on the iTunes R&B/Soul chart in Japan. As if that weren’t enough, he also happens to be featured on Goldie’s forthcoming album The Journey Man (as does Manchester’s Tyler Daley, a man who has graced our stage many a time).
James’ new record marks a distinct stylistic shift and he described it as ‘me at my most honest and vulnerable‘. The reality is that James’ voice would sound incredible on just about anything, but the smooth alternative R&B, pop and trap production flavours of the record show the diversity of his vocals and his ambitions as an artist. Stream the record below and see him realise it live with the backing of masterful drummers Nate Smith and Richard Spaven in Manchester and Birmingham this May.
After contributions from both artists to the excellent Who is Richie Brains? album on Exit records last year, fate was calling for a Killa P and Chimpo collaboration. This track, also featuring Irah and Long Ranger, is the first release on Chimpo’s label Box N Lock, which will see grime and dancehall artists respectively hopping on Chimpo’s flavoursome productions. Check out the video premiere via FACT.
Detroit’s Amp Fiddler has teased his new album, sharing photos from his recent excursion to Japan. The album follows his 2016 studio record Motor City Booty, an understated g-funk gem that featured vocals from Dames Brown. His forthcoming tour dates feature in the below post.
Manchester rap artist J Chambers launched his new EP with a pre-release party at Band on the Wall earlier this year. In a new freestyle, he shares his ‘thoughts From New Mount St.’.
Dreadzone’s new album Dread Times, released via their own label last week, has entered the UK Top 40 at No. 39, a notable achievement in a chart where major label releases dominate. Stream the record below.