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Radio News (more headlines) 07-27-2001

Mica Paris Presents Seminal Soul For Radio 2

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TX: 9 – 10pm Wednesday 5th September, weekly until 17th October 2001

Somethin' Else, the UK's leading independent radio production company, is proud to present a second series of the highly successful Seminal Soul for BBC Radio 2 starting Wednesday 5th September and thereafter for six weeks (TX: 5th, 12th, 19th 26th September and 3rd, 10th, 17th October 2001).

UK soul sensation, Mica Paris, presents the stories of seven records and seven artists who changed the sound of Soul. The series highlights a mixture of classic underground works and adventurous outings by a combination of big name stars and lesser-known artists, writers and producers. Seminal Soul is an opportunity to tell their story, concentrating on classic LPs as well as highlighting the more obscure works of some of soul music's heroes. Each programme concentrates on a single key album, exploring its creative origins and lasting impact. We hear from the artists themselves, the record producers, those they influenced and, most tellingly, their critics of the time.

Programme 1: Soul II Soul - Keep On Movin' (Club Classics Vol. 1) (1989) TX: 5th September The most notorious British soul album of modern times. Jazzie B took all the risks, mixing soul with African and dance music to sell coals to Newcastle, kick-start the career of super-producer Nellee Hooper, and assure Britain's place in the R&B hall of fame. (Pictures of Mica Paris with Jazzy B available now!)

Programme 2: Bill Withers - Live at Carnegie Hall (1973) TX: 12th September One of the best live releases from the ‘70s, Live at Carnegie Hall witnesses Withers at his creative peak. It's a session in which Withers expands his musical genius, playing it up for the live audience with powerful moments of call and response and intimacy to warm the crowd.

Programme 3: Chaka Khan - Chaka (1979) TX: 19th September Chaka's first solo release boasted an all-star cast of some of the world's leading jazz and funk players including The Brecker Brothers, Airto Moreira, the Average White Band's Alan Gorrie, as well as arrangements by the legendary Charles Stepney and production by the highly acclaimed Arif Mardin. This album proved Chaka could hold her own and spawned her timeless hit, "I'm Every Woman".

Programme 4: Marvin Gaye - Here My Dear (1978) TX: 26th September This is as graphic as concept albums get. The subject is the collapse of Marvin's marriage to Berry Gordy's sister Anna. All the royalties from the record, as per the divorce settlement went to his ex. With painful lyrics and titles like "You can leave, but it's going to cost you" Marvin depicts life with a woman who wouldn't let him see his own son. He also sings about his cocaine habit and obsession with prostitutes. An album with it all.... broken hearts and some bitter commentary!

Programme 5: Terry Callier - Occasional Rain (1972) TX: 3rd October The first of Callier's albums to feature his now infamous hybrid sound of blues, folk and jazz injected with his rich and soulful voice. A career that includes lost records, total obscurity, computer programming and a highly acclaimed revival, Occasional Rain is Callier at his absolute best.

Programme 6: The Isley Brothers – It's Our Thing (1969) TX: 10th October A landmark album for the brothers as it saw them revive their label T-Neck and started their association with Buddha. With this album came the freedom the Isley's craved and that had been denied them by Motown. Finally they could realise their vision by producing and writing all the tracks themselves. The album's title track hit the No. 2 spot in the R&B charts that year (and in doing so held two fingers up to Berry Gordy and his team).

Programme 7: Mary J Blige – What's The 411? (1992) TX: 17th October Mary's debut album in 1992 saw her crowned the Queen of hip-hop soul at the tender age of 21. She took New Jack Swing to the next level on a record that reached platinum status, but with a stellar line up of contributors including Grand Puba and Sean 'Puffy' Combs, that's hardly a surprise.

Seminal Soul is produced by Alex Feldman of Somethin' Else.

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