I got home tonight and thought that, as I'd posted a track from a new Soul Jazz compilation earlier, I should redress the balance by proving that, y'know, I've had their back for years. I suppose it could be argued that wantonly posting another one of their tracks - albeit from deep catalogue - might not be the best way to show love, but, hell, my heart's in the right place. Honest. Oh, and I blatantly stole the picture on the right from Stones Throw too. Sorry!
Eddie Russ: The Lope Song 2 (Soul Jazz, 1990)
So, Eddie Russ. I know nothing about Eddie Russ and don't really care much to be honest. But 16 years ago I thought, with good reason, that Soul Jazz (as the record shop in Ingestre Place, W1 was called then) was about the coolest record shop I'd ever been in. No CDs, no singles, no new releases, just racks and racks (and nice wooden racks too) of US cut out vinyl and old warehouse finds. You can buy this stuff in your local HMV now, but back then this was rare, rare shit. Looking back, I suppose much of it was rubbish, but I was enormously impressed. Too impressed to actually speak to anyone in there, despite being a fully paid-up record shop wonk myself.
Anyhow, some short time later we got these Soul Jazz 12"s in. Number 1 was some king of bootleg (allegedly) - I can't remember what of - but Number 2 was this fantastic Eddie Russ flute-jazz masterpiece. It perfectly summed up the sort of stuff I was into at the time, a bit of a potential hip-hop loop, a bit of funk, a bit of jazz, made a long time ago by someone no normal people have ever heard of. You know how it is. Anyway, I've posted the B-Side, version 2 mix as I clearly still think I've got something to prove. Like anyone cares!
Lenny Dennis: Lovin' You (Conscious, 1992)
I think it's safe to say that Lenny Dennis has heard of Barry White. I used to love this record so much for two reasons. The bassline - it sounded so HUGE through the record shop speakers - and the chopped up, trebly break. This is actually quite an odd record, veering off from straight breakbeat soul into a sort of bleep-dub middle-eight before reigning it all back in again. The lyrics are brilliant too, particularly the bit where Lenny says you can trust him, he's reality, "not fact or fantasy". But, hang on! If you're not fact, then how can you etcetcetcetc...
Hustlers Of Culture: Southside (Dub) (Hustlers Of Culture, 1992?) This record is, actually, beautiful. I used to listen to this over and over and over again just to hear the way the horns were dropped and echoed out over the pitched-down Apache break. I hesitate to use the phrase "breakbeat science" because it's not 1992 and I'm not wearing a puffer jacket or trying to palm flyers off on passers by, but it is a tremendously assured, pungent and wonderful record. Christ alone knows what ever became of them, but their old phone number - 081 (very old-skool London number) 698 1152 - just seems to ring out. Perhaps they're doing something else now?