TEENA MARIE: Voice Your Choice (2010) and Interview (2009)

TEENA MARIE: Voice Your Choice (2010) and Interview (2009)

In conjunction with the April 2017 release of the SoulMusic Records’ 2-CD set, “Ooo La La La, The Epic Anthology,” we’re revisiting two compelling interviews with the much-missed multi-talented SoulMusic Hall of Fame inductee, Teena Marie.  First up, a two-part session (Voice Your Choice) conducted by David Nathan in which Teena talks about seven of her favourite tracks from her distinguished catalogue and then selects three tracks by other artists.

Then, a three-part interview by Jeff Lorez with Teena about her best-selling album, “Congo Square” via YouTube videos…

SOUL TALKIN': Junior Giscombe 2017 SoulMusic.com Interview with David Nathan

SOUL TALKIN’: Junior Giscombe 2017 SoulMusic.com Interview with David Nathan

Video interview, April 6, 2017

Recently inducted into The SoulMusic Hall Of Fame, Junior Giscombe is one of Britain’s  true musical pioneers, experiencing international fame (including a breakthrough for UK black music artists in the US) with “Mama Used To Say” in the early ’80s and beyond.  He’s known David Nathan even longer and in this lively video conversation, Junior talks about The British Collective and the challenges he and his peers have faced over the decades…

Preston Glass 2017 SoulMusic.com Interview

Preston Glass 2017 SoulMusic.com Interview

Renowned award-winning producer/songwriter and musician Preston Glass speaks with SoulMusic.com founder David Nathan about his brand new CD, “Dynamic Duets, Vol. 1” which includes a number of music legends (such as Evelyn Champagne King, Little Anthony, George Benson and Freda Payne) and talented new artists (including Johnny Manuel, Brandon Wattz, Blair Clark and Soalas B. Lalgee among others)…

Interview recorded April 5, 2017

DENIECE WILLIAMS 2017 SoulMusic.com Interview

DENIECE WILLIAMS 2017 SoulMusic.com Interview

In the UK for a “Soul Explosion” show at London’s Indigo 02 with Barbara Mason, The Valentine Brothers and Randy Brown, musical mainstay Deniece Williams (celebrating over four decades as a solo best-selling global hitmaker, songwriter and performer) reflects on her British visits, how she became an ‘unexpected’ recording artist, the late Maurice White and more in a conversation with David Nathan…


Verdine White (of Earth, Wind & Fire): Voice Your Choice with David Nathan

Verdine White (of Earth, Wind & Fire): Voice Your Choice with David Nathan

From our SoulMusic.com archives, we present this 2012 session of ‘Voice Your Choice’ in which the legendary SoulMusic Hall Of Fame inductee Verdine White of supergroup Earth, Wind & Fire shares his reflections on seven favourite songs from EW&F’s vast catalogue and three favourites by others…



GORDON CHAMBERS 2017 SoulMusic.com Interview

GORDON CHAMBERS 2017 SoulMusic.com Interview

Renowned singer/songwrter and producer Gordon Chambers was inducted into The SoulMusic Hall Of Fame in March 2017.  Gordon shares with SoulMusic.com founder David Nathan his reaction to the the induction and how the events of the past few years have helped shape the music on his latest CD, “Surrender,” which includes the standout track “I Made It” (featuring Eric Roberson and Steff Reed)…

Click here for the GORDON CHAMBERS page at SoulMusic.com



It is with profound sadness that I learned this morning of the passing of my dear fellow Aquarian friend and colleague, the great Mr. Leon Ware. One of the most talented music men I ever had the privilege to interview and get to know, Leon always provided great opportunities for conversations about life, sex and music.  When we found out that our birthdays were a day apart, that further cemented a bond that began back in 1976 when we did our first interview for Britain’s Blues & Soul magazine, reprinted here.

One of my fondest memories of Leon was watching him enchant an audience in Paris in July 2009, just a few months after I came back to live in London. He was simply magnificent, weaving his musical magic through songs from his then-latest album “Moon Ride” as well as doing his versions of songs that had been recorded by others, most memorably Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You,” the title track of the classic 1976 LP that Leon had originally recorded for himself (that he then produced on Marvin), “If I Ever Lose This Heaven” (recorded by so many
greats including Quincy Jones, The Average White Band and others), “I Wanna Be Where You Are” (cut by Michael Jackson and Zulema among others), “Inside My Love,” cut by Minnie Riperton and later revived by Trina Broussard. Leon’s work with contemporary soul man Maxwell resulted in the hypnotic “Sumthin’ Sumethin'” and there’s no doubt that Leon’s timeless recordings (think “Rockin’ You Eternally,” “That’s Why I Came To California”) impacted
later generations: his music was often sampled by rap and hip-hop artists who loved the sensual textures that were at the very heart of his art.

There is so much more I could say about Leon: he was funny, smart, naughty, spiritual, profound and yet always real. You can listen to a great inteview we did in 2013 that gives just a taste of the kind of conversations we had. My thoughts today are of the great times we spent together over many years, of seeing him in action on stage and the easy-flowing conversations we had. My deepest love, blessings and prayers go to his wonderful wife Carol and his family. His spirit lives on through his unforgettable work.
RIP, my Aquarian brother.

David Nathan,
Founder, www.soulmusic.com
February 23, 2017


Motown’s Musical Masseur
By David Nathan, February 1977
(C) SoulMusic.com, 2017

Some guys get all the best album sleeve sessions! With his “Musical Massage” set, Leon Ware has come to the fore of Motown’s influx on new recording talent, to follow his success as a songwriter and producer with many of Soul’s favourite sons and daughters…

IN THEIR efforts to broaden their own musical horizon in the past eighteen months, Motown have certainly unearthed some dynamic new talent. Via his debut album for the company, Leon Ware has certainly proven to be one of them and although the “Musical Massage” album hasn’t exactly set the charts on fire, the critics have favourably reviewed it and that usually suggests that a new star is in its ascendency.

Despite this being Leon’s first actual recording success, it is neither his first recording experience and nor is it his first taste of actual success because he has been a prominent songwriter and record producer for the past decade.

“I’ve been involved in music for all but three of my thirty six years,” Leon points out. “Admittedly, it wasn’t until I was twenty three that I really became involved.”

The story really begins in 1954 when, in his home town of Detroit, he formed a little vocal group called the Romeos — and the group included Lamont Dozier and Ty Hunter, who is now one of the Originals of “Down To Love Town” and “Baby I’m For Real” fame. It seems that the trio had been at the same school together — along with, apparently, Aretha Franklin and Smokey Robinson. However, after three years, the group split up — with Lamont going more into songwriting/producing and Ty into solo work.

Having finished school — and having met and turned down Berry Gordy — Leon signed with ABC and stayed there for almost four fruitless years. It left a sour taste in his mouth and he returned to regular commerce until 1964 when he finally accepted a post with the growing Motown company.

And it was during that one year stay that he had his first taste of success — as a songwriter for the Isley Brothers’ “Got To Have You Back” hit.

In 1965, he joined Groovesville Music in an independent production capacity and worked with the Holidays, Pat Lewis and Terri Bryant during a two year stretch. From there, he moved on to another disappointing spell — three years with Bell and many of the projects simply were not released.

It was at the end of 1969 that he started working with the Righteous Brothers — just before their split. He also was involved in some of the things on the MGM distributed Venture label on acts such as Johnny Nash and Kim Weston.

The year between summer of ’69 and mid-’70, Leon concentrated on writing and in 1970 he started to write with Bob Hilliard — until the latter’s untimely death in 1972. However, one of the songs that they wrote together was “Come L’Amore”, a song that did some business for Bobby Womack and that, incidentally, Leon is currently recording on an Italian artiste, Laura St. Paul.

Leon moved on to work with Ike & Tina Turner and wrote most of the material on their ‘”Nuff Said” album It was during this era that he recorded his own first album for U.A.

1973 saw him working for A&M and trams involved with Quincy Jones. Leon was involved in the “Body Heat” album, writing such songs as “If I Ever Lose This Heaven” and “Body Heat” itself. Leon considers that “If I Ever Lose This Heaven” is one of his best compositions yet and is especially proud of the way Donny Hathaway handled it on his “Extensions Of A Man” album for Atco.

But it wasn’t until 1975 that Leon came home to Motown and that’s really where it has all happened for him. His main claim to recent fame comes via his involvement in the Marvin Gaye album, “I Want You”.

“Some of the songs had been recorded for my own solo album but when Marvin Gaye heard it, he wanted them and I was more than pleased to turn it over to him completely,” Leon explains. “That’s really why there is such a similarity between the sound of my “Musical Massage” album and the “I Want You” album.

“It’s similar because it is my concept that was turned over to Marvin — and I couldn’t have been more thrilled about it, I can tell you. I think I respect Marvin as a man and a talent more than anybody else in the business. It’s certainly enhanced my career and I’m proud to add that it’s been the biggest album in Marvin’s career, too.

“It’s funny, too, because I was also heavily involved with Quincy Jones’ biggest album. I have just completed an album on Syreeta and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the trick can work for her, too.”

Although the “Musical Massage” album was begun in 1975, it wasn’t until the spring of 1976 that it was completed.

“I had recorded “I Want You” and “All The Way Around” for my own album and they were among the first ones we did. The co-producer, by the way, was T-Boy Ross, who is Diana’s brother and whose real name is Arthur. Anyway, at the same session, we cut “Instant Love” (a song that Leon had written in earlier years with Bob Hilliard and which had been recorded by the Main Ingredient earlier on), “Share Your Love” and “Body Heat”.”

One of the more interesting aspects of the album is its provocative sleeve — and you can see the full photo on this page and you’ll better understand my choice of words!

“Yes, it is a sensual concept,” Leon admitted gently. “But it says it all, doesn’t it? Love, hate, sex, religion. One reviewer called it the most motivated sleeve in a while.

“The model’s name is Azerzee Houri and she’s been on several other album sleeves in the past. She was a centrefold in “Playboy” last year, you know. And that’s me there, too — they are my hands! Yes, I guess they could persuade me to do a centrefold for “Playgirl” — I’m not the inhibited kind, you see!”

However, one of the lesser broadcast facts about the “Musical Massage” album is that it features guest spots by Marvin Gaye and Bobby Womack.

Currently, Leon is heavily involved in two projects. Firstly, there is the album that he has been recording in Milan, Italy on Laura St. Paul and that’s what will bring him to London during February. And he is just completing his own second album.

“It’s going to be called “The Whole World Is My Home” and it deals with the same basic realities,” he enthuses. “It should be out in April and by that time, “Musical Massage” should have died down.”

But his forthcoming trip to London will be his first and he is thrilled about the way that he has been accepted over here already. Given the breaks, Leon could certainly develop into being another of Motown’s new-wave superstars.


Listen to David’s “Voice Your Choice” interview with Leon from 2008

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Click here for articles and features on LEON WARE in THE SOULMUSIC.COM VAULTS

The Leon Ware Page at SoulMusic,com

Al Jarreau: A Personal Tribute

Al Jarreau: A Personal Tribute

He had style: from his cool sense of dress to his one-of-a-kind vocalize…

It in with much sadness that I learned of the passing of the great Al Jarreau on February 12 after a recent hospilization in Los Angeles at the age of 76.  My first interview (for Britain’s Blues & Soul magazine) with Al took place around October 1975 and I remember vividly that he and then-manager Patrick Rains came to my Hollywood apartment on North Formosa to conduct it, one of the handful of times when I played host to artists in my own abode.  He was mild-mannered, aimiable and a little nervous as he shared about his life and the musical journey that had led him to a major recording contract with Warner Brothers Records.  Al’s scintillating debut set – “We Got By” – had already become one of my personal favourites of the year and he had become the ‘talk of the town,’ with critics marvelling at his distinctive vocal dexterity.


I became a firm supporter and a few months later, we did our second interview (reprinted below) on the eve of his first European tour; over the years, Al created a solid and loyal audience among UK audiences in particular who loved his unique approach to singing, his innovative jazz-veered artistry and his genial personality – so much so that he recorded an entire album live in London in November 1984. He inspired other artists with his interpetative skills, prompting illustrious singer/songwriter Brenda Russell to express her own feelings about his prodigious musicality in 1983:

Over the years, we did a number of interviews and I witnessed him onstage, transforming classic tunes and his own original material into musical works of art, none more thrilling than attending the live studio sessions for his brilliant 1994 LP, “Tenderness.” In person, Al was cool, funny and a great conversationalist with a deep passion for his art and for music, as well as an acute awareness for whatever was happening in the world. Our personal chats were illuminating and richly rewarding. A seven-time Grammy awardee, Al’s prodigious talent was forever unique and his self-expression as an artist, rare, sensitive and soulful. His magic with a song will be truly missed along with his gift to the world. RIP, Mr. Jarreau, your contribution to life and art lives on.



“IT SEEMS like but a short time since we last spoke to a talented gentleman who has been hailed by many of his peers and people in the know in the music industry as one of the brightest and most exciting discoveries of the seventies. His name is Al Jarreau and his debut Reprise album, “We Got By” caused something of a sensation when it was released late last year. Since then, Al has picked up a strong following wherever he’s performed and his every appearance has brought further accolades and compliments. Right now, he’s getting ready to conquer Europe with his very unique style and on the eve of his departure, we got the chance to rap with the genial gent.

“Since we talked last, I guess I’ve mostly been involved in performing and getting our second album ready,” Al commented. “I seem to have spent a good deal of time on the East Coast — places like Boston, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. have been very good for us — the response has been pleasantly surprising. Yes, I feel that the momentum is picking up slowly and we’re getting over to the cities and markets that are really important when you’re trying to establish yourself.” Al’s acceptance in the East has prompted him to seriously consider the idea of getting an apartment in New York for a few months. “It’s much easier to operate from New York because the cost of running back and forth to the West Coast — where I live — is, frankly prohibitive. But nevertheless, I still dig living in L.A. — the living is nicer and there’s more space. “But I would have to also say that living in New York can add to your creativity — there’s a certain tension that keeps you on the go.”

Al has been the recipient of strong critical acclaim in recent months and he confesses that “I feel as if I’m just coming out of the blocks. In all truth, of course, I haven’t just started out but what I am doing is going out there constantly in front of brand new audiences so every night is a challenge. Particularly as most people haven’t even heard of me!” People may not have heard his name but by the time Al finishes mesmerising everyone with his special style, they certainly remember who he is. “It’s like with the first album. I’ve almost forgotten that it happened and it seems so far back in the past so it’s surprising to hear people still talk about it. It’s almost like a delayed reaction, you could say.”

Much of Mr. Jarreau’s energy of late has been concentrated into his second album and in some ways, it will differ from the first. “I guess we learnt a lot from the first album — oftentimes, you can get caught up so much into your own little world that you become unaware of what’s going on outside. Maybe it was a mistake for us to put the album out there with completely new material, presenting a new artist, and a new style all at the same time. So, for this album, we’re gonna do a couple of other people’s songs although the balance of the material will be my own.

“We’ve done Elton John’s “Your Song” and we did a whole number on Sly Stone’s “Somebody’s Watching You” — I guess you could say we’ve given it an ass-kickin’! I’ve also cut an old Oscar Brown Jr. tune, “Hum Drum Blues” but it may not be on the next album. I feel that this album — which is being produced by Al Schmidt (who produced the first one) and Tommy LiPuma — presents a more even texture and mood than the first one.

“My main objective in recording is to work in such a way as to ensure that whatever we do can be easily recreated on stage so this album will probably be a lot less orchestrated — that’s something I learned from the first album.”
Although Al kicked off his recording career with an album, there was no hit single to emerge from it. How much importance does he attach to having a hit? “You bet I really want a hit! It’ll open a lot of doors for me and give me the opportunity to do some other things. I think we may have a hit in one of the tracks we’ve done. It’s called “Hold On” and it’s less than two minutes long and it’s accapella. I have a feeling that it may just jump off the album!”

Al says he’s confidently looking forward to his European trip and it looks likely that he will gain a good measure of acceptance whilst on the Continent. “I feel pretty confident about it all because I feel that I’ve grown by leaps and bounds from just working in the studio again. So far, my performing growth has been somewhat stunted by not having a regular group of musicians to work with — that can definitely be a handicap. Once we can get that situation sorted out, I know things will only continue to get better.”

With the new album — tentatively tabbed “Glow” — ready to re-inforce Al’s acceptance and acclaim both at home and overseas, the future looks particularly bright for this dynamic young performer. If you get the chance, check him out — he really has something different to offer.”
(C) 2011, David Nathan/SoulMusic.com


Listen to AL’s 2011 ‘Voice Your Choice” session with JEFF LOREZ for SoulMusic.com






SOUL TALKIN': David Nathan Talks  To Ronnie  Canada

SOUL TALKIN’: David Nathan Talks To Ronnie Canada

In-person interview with Ronnie Canada, whose career has included stints with The Drifters and The Bluenotes as well as recordings with Caviar, road gigs with Betty Wright and shows as a vocalist with Judge Jules and many other dance music producers and whose previously-unreleased album with Caviar is finally seeing the light of day…

Click here for Ronnie’s website


Beverley Knight 2016 SoulMusic.com Interview

Beverley Knight 2016 SoulMusic.com Interview

Beverley Knight has distinguished herself as one of Britain’s pioneering soul/pop artists, having recorded eight albums since 1995 and establishing herself as constant presence on the UK music scene as well as expanding – in recent years – to appear in a number of successful London West End musicals including “The Bodyguard,” “Cats” and “Memphis,” the latter providing the inspiration for her latest album, recorded in the famed city. She talks to SoulMusic.com founder David Nathan about her visit to the birthplace of so many classic R&B recordings and more…


Click here for the BEVERLEY KNIGHT page at SoulMusic.com