Jun 4, 2016

RhoDeo 1622 Grooves


Meanwhile a different kind of Soul-Jazz grooves here today to cleanse those dusty parts of soul..

Today's artists drew praise for the fiery passion of all three members. They were able to alternate between soulful ballads, gospel, blues and stomping jazz. Sell-out performance at the prestigious Ronnie Scott’s jazz club confirmed their status within the British ‘new jazz/pop’ scene. In accentuating the ‘jazz’ motif, the music and ‘style’ press unfortunately saddled the singer with an unwanted Billie Holiday image. The band continue to command respect from critics and fans alike  ... N'joy

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The band Carmel was formed in Manchester when two students McCourt and Jim Parris got together with drummer Gerry Darby (Parris's cousin). Their début single, "Storm" reached No. 1 in the UK independent chart and they were signed to London Records. Their second album The Drum is Everything (produced by Mike Thorne) drew some praise. Parris and Darby conjured the effect of a full ensemble backing to McCourt's vocals, and alternated between soulful ballads, gospel, blues and jazz. The resulting singles "Bad Day" and "More, More, More" both went Top 25 in the UK Singles Chart.

The following album, The Falling (produced by Brian Eno, Hugh Jones and David Motion) had considerable success in France, achieving gold disc status, and also charted in Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands. "Sally", the first single lifted from the album, sold 500,000 copies in France alone, and led to McCourt featuring in a duet "J'oublierai ton nom" with French rock star Johnny Hallyday. With the critical and commercial success awarded to both The Falling and the follow-up album Everybody's Got A Little... Soul, record producers were keen to work with Carmel.

1989 saw the release of Set Me Free, with Brian Eno and Pete Wingfield adding their touches to the material. Jimmy Somerville provided guest vocals on the track "One Fine Day", a song dedicated to Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California, only to be assassinated 10 months later. A five star review in Q described the album as "incendiary" and the decade was closed with the 1990 compilation Collected, summing up the band's career to that date.

1992's Good News saw Carmel moving to East West Records with Parris producing. That album was followed by 1995's World's Gone Crazy with producers including Carmel McCourt, Jim Parris, Gerry Darby, Julian Mandelsohn and Mike Thorne. A single was released from World's Gone Crazy, the ballad "If You Don't Come Back", an English-language version of "Si Tu No Vuelves" by the Spanish singer-songwriter and actor, Miguel Bosé. In 1997, Ronnie Scotts provided the venue for their last album for over a decade, Live at Ronnie Scotts, a partial retropsective of their work to date, also containing some previously unreleased material.

Live performance has always been central to Carmel's work and they are successful on the European touring circuit, and have frequently found greater appreciation on the continent than in the UK. The French christened McCourt the new Edith Piaf[citation needed], and in Italy she won the accolade of best jazz vocalist at the Messina Festival.

During much of the 1990s the band members were living between Barcelona, Paris and Manchester, and it was hard for them to work together, so they pursued other musical projects. Parris created the band Nzi Dada with Paris-based multimedia artist Xumo Nounjio, and McCourt worked on various projects as a singer, writer and teacher.

The start of the millennium saw them all back in their adopted hometown of Manchester, but Darby decided he no longer wanted to continue. In 2002 Parris and McCourt undertook a tour playing the old material with a nine piece band. This resulted in a 2004 live DVD entitled More, More, More, comprising a full band performance and an interview with McCourt and Parris.

In December 2011, McCourt and Parris released their first studio album in over 15 years. Still working under the name Carmel, they released the album Strictly Piaf, which consisted of 10 reinterpretations of classic and lesser-known songs by Edith Piaf. An initial single from the album was Sous le ciel de Paris before the album was made available via download. The collection later received a full CD release in August 2012 via Secret Records.

As of October 2012, McCourt was set to return to live work with a new band formation, performing Carmel classics as well as material from the Strictly Piaf album. Dates included those at London's Islington Town Hall, Stockton Georgian Theatre, and Manchester Band on The Wall. Of the shows, she has said: "It will be wonderful to work with the new musicians. They are all great in their own right and it will be so sweet to hear the many songs that Gerry Darby, Jim Parris and I wrote together in the years spanning the 1980s and the 1990s".

Carmel took the band on a European tour of Germany and Switzerland towards the end of May 2013 and began to start playing some of the new songs she'd been writing.

On September 25, 2015 Carmel released her first new single with her new band, the double A-Side 'Sad Situation' | 'Second Wife Blues', on new independent label Kultura Recordings. Both tracks were recorded at Limefield Studio in Middleton and mixed and mastered by Kevin O'Toole.

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Further removed from the early records' unaffected simplicity, the uneven Set Me Free lifts any remaining barriers to modern technology and slathers on the drum programs, MIDI processors and synthetic strings. McCourt and a variety of collaborators deliver a reasonably good set of songs, individually produced by Eno, Thorne, Pete Wingfield and Jim Parris (new spelling). Singing over a busy rush of danceable jazz-pop-rock, a seemingly reinvigorated McCourt comfortably throws her voice into high gear, cutting through the arrangements with ease. But putting on the melodramatic chanteuse act for songs like the grim "God Put Your Hand on Me" still doesn't suit her at all. The new Carmel may not be as wonderful as the old Carmel, but Set Me Free provides reason enough to keep listening.

Carmel - Set Me Free   (flac 552mb)

01 Napoli 3:33
02 You Can Have Him 3:46
03 I Have Fallen In Love (Je Suis Tombée Amoureuse) 4:14
04 I'm Over You 4:56
05 God Put Your Hand On Me 5:02
06 Take It For Granted 4:51
07 Circles 4:54
08 If Birds Can Fly 4:38
09 One Fine Day 4:35
10 Onward 5:32
11 Life Is Hard 3:55
12 The Waterfall 3:40
13 I Have Fallen In Love (12'' Extended Mix) 7:30
14 Moving 3:38
15 You Can Have Him (Instrumental) 5:17
16 You Can Have Him (12'' Extended Mix) 6:32
17 And I Take It For Granted (12'' Mix) 5:53
18 Lovin' Feel (From 'You Lost That Loving Feeling') 6:29

Carmel - Set Me Free  (ogg  206mb)

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What I like about Carmel is they're mixing up styles. Jazz, Pop, Soul ... everything a bit.
This album shows perfectly. It starts with some African tune, changes over to Soul Pop, takes a trip into Reggae music and comes to Soul Jazz in the end. OK, the vocals of Carmel McCourt have been better before. But nevertheless this album is remarkable in another point: The lyrics. While hearing the first songs you may think of love songs only. The further you fall into this music you recognize it is the love to god, the love people. Serious - I'm not for Christian lyrics pretty much but this do really well. At the near end Carmel tells you some good news. A surprisingly sarcastic song.

"Someone dropped a bomb somewhere
Contaminating atmosphere
Blackening sky, they say
and that's the news I heard today ...
Good News"

This album is a great album! Hallelujah!

Carmel - Good News   (flac  404mb)

01 Java 4:52
02 You're All I Need 4:41
03 Heaven 4:43
04 Angel 4:26
05 Letter To Margaret 3:36
06 You're On My Mind 6:49
07 Circle Line 4:04
08 Good News 6:42
09 Chasin' Rainbows 6:28
Bonus Tracks
10 Desdemona 3:43
11 African Bird 8:17
12 Crazy Joe (Bye-Bye) 3:24
13 The Judge 5:52
14 Come-Back-A-Hero 1:47

Carmel - Good News (ogg  163mb)

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1992's Good News saw Carmel moving to East West Records. That album was followed by 1995's World's Gone Crazy with producers including Carmel McCourt, Jim Parris, Gerry Darby, Julian Mandelsohn and Mike Thorne. A single was released from World's Gone Crazy, the ballad "If You Don't Come Back", an English-language version of "Si Tu No Vuelves" by the Spanish singer-songwriter and actor, Miguel Bosé. Sadly, this proved to be the last full album of original material from super-fab group Carmel, but this diminishes the quality of the product not one bit. Far, far from being a last gasp, they went their own way without gaining the huge audience they deserved.

Carmel - World's Gone Crazy   (flac  345mb)

01 If I Don't Have You 4:49
02 Don't Lose Your Love 5:00
03 Save Our World (From Drowning) 4:29
04 Backroom 5:01
05 Jacqueline 4:52
06 World's Gone Crazy? 6:35
07 Jack Dodd 4:16
08 Africa 4:41
09 If You Don't Come Back 4:20
Bonus Tracks
10 Lean On Me 3:26
11 The Garden 4:14
12 Good Day 4:03

Carmel - World's Gone Crazy (ogg  129mb)

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Recorded live at Ronnie Scott's famous jazz club in 1997, Carmel shows off the versatility in the group's live sets, stylistically covering the map with blues-inflicted funk, jammed-out soul sessions, and a dash of Latin funk flair all rolled into an adult contemporary tortilla of smooth sounds that aren't corny, but heartfelt and sincere. Although only an hourlong session, Live at Ronnie Scott's is a sharp sampler of the eclectic sounds of Carmel's career, well into its second decade at the time of this album's release.

Carmel - Live at Ronnie Scott's   (flac 450mb)

01 You Promised Me The World 4:47
02 Big Belly Woman 4:35
03 Heaven 4:47
04 If You Don't Come Back 5:16
05 Slidin' Down 5:42
06 Tango 5:17
07 Sally 7:05
08 Save Me 3:19
09 Respect All People Now 4:21
10 Spanish Cafe 4:09
11 Wild Country 4:27
12 World's Gon' Crazy 6:26
13 Honeysuckle 4:59

Carmel - Live at Ronnie Scott's  (ogg  167mb)

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