soul

TSOYA Classics: UK Soul Singer Omar (January 18, 2007)

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This TSOYA classic features UK soul singer Omar. Contemporary soul singers like Erykah Badu and Bilal consistently cite Omar, along with legends like Al Green and Donnie Hathaway, as a seminal influence in their careers. He's known in the UK as the godfather of "new classic soul," and only now is his music starting to make an impact on American soil. His soul incorporates Carribean influences and the residuals of the Acid Jazz movement, and his classic sound has attracted collaborators like Common and Stevie Wonder.

Jesse talked to Omar about his influences, style, and impact on the world of soul music.

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Mavis Staples, Gospel and R&B Legend: Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Mavis Staples

Mavis Staples is one of the greatest singers of our time -- a gospel, soul, and R&B vocalist known for her rich, throaty voice. She began as the lead singer of The Staple Singers, a family gospel group formed by Pops Staples and several of his children. The Staple Singers achieved several hits with "Respect Yourself", "I'll Take You There" and "Let's Do It Again". They also became a musical voice of the American civil rights movement with their protest music.

Mavis has reinvented her sound over the decades since The Staple Singers' introduction in 1950 and worked with Curtis Mayfield, Prince, Ry Cooder, and Bob Dylan. Her newest album, You Are Not Alone, was produced by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy.

Click here for a full transcript of this show.
Click here to download or stream the audio of this interview.

JESSE THORN: It’s The Sound of Young America, I’m Jesse Thorn. My guest on the program is one of our greatest singers, Mavis Staples. In her 50-plus-year career with The Staple Singers and as a solo artist, she has really and truly bridged genres from soul to gospel to R&B to country, and her latest record was produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy. Mavis Staples, welcome to The Sound of Young America.

MAVIS STAPLES: Well thank you, thank you. I’m happy to be with you.

Fela Kuti Re-Issues from Knitting Factory

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Another segment from The Grid: a little piece I wrote recommending Knitting Factory's re-issues of some of Fela Kuti's amazing mid-70s albums. Some cool archival footage in there of Fela, too.

Prince - If I Was Your Girlfriend

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This is my favorite Prince song, and I like a lot of Prince songs.

(via The Atlantic)

The Staple Singers - Let's Do It Again

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This is pretty much as good as it gets. Written and produced by Curtis Mayfield. With all this Mavis Staples publicity lately, I thought I'd post an all-time favorite.

If you've never spent time with the Staples Singers' discography, particularly their earlier secular records like Respect Yourself, The Staple Singers and Be What You Are, you owe it to yourself. Some of the warmest, most beautiful and stirring popular music every recorded. And believe it or not, they didn't even need an indie guy to pick the songs!

Bilal Oliver - Jazz and Soul Singer - Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Bilal Oliver

Bilal Oliver is a jazz and soul singer; his second LP, Airtight's Revenge, was just released. He broke onto the scene in the early 2000s with the Raphael Saadiq-produced hit "Soul Sista," but he turned to jazz clubs and progressive soul just a few years later, frustrating his record label. In the meantime, he recorded with artists like Dr. Dre, Jay-Z and Scarface. His new album is his first in almost ten years.

Sam & Dave - Hold On, I'm Comin'

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Greatest thing ever? PERHAPS.

Recorded in 1966. Via Well Plaid

R. Kelly - When A Woman Loves

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Kells blows the house down on this joint. Looks like there's a new king of retro-soul.

Jazz and Soul Singer Jose James: Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Jose James

Jose James is an acclaimed jazz and soul singer. He has two new albums - a forward-looking, genre-hopping record called Blackmagic and a collection of piano-and-vocals standards called For All We Know. The former features collaborations with producers like Moodymann and Flying Lotus. The latter features duets with the Belgian pianist Jef Neve. James, a native of Minneapolis, lives in London, and has been championed by the influential English DJ Gilles Peterson. He talks with us about the connection between jazz and hip-hop, what one learns in jazz school, and returning to standards after years singing more contemporary fare.

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