While a bit of a delayed piece, this look at a recent releases from Kent is part of a inhouse revamp of the articles section. A new section has been opened where soul source will take a regular indepth look at recent cd releases of a rare and northern soul nature. including scans, clips and where possible a chance for members to win the actual cds
The section has already started with Chalkys tip top review of the recent Soul Junction Falcons cd (has been updated to include a comp and clips added) and getting things moving on here's a look at a recent release from Kent
CDKEND 296 LABEL KENT
This 26 track comp from Kent ( 9 previouslu unissued) concerns it self with someone who has been described as "one of soul music great unknowns". The kent spotlight falls on Brook O'Dell with a selection of his work including 9 oreviously uniisued performances
The Brook O'Dell Anthology is yet another top class release form Kent. The 16 page booklet is again of the high standard that come to expect. Starting off with a foreward by Jerry Williams Jr and full of quality reading by Tony Rounce, which along with the many photographs do their usual task of making you wonder just why can't all cds have such.
The press/release notes from the Kent website (link at bottom) follow...
Soul music sure does love its cult heroes and, in UK collector circles, the cult of Brooks O'Dell has persisted for more than 40 years. Most of us first encountered him on the groundbreaking 1965 Stateside compilation "An Album Full Of Soul", where his exquisite Bell recording You Better Make Up Your Mind provided a notable highlight even in a collection that was brimming over with them. His cult status was further assured by the fact that he didn't record very often, but when he did, there was almost always a classic involved somewhere in the session. Despite the fact that his recording career covered a ten-year-plus period, it passed by in almost total obscurity as far as interviews and artist information are concerned - which has only added to that ongoing cult status.
Hopefully the release of Kent's new compilation "I'm Your Man" will both please Brooks' existing fan base, and add to it. The CD covers virtually the whole of his recording career, and embraces almost every known recording that he made between 1963 and 1972. (All that's missing are a couple of singles that he made in Italy in 1961 and the instrumental flipside of one of his Bell singles). Given that Brooks worked almost exclusively with upper echelon producers of the calibre of Luther Dixon, Larry Maxwell, Carl Davis and Jerry Williams Jr aka Swamp Dogg, the quality of the recordings here is guaranteed.
From the Big City soul of Brooks' early Gold and Bell masterpieces - some written by Kenny Gamble and Thom Bell - to the subtle Southern sound of his final 1971 sessions, produced in Muscle Shoals by his friend Swamp Dogg and including virtually a whole album's worth of unissued material, it's all quite wonderful. For many the highlight may be the recently unearthed, previously unissued 1966 Columbia recording The Heartless One. When you hear this prime example of mid-60s Chicago soul you will shake your head in amazement that something so good did not make it onto a 1966 release schedule.
With a wealth of label shots, some very rare and previously unseen pix and a sleeve note that does its very best to present the Brooks O'Dell story from the scant career information that is available, either to the writer (me!) or to anyone else, this is another essential addition to anyone's library of Kent CDs. I would have really liked to tracked Brooks down and to have heard his story from the person who knows it best, but several good leads panned out to nothing and, in the final analysis, I wasn't even able to determine whether or not Brooks is still alive. Whether he is or he isn't, "I'm Your Man" will ensure that his music will never go unforgotten.
By Tony Rounce
While it may seem that including press releases/ label website info under the heading of a review may be a case of cutting corners, do feel that it would be more of a crime to ignore and omit such informative and well written words that do come out from the Kent stable and go as far to say it would be even more of a crime if were to replace such with my own attempts.
As with all reviews have added a link below where all members can listen to clips of all the tracks on this comp
Listen to clips of all tracks here