The long awaited second comp from SoulandJazz.com is another real goodie. The big track, of course, is the specially commissioned Gerardo Frisina remix of Gregory Porter’s 1960 What?, which opens proceedings in all its 10 mins and 35 seconds glory. As much as we all loved the original – and still do, obviously – this is actually one new mix worthy of the doing. It’s bound to take GP into fresh territory audience-wise too. Just as groovy and good is Gabriele Poso’s Freedom, on which the horns have that deliciously muddy sound that seems to suit the stand-up bass so well. Very nice sax solo too. Think I’m playing it more than the Porter, as it goes.
Other highlights include Moonchild’s dreamy, Erykah-meets-Jill-on-funny-fags drifter Be Free, which manages to be sexy and drippy and soulful all at the same time. Maz’s Everything I Need is cool and shuffly, with the intimate air of a man who spends too much time in his loft – reminds me of Lewis Taylor in that regard. Well, a bit. Both Michon Young’s I’m Waiting On You and Milan Ring’s Pay Day have an Anita Baker-ish lilt about them, which is timely when Anita Denise herself is on her way back to us. And Farnell Newton’s Everything Is Clear is so gorgeously Eric Benét it almost feels like a shame the tune wasn’t on El’s recent album. Overall, Volume 2 is probably an upgrade on Vol. 1. That’s a good thing, people.
Chris Wells 5/5