Mon. Nov. 29, 2021

10 essential Valentine mellow jams…

10 essential Valentine mellow jams...10 essential Valentine mellow jams… “What is this thing called love?”, used to sing Alexander O’Neal back in the early 90’s. I suppose each of us would have her/his elements of response. Which is arguably what makes both the mystery and the magic of this feeling. Such as these countless demonstrations one can find in numerous artforms. From litterature to cinema. Not to mention photography or music.

Therefore, and as always, a selection is per definition limited. Even though God knows how the matter has been on the lips of numerous artists. Meanwhile bringing many of us to dream, think, pray along with the circumstances.

As a result, many are those we couldn’t talk about here. Even though they would have definitely deserved a mention. Nevertheless, you should find thereafter a pretty much illustrative sample of highly emotional pieces of art where the quality predominates. Be it from the melody and the arrangements, the lyrics and/or the vocal performances. And most likely altogether as one. Meanwhile, we have some extra goodies for your listening pleasure in our Part 2 of the series.

Wishing you’ll enjoy the ride as much as we did, while putting it together for you. With your feedback, and a mention of your favorite song more than welcome…

Last but not least, let me address my deepest thoughts to my beautiful mermaid, who should recognize herself…

10 essential Valentine mellow jams / Tina Turner – Two People (Capitol)
It reputedly at least takes two to make it one… God knows how Tina suffered from a violent relationship with her former husband (Ike). How to not make the connection when listening to the lyrics of… ‘Two People’ which she vibrantly performs? “Two people living on the edge of life are people running out of dreams and time. I can hear it when you tell me so. I can feel it but I can’t let go.”
10 essential Valentine mellow jams / Aretha Franklin – It’s Just Your Love (Arista)
One of the most accomplished productions by the likes of the late Luther Vandross and Marcus Miller. Aretha Franklin has rarely sounded so vibrant as a matter of fact. With the lyrics of this song telling all about it. “All I think of us is your love and how you really knock me out for. You mean more to me than any gift that you can give because your love is what I live for. More than the fifty flowers you send me every hour, there is no only reason why I’m in love. It’s just your love…”
10 essential Valentine mellow jams / Loose Ends – Love’s Got Me (Morales Mix) (10 Records/AVL)
Of course, how to not think of ‘Hanging On A String’ or ‘Ooh You Make Feel Feel’. But what about ‘Love’s Got Me’? Loose Ends had so much on offer as a matter of fact. What an outstanding performance by the likes of Carl McIntosh whose voice reminds at times of Marvin Gaye. The title just speaks for itself as to what to expect here. With Def Mix David Morales delivering one of his best remixes ever, true to the original spirit of this Brit-Soul/Jazz gem, although bringing it to the next level…
10 essential Valentine mellow jams / Miles Jaye – Heaven (Celestial Club Mix) (4th & B’Way)
You, familiar with these shores, should probably have noticed the presence of this infectious cut as a part of our 10 essential Frankie Knuckles remixes (vol. 1). As a matter of fact, Knuckles was not alone doin’ it, but along with Def Mix partner David Morales. The twosome showing once again how they could bring R&B to the next level. Such a pity this unsung jewel didn’t get the recognition it definitely deserves at the time. The lyrics as Miles Jaye‘s vocal performance just come from… ‘Heaven’!
10 essential Valentine mellow jams / Mica Paris – If I Luv U 2 Nite (Nellee’s Club U 2 Nite Mix) (4th & B’Way)
“If I luv U 2 Nite, promise me, baby, you’ll stay with me, till the morning light…” There’s a definitive impression of floating around on this cool groover. As if the time had been put on hold. From both Mica‘s interpretation of this Prince-penned song. To its remix courtesy of former Soul II Soul co-head Nellee Hooper. An absolute delight which the lady released on the heels of ‘South Of The River’, and right before ‘Young Soul Rebels’
10 essential Valentine mellow jams / Active Force – Give Me Your Love (Specially Extended Remix) (A&M)
Michael Stokes put Active Force together back in the early 80’s in California. All the lights were green to make it successful. From its line-up of guest musicians featuring Patrice Rushen, Freddie Washington and Paulinho Da Costa among others. To Stokes‘s position as an in-demand producer/musician. Alas, the label obviously didn’t put the necessary effort on this project apart from releasing the blowing ‘Give Me Your Love’. The music lovers would nevertheless pay justice to it.
Making of both the album and the single some of the most sought after items on the second hand market. A quick listen to ‘Give Me Your Love’ suffices to understand why…
10 essential Valentine mellow jams / The O’Jays – Darlin, Darlin Baby (Sweet, Tender Love) (PIR)
What makes you love someone / something more than anyone / anything else? Most likely a call, I would tend to say. Like an evidence you don’t have / need to explain. Something you would just feel like it is (as opposed to it could be, not to mention it is not). The same you could feel about the beloved, you might feel it when it comes to music. The Philadelphia Sound appeared to me like an evidence, from its construction to its arrangements. And it managed to serve as the ideal environment for countless messages at the time. Beginning with this simple yet vibrant statement by The O’Jays that just says it all when coming to evoke the one in our heart and thoughts…
10 essential Valentine mellow jams / Lenny White – Didn’t Know About Love (Till I Found You) (Elektra)
Here again, a title that says it all in regards to the power of a feeling which may catch you at any period of your life. Eventually makin’ you feel like a kid. With the countless interrogations but also the magic it generates in the meantime.
From the very first note, you can tell you’re in front of a one of a kind piece of music. In the vein of Love Unlimited‘s ‘High Steppin’, Hip Dressin’ Fella (You Got It Together)’. With the singers seeming like carressing this smooth slapped bass driven groove. No wonder why the late Frankie Crocker made of it one of his favorite back then on WBLS. [More…]
10 essential Valentine mellow jams / L.A.X. – Possessed (Prelude)
L.A.X. managed to be to Prelude Records what The Jammers would be for Salsoul Records. Two studio bands who, despite an obvious talent, didn’t get the exposure / recognition the undeniably deserved. A quick listen to ‘Possessed’, one of the highlights from their ‘All My Love’ album along with its title cut which features in our 10 essential Prelude Records gems Part 2, brilliantly illustrates their musicianship. The syncopation of its atmospheric Jazz/Funk construction perfectly fitting with the message and its top class vocal delivery…
10 essential Valentine mellow jams / The Circle City Band – Magic (Circle City Records)
“That magic from the sparkle in your eyes makes me realize I know you are the only one for me…” As many words that say it all regarding this irresistible Boogie/Funk joint by the likes of The Circle City Band. Among the most sought after 12″ from back in the day. And of course in our ‘Most Wanted’ list which you can also have a listen to, either while typing the latter in our search form. Either from the Collectors Corner widget on your right hand.

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