Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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Feature

THE SOUND OF STYLE

The Sound Stylistics
The Sound Stylistics

Casual record buyers probably arenât aware of a vast and mysterious catalogue of âlibrary musicâ. It is material recorded, often speculatively, for radio and TV stations, the advertising media, and other outlets where an anonymous soundtrack is required. The music could be used as advertising background, radio jingles, and talk-over pieces or as a TV theme â but its never commercially available.

One of the biggest producers of library music is a company called Bruton and in 2002 they assembled some key British soul, jazz and funk players to cut some tunes for them. The artists included James Taylor and the Glover Brothers (JTQ), Jim Watson (Incognito), Mike Smith (Jamiroquai), Nichol Thompson (Brand New Heavies) and the legendary Snowboy. Bruton wanted them to put together some funky jazz and blaxploitation tunes which they could peddle to clients looking for something tight and upfront.

The existence of the album â credited to 'The Sound Stylistics' - became part of funk folklore and collectors searched all over for copies. Even bootleg versions attracted huge prices and one track 'The Players Theme' drew bids of over £250 on eBay.

Now, because of the interest, the album is being made commercially available, though the musicians stress theyâre not going on the road together to promote it. Entitled 'Play Deep Funk' the album is a 17 tracker ram-jam packed with tight funk grooves, acid jazz memories and powerful bass lines â all held together by the rhythms of Cosgrove. The big tune is the opener 'Shake And Hip Drop' and though vocalist Noel McKoy is no James Brown, the cutâs probably the funkiest thing the Godfather never recorded!

THE SOUND STYLISTICS âPLAY DEEP FUNKâ is released on FREESTYLE RECORDS on 14th May
Words Bill Buckley

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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