Deadstock find! We recently came up on a few copies of this 1977 repress of Marlena Shaw's stellar The Spice Of Life LP. If you're not familiar the record contains what is arguably her most popular cut, an outstanding cover of Ashford & Simpsons "California Soul." It's a track that's been sampled by everyone from Primo to DJ Shadow and Madlib, and worth the cover price alone. Don't sleep on the rest of the album, though. Both Richard Evans and Charles Stepney worked on the arrangements and production for the record, so you know there's more to be had. They bring a heavy dose of funk to the proceedings while Shaw provides the soul. Check "Woman Of The Ghetto" for starters and then head to "Liberation Conversation" for the second course. You'll probably find that you're more familiar with Shaw's material than you thought. These deadstock represses wont be around for long so get yours while you can. Recommended.
- music label: Cadet Records 1977
reviewed by Michu Meszaros 10/2013