Do you know what’s cool? When your band backs a great performer who brings back the heart of 1960s vinyl soul in a fresh way and then your arrangements and backing are so inspirational that you release the backing tracks as an instrumental album in their own right!
That’s the situation you’ll find with Timmion Records; artist Carlton Jumel Smith and Timmion house band/production team Cold Diamond and Mink. Smith’s album 1634 Lexington Avenue is a loving evocation of mid-1970s soul and R&B recorded on such classic labels as Stax, Curtom, and Hi Records.
Cold Diamond and Mink are definitely up to the task at hand, crafting a warm and authentic retro sound for the songs that Smith has written with a loving hand. While Smith can be an explosive singer and performer, he was encouraged by the folks at Timmion to explore his softer soul side.
1634 Lexington Avenue is the New York City Address of Smith when he was a child absorbing there music of artists like Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Barry White, and the incomparable James Brown, who Smith portrayed in the 1999 film Liberty Heights. Located in the city’s Spanish Harlem, Smith also grew up hearing the Latin music of performers like Tito Puente ad Celia Cruz.
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Cold Diamond and Mink’s production includes a 3-piece horn section (Jukka Eskola, Jimi Tenor, Pope Puolitaival), Sami Kantelinen on Bass, Jukka Sarapää on Drums and guitarist Seppo Salmi, who provides a masterclass in rhythm guitar. Timmion has issued the band’s instrumental version on the B side of every 45rpm single they’ve released, a smart move guaranteed to help garner play among DJs and amateur playlist programmers alike.
The band’s release is Here Today Gone Tomorrow (1634 Lexington Avenue Instrumentals) and it’s a welcome classic sounding slice of vinyl to have on your shelf next to Smith’s vocal version.
Of course, we made a playlist that contains each song with the vocal and instrumental version back to back. You’re welcome.