Thursday, April 21, 2011

Madeline Bell - That's What Friends Are For

Copped this the other day and was surprised I had never had an original of it before. I'd had the Glucklich comped version and of course nabbed the Jazzman re-issue, but somehow never picked up this LP. It reminds me of the broader kind of 'world' inspired rare groove stuff I used to play, and in fact I'm retreading over some more territory in the Brazilian area lately. This jam is light and fluffy and reminiscent of carnival. Madeline holds it all down with a beautiful sophistication and exquisite class. The rhythms and melodies are Latin, Brazilian, Cuban and African. If it's a 'world' sounding groove, then fine. But, it is indeed a groove of 'world class' brilliance.

Madeline is originally from Newark, New Jersey. Like many soul singers she started in the church. She went on to great prominence in gospel with The Glovertones and Alex Bradford Singers. She was a center piece in the notorious rock/pop group Blue Mink. Blue Mink was an incredible diverse group musically with a racially mixed front force of two singers that might have been inspired by groups like Chicago.

Her solo LP's are highly sought after, and of the snippets I've heard, the early ones are particularly amazing. Although, I still haven't tracked them down yet either. She had the chance to record with the esteemed Wadsworth and Mansfield team. She churned out some monster soul tunes and a few northern floor burners. Just leaves more room for us to spotlight her career for future posts. What an incredible voice! SIDENOTE: I hope you'll enjoy our new 'old magazine' style layout...peep the club picture in this above YouTube'll also see the ad from an old Blues and Soul Magazine for 'The Cats Whiskers' club.

She's still active today and performing. She made most of her moves in Europe and can't be denied her place in soul history. Even Dusty Springfield sang backing vocals for HER, and became president of her fan club. Word. Madeline Bell part uno. More to come.

Madeline Bell - That's What Friends Are For

1 comment:

  1. "Picture me" is in fact classic "camp" northern soul and none the worse for that. Great blog you have here Sir- much respect to you