Various Artists

Soul Love Now: The Black Fire Records Story 1975

£26.99
  • Various Artists - Soul Love Now: The Black Fire Records Story 1975-1993
14th August 2020 / 2LP or CD / Strut

Various Artists

Soul Love Now: The Black Fire Records Story 1975

£26.99
Format:
Variant:

An essential deep dive into the seminal spiritual jazz and conscious soul label Black Fire.

Strut present the first ever compilation bringing together classics and rarities from 1975 to 1993.

Formed by DJ and record producer Jimmy Gray in Richmond, Virginia, and following in the footsteps of other influential black-owned independent labels like Strata-East and Tribe, the foundation of Black Fire coincided with saxophonist James “Plunky” Branch returning to the city from New York to form Oneness Of Juju. The band’s ‘African Rhythms’ album in 1975 was the perfect fusion of jazz, deep African polyrhythms and empowering lyrics and bassist Muzi Branch, a trained artist, created the first of many Black Fire handillustrated sleeves for the label’s debut release.

The album set the tone for a series of landmark releases on the label including Oneness Of Juju’s ‘Space Jungle Luv’ (1976) and debuts from soulman Wayne Davis (1976) and early go-go pioneers Experience Unlimited (1977). Gray continued to use his influence and strong A&R instincts to bring in more key artists – great jazz players like Byard Lancaster and Hamiet Bluiett, Ghanaian master percussionist Okyerema Asante and collectives including Southern Energy Ensemble and music / drama troupe Theatre West. Due to personal and cashflow issues, many releases had to be canned and only later surfaced on CD during the early ‘90s

‘Soul Love Now’ brings together some of the many highlights from the label onto one essential compilation. Opening with Theatre West’s powerful soul message ‘Children of Tomorrow’s Dreams’, the tracks include a Byard Lancaster recording with Tunde Kuboye’s Drummers Of Ibadan in Nigeria and Lon Moshe’s driving jazz dance classic ‘Doin’ The Carvin’ For Thabo’. Wayne Davis brings the explosive gospel rare groove ‘Look At The People’ while Plunky’s JuJu and Oneness Of Juju feature with three tracks spanning their career, including a storming previously unreleased version of the classic ‘African Rhythms’ recorded in DC in 1975.

The release features extended sleeve notes features extended sleeve notes around the history of the label alongside interviews with featured musicians. The 2LP format includes a reprint of one of the three original Black Fire magazines published by Jimmy Gray which predated the launch of the label.

A1. Theatre West – Children Of Tomorrow’S Dreams
A2. Oneness Of Juju – Soul Love Now
A3. Byard Lancaster – Drummers From Ibadan
B1. Lon Moshe – Doin The Carvin For Thabo
B2. Juju – Nia (Poem: The Complete Circle)
C1. Wayne Davis – Look At The People
C2. Southern Energy Ensemble – Third House
D1. Oneness Of Juju – African Rhythms (Live In Washington DC, 1975)
D2. Experience Unlimited – People
Format /2LP or CD
Released /14th August 2020
Catalogue / STRUT238LP
Barcode / 4062548012927
Artist / Various Artists
Label /Strut
Genre / Compilations
  • Preview
  • Shipping Info
  • About Drift
  • Playlist

In the UK we offer Royal Mail Tracked 24/48®, Click & Collect at the shop and Free Shipping on orders over £75.

Worldwide we ship with International Business Parcel Tracked and DHL.

+ Full information on our shipping options can be read here.
+ There is a shipping calculator in the basket to give you a clear guide of our rates and available services based on your location.

Shipping Partners

Drift is the award-winning independent record shop in Totnes, Devon. We have been gliding through life to the beat of our own drum since the mid-nineties and online since 2010. You can read all about us here. Come meet us, or have us ship you something in the post.

Nominated 'Best Independent Retailer' at the Music Week Awards in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.


Nominated "Indie Champions" at the 2015 AIM Awards.

Playlist: 10th July 2020

Plenty to get hyped on. This week's playlist features Laura Marling, Margo Price, The Beths, The Streets, NZCA LINES, Julianna Barwick, Paint, Surprise Chef, DMA's, Mr Ben & The Bens and more...