Only fans who follow UB40 closely will be aware that, as of 2013, there have been two different bands performing under the name UB40. The UB40 who perform with no caveats attached to their appellation are fronted by Duncan Campbell, the brother of Ali Campbell, who led the band through its peaks in the '80s and '90s. Ali acrimoniously left the group in 2008, soon followed by fellow vocalist Astro and keyboardist Mickey Virtue, leaving the remaining UB40 to be something of an upscale Reggae Sunsplash act, churning out reggae-fied covers of old pop and rock standards. All three former members reunited in 2014 for an album called Silhouette – confusingly billed to Ali Campbell the Legendary Voice of UB40 Reunited with Astro & Mickey – which helped establish these refugees as a distinct entity from the UB40 that kept performing under the household name, but the 2018 album A Real Labour of Love is where the trio make a stab for the crown they vacated.
60s Summer of Love is a stunning collection of 60 tracks that capture the sometimes groovy, psychedelic and populist feel as well as laid back and chilled-out mood of the mid to late 60s through to the early 70s. This was the time when teenagers were discovering and listening to "pseudo-psychedelic" anthems, a groovy collection of mind expanding folk-rock hits from the hip artists of that time and genre, wearing colourful and way-out fashions with flowers in their hair.
The Look of Love is Valerie Joyce's much anticipated follow-up to her Chesky debut, featuring elegantly chic original arrangements of the classic pieces in Burt Bacharach & Hal David's catalogue. This super audio CD was recorded in multi-channel surround sound using Chesky's state of the art minimalist miking techniques and the world's finest custom-made electronics to assure the purest, most natural sounding recording available.
This 15-track set puts together some amazing performances by Billy Eckstine's band from the early '40s when he was leading one of the more intense, smoking bands on the scene. Some of his players during these years included Fats Navarro, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, and Kenny Dorham, just to name a few. The Eckstine band was sophisticated, jumping, and they swung like mad no matter the tune. Here, of course, the emphasis is on Eckstine's vocals, his smooth as silk baritone that could sing a ballad like Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady," or a deep swinging blues by Doc Pomus ("She Got the Blues for Sale"). There's scat, solid jazz balladry, and jumping, tough-hitting blues here. Highly recommended.