Sunday, March 18, 2007

C.D. Review; The Sisters Love; Give Me Your Love (Soul Jazz)

This is one smoking compilation, and, in a way, the debut album from this L.A. group formed in 1968 by former Raylettes. The founding four singers were Merry Clayton (who soon left to pursue a solo career with Ode Records), Odia Coats, Gwen Berry and Lillie Fort. Clayton and Coats were subsequently replaced by Jeanie Long and lead singer Vermyetta Royster. For some reason, they never got to make an album. They were signed to A&M Records but some singles were issued by Motown, and their entire catalogue was only available on (often rare) 7 inch singles recorded in the 1960's and 70's. After all these years, Soul Jazz has collected most of their output on one terrific compilation.
Apparently the sheer rarity of The Sisters Love's singles relegated them to cult status for many years, popular among serious disco fans after a few influential New York City deejays such as Larry Levan played them. Fans of gospel vocals fronting some intensely funky music will be thrilled to discover The Sisters Love. Fans of Clydie King, Sunday's Child and early Labelle albums are certain to wonder where these ladies have been hiding all these years. While Give Me Your Love doesn't have everything The Sisters Love released, every minute of it is strong, driving soulful funk. Even ballads like the closing track "The Bigger You Love" with its string arrangements packs a slow rolling punch. As irresistibly catchy as these songs are, they haven't been used on many compilations (or any, that I can think of). This is one of the more exciting Soul Jazz projects of 2006, and definitely worth seeking out.

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