Russell Oliver Stone To Release Groove Aspects In August 2014

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Russell Oliver Stone To Release Groove Aspects In August 2014


Label: Stone Records

Distribution: Right Track Distribution/Universal Music Operations

Format: 1CD and Download

Cat # SRCD002


After releasing his first new album in 36 years in 2013, British soul singer Russell Oliver Stone will release his latest album Groove Aspects on 4th August 2014.

Groove Aspects is the second of Russell’s ‘Aspects’ triptych, following the release of his acclaimed 2013 album Love Aspects, which was described by and “a blue-eyed, Brit soul classic”.

However, Love Aspects’ late-night balladry is replaced by a funkier, more up-tempo vibe throughout Groove Aspects, with each of the album’s tracks swinging like a barn door in gale courtesy of Russell’s big band, which features hugely respected musical luminaries Andy Macintosh (alto sax), Nigel Hitchcock (alto sax), Mitch Dalton (guitar), Pete Beachill (trombone), Trevor Myres (trombone), Jamie Talbot (tenor sax), Tony O'Malley (keys), Malcolm Maddock (keys) and Marcus Cliffe and Andy Pask (Bass) and the late great Derek Watkins (trumpet).

Russell’s long-overdue return to the music scene represents the latest chapter in the soul veteran’s remarkable story, having finally overcome the personal tragedy and subsequent addiction that almost destroyed him.

In 1976, as R&J Stone, Russell and his wife, Joanna, had a worldwide hit with their infectious – and controversial - self-penned song ‘We Do It’. However, tragedy struck two years later when Joanna, aged just 37, died of a brain tumour. Completely overwhelmed by grief, Russell was unable to cope and found solace in drinking.

Despite his increasing dependency on alcohol, Russell’s work with legendary producers such as Georgio Moroder, Henry Mancini and Tommy LePuma meant his credentials remained second to none. Widely respected within the music industry, Russell was still able to earn a living on the road as a backing singer for Marvin Gaye and Tony Bennett, amongst others. However, Russell’s drinking spiralled out of control and he was soon an unable to work.

It wasn’t until 1992 that Russell attended a rehab clinic and his life began to get back on track. Taking a sabbatical from music, he studied to earn an MA in Transpersonal Psychotherapy and Counselling and established his private therapy practice, which is runs to this day.

In 2012 the seeds for Russell’s return to music were planted. He says, “I was approached by Chris Adams of Lynx Music about releasing the R&J Stone back catalogue on CD for the first time. I was delighted to do so, but it really got my brain buzzing. I had a bunch of songs I’d written since the 80s and had the itch to finally record them.”

Based in Hampshire, Russell and his band will be debuting songs from Groove Aspects at The Pallant Suite in Chichester as part of the Festival of Chichester 2014 on Tuesday, 8th July.

A guide to ‘Groove Aspects’, by Russell Oliver Stone

Git Back On My Feet Again: “It is usually accompanied by a measure of pain, but starting again is a great place, full of potential. This song is a co-write with Tony (Mr Groove) O'Malley and a great way to start the album, plus a great solo from Malcolm Maddock on keys, a buddy from way back to when we met in Newcastle many years ago.”

Braindead: “And this was the reason I had to get back on my feet again. Life brought me to my knees, just where I needed to be - and the only way is up. Tony O'Malley on steam piano; who could ask for more? Except, of course, there’s Trevor Myres on trombone, one the youngbloods of the jazz world. Wow!”

It's You Baby: “The intro is my homage to Johnny 'Guitar' Watson, and my first going solo with horn writing. Deeply touched that Andy Macintosh said he loved the arrangement - praise from a master. I dedicate this song to my wife.”

People Talk: “Something really special about this song for me. The horns were done on a previous track about 20 years, before the rhythm section. After we'd recorded the rhythm section I remembered this track recording and lo and behold, recorded at the same tempo, and by God it fits. Plus it means that the late great Derek Watkins' Fleugel solo is resurrected, and I'm so glad it is. Derek was a fabulous jazz player; great sensitivity, although he didn't like to talk about that aspect, but never mind, there it is. Plus I love the social commentary...I'm going to do more of this.”

Let Me Find Heaven Again: “To be lost and confused but holding on to something, yet not knowing what it is, that's faith. I love this song, even more so for having two giants playing on it such as Derek Watkins on lead trumpet plus Andy Macintosh on solo Alto. The song also has great arrangement from Simon Carter, my co-writer.”

Who's Gonna Be The One?: “A co-write with Doreen Chanter, a buddy from my session singer days. This track is so bouncy, perfect for a radio single and features the great playing of Australian Mark Johns on guitar.”

Summer Wind: Having written and recorded this song, as I listen to it I keep getting Michael Franks coming into my mind, so there it is. Plus a great tenor Sax solo from Jamie Talbot, a co-tourer for many years.

Nobody Told Me: A love song that is not a gentle, romantic air but a gritty and sensual cry to out there.

Is It Somethin' I Said?: Another one from that poor, lost guy. He just can't figure it out. But how come he's got the funkiest songs...? Mmmmm...! Beautiful solo from Pete Beachill on trombone.

Young Girls: Now talking of funky, here we go, love this song. Andy Pask on bass, whew! does he groove and a great solo on guitar from Mitch Dalton who’s been on the top of his game for a long, long time. Great player.

Where'd Everybody Go?: The groove on this track is my absolute favourite. This swings like a mother and benefits hugely from the alto sax solo of Nigel Hitchcock one of the real greats of the jazz world. He pops up all over the place.

Can't We Talk This Over?: Here's this poor guy, he just can't figure things out. I really feel for him, I really feel for myself, as I was, locked away tight!

Mr Operator: One of the best of my co-writes with Tony, always loved this song, and the horn arrangement is just tops.

If Love Don't Git: Well, here he comes again, yet again with a great funky groove. This works so well with the band, horns pumping it out. A great set closer.

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