Various Artists - Front liners (Undercurrent 1984)
Been meaning to post this for a while, I can't tell you how much I love this record, managed to get my hands on the whole series (there are 4 comps released between '84 and '87) earlier this year and I got seriously obsessed by them. The first one is definitely the highlight of the series and represents an amazing collection of political black music from a range of genres. The focus of the album is global covering a range of political events of the day, South Africa, Nicaragua, Lebanon. The series is produced by the National Black United Front (NBUF) coordinated by the Kansas City chapter.
It starts with a nice version of Tshotsholoza by the female vocal group In Process.
The next tune is by the Elton Gumble/Keith Leathers Quartet, Gumble and Leathers are from KC and released an earlier record on Undercurrent (which I will post some time) they have a track on all 4 comps. There sound is somewhere between modern soul and smooth jazz - which sounds horrendous but it's backed by quality song writing and strangely addictive.
Muntu (Thomas) Meloncon is a TSU professor who recorded one single for Judnell, and has appeared on several comps recently so I guess there are other singles. "Cutback Blues" is an incredible bluesy folk song, about austerity in Reagan's 80's America, as fitting today as it was then. On youtube:
Kalamu Chache ("We Need to See Those Days Again"), from the Bay area, also has a song on all 4 albums. She was in Sons and Daughter's of Lite, who recorded the seminal album "Let the Sun Shine In". She's backed by the Wobogo Ensemble a group led by husband and wife duo Vulindiela & Nizipo Wobogo. The track is a fairly straight ahead vocal jazz track, but a real earworm light and breezy it goes round your head for days.
The People's Workshop - "Chocolate Coated People Song". From Houston as well, this was the highlight of the Huston Talent Expo '82 album reissued by BBE earlier this year, beautiful modern soul song despite the serious message. On Spotify: