This years Blackpool Hilton Luxury Soul Weekender once again took place on it’s traditional first weekend following the New Year. This is by far the most eagerly awaited event in the UK soul family calendar and attracts thousands of people from all over the UK and abroad. Set in the wonderful coastal Hilton Blackpool hotel the event is set up with 4 large dance rooms offering a wide range of soul music styles with the UK’s best DJs offering music ranging from traditional Northern Soul, Crossover, Modern Soul, new Soul and R`n`B, Reggae, Salsa and Dance Jazz.
The event officially kicks off at approx 3pm on the Friday afternoon and carries through to the early hours of Monday morning. This years headline act was Atlantic Star who appeared in the separate huge auditorium room.
Its a testament to its popularity that booking for the next years weekender starts on the Saturday morning of the current event.
Like many others I have attended all the Hilton Soul events and have can’t praise them highly enough for the quality music offered, the pleasant surroundings and the warmth of the people attending. For many of us Christmas and New Year must be quickly put behind us to allow us to eagerly descend on our true yearly celebration that is the Hilton and revel in what is the best weekender bar none.
It is that good.
For the last 4-5 years I have DJ at the Saturday afternoon Dance Jazz Session with my colleagues Mark Grice and Pete Haigh. (Colin Curtis was sadly missed this year through illness and we wish him well for a speedy recovery). It is now a regular part of the schedule and has it’s own eager attendees ready to get their fix of dance jazz. This is not by any means the only good dance jazz session in the country but for many who attend who are not fortunate to live near our major cities then this is one of the rare opportunities they have to dance to some cool jazz grooves.
To keep progressive as much as possible and move the scene forward we are always incorporating new music where we can. Our regular Freestylin` event in Manchester, which is now in it’s 4 year, has allowed us, along with Soul, to promote new Dance Jazz music which has helped form a popular modern style accessible to all and not just those wonderful `Jazz Dancers`.
For those who regularly download my free `Fro-Disia` podcasts you will know the music comes from all over the world these days. Jazz is created and played everywhere.
I’m often asked regarding the tracks played at the events by those eager to buy the albums themselves and so on. There seems to be this conclusion these tracks are rare and hard to find but this is not the case. I do play some of my own re- edits but not many. I’m no sample re-mixer etc. and I usually only lengthen a track or mess with the intro slightly etc. nothing else. So most of the tracks can be found. I don’t `cover `the name of tracks nor have I ever misled anyone what a track is or who the artist are. As my friend Mr Curtis and I agree there is no mystery to it you just have to listen to a lot of music....and I mean a lot of music.....which of course most of it is not appropriate for us or is just rubbish it has to be said. I also will say I have a heavy lean to Latin style music which I have a passion for.
So back to the thing you want – a play list. (don’t forget I only did a third of the session)
Cant recall the correct order.
The Whiskey Barons - `Guajira`
Roman Andren – `Crickets Sing For Anamaria`
Stardish – `Mambo Souse`
Bas Lexter Ensample – `Dickie`s Freestyle Mambo`
Sirius B – `High`n`Dry`
Dee Felice Trio - `Nightingale` (DJ Grinch re-edit)
Gerardo Frisina – `African Seeds`
Oscar Brown Jr & Luis Henrique – `Barra Limpa` (Suenho mix)
Grover Washington Jr – Sausilito (live version)
Paolo Fedreghini & Marco Bianchi - `Stay` (In Mood mix)
Jose Feliciano – `Golden Lady`
Blade & Masquenada Family – `Indio` (Teecee extended edit)
Sabrina Malheiros – `New Morning` (Nicola Conte re-work)
Mark Murphy – `Stolen Moments` (Nicola Conte mix)
Incognito – `Stone Cold Heart`
Koop - `Summer Sun`
4 To The Bar - `Ain`t No Sunshine`
Jon Hendricks – `I Bet You Thought I`d Never Find You`
Ray Barretto – `Pastime Paradise`
Plus a few others I can`t recall right now.
Mark and Pete played Juju Orchestra, Five Corners Quintet, Elza Soares, High Five Quintet, Gregory Porter, Kenchiro Nishihara and so many others.
Hopefully some photos soon hopefully from Jezza. If you took any photos let me know an send them to me.
As mentioned earlier our friend and DJ Colin Curtis who has had `the` most influence on this style of music since the 1970s was unable to attend this year due to illness and he was greatly missed by all.I would like to thank those who personaly took the time to inquire about Colin and who would like to take the opportunity through me to pass on their best wishes and a speedy recoverey.