It may open up with Aaron Neville's 1993 rendition of George Jones' classic "The Grand Tour," but Ace's 2012 compilation Behind Closed Doors: Where Country Meets Soul focuses on the golden age of country soul – the late '60s and early '70s, the age when the borders between these two strands of southern American music became decidedly blurring. And many of the 23 cuts on Behind Closed Doors are firmly within the Southern soul tradition – slow, smoky, gritty, and soulful, anchored by languid stride piano and buttressed by muscular horns.
Soul Brother has given us a long overdue compilation of Gary Bartz's experimental jazz material from the 1970s, beginning with his classic Harlem Bush Music albums, Taifa and Uhuru from 1970 and 1971, with his band NTU Troop. While it's impossible to overstate the influence his brief tenure with Miles Davis had on him (Bartz is featured on the Live-Evil recordings), the saxophonist and composer was exploring other avenues of creative black music as well, from funk to soul to the blues. The 12 cuts here begin with the sublime "Celestial Blues," from that seminal NTU Troop debut set.