This month we’re featuring a new expanded edition of the Staple Singers’ 1965 recording Freedom Highway Complete: Recorded Live at Chicago’s New Nazareth Church, Idris Elba’s Nelson Mandela tribute Mi Mandela, and Joe Sample’s final recording Children of the Sun that ties in with UNESCO’s 20th Anniversary of the Slave Route Project. Also featured is Lawrence Brownlee’s Grammy nominated Virtuoso Rossini Arias plus the self-titled debut album from jazz cellist Akua Dixon.
For Valentine’s Day, there’s Raheem DeVaughn’s Love, Sex, Passion and Freda Payne’s Come Back to Me Love, along with the Shirelles Happy and In Love / Shirelles (double album), and the Valentinos Lookin’ For a Love: Complete SAR Recordings. Additional R&B releases include D’Angelo and the Vanguard’s Black Messiah, Mary J. Blige’s The London Sessions, Lil’ Mo’s The Scarlett Letter, and the Chicago soul compilation Mar-V-Lus Records (the latest installment of the One-der-Ful! label series).
In celebration of Mardi Gras, there’s Smithsonian Folkways New Orleans Brass Bands: Through the Streets of the City and Ouroboros from the NOLA supergroup New Orleans Suspects. Our winter blues series continues with the “Papa” Charlie Jackson tribute album Papa Charlie Done Sung That Song and the Rev. Gary Davis documentary Harlem Street Singer. Also featured is the documentary Nas: Time is Illmatic.
Gospel selections include James Fortune & FIYA’s Live Through It, J Moss’ Grown Folks Gospel, and the Soul Stirrers compilation Joy in My Soul: Complete SAR Recordings. Wrapping up this issue is jazz vocalist Ranee Lee’s What’s Going On, Shuggie Otis’ Live in Williamsburg and January 2015 Releases of Note.