Charles Jackson – 1978 – Passionate Breezes
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Charles (Chuck) Jackson & Marvin Yancy songwriter/producer duo were behind some of the biggest hits of gold and platinum award singer Natalie Cole. Some of her hits the duo produced and wrote include “This Will Be,” “Inseparable,” “Sophisticated Lady”, “Our Love,” and “I’ve Got Love on My Mind”.
Chuck Jackson started his career as a songwriter in 1969 writing a few songs like “If It’s Real What I Feel” and “Walk Easy My Son” for Jerry Butler. In the early 70’s he met Marvin Yancy and they went to form a soul group The Independents. After the group broke up Chuck and Marvin wanted to continue their co-operation and met Natalie Cole.
Though busy with producing, Chuck had also a solo career recording 2 albums “Passionate Breezes” and “Gonna Getcha’ Love” under the name Charles Jackson, both 70’s old school slow jam.
This is a @320 vinyl rip (supplied by Trakbuv) of the original Capitol Records LP including covers.
A1 Passionate Breezes (4:29)
A2 Love Of You (4:25)
A3 Ooh Child (3:35)
A4 Medley: A. I’m In Heaven / B. You Are So Beautiful (4:43)
B1 The Train (4:50)
B2 Tonight’s The Night (4:43)
B3 Get On Down (5:33)
B4 I Really Want You (3:51)
Review by Trakbuv
The Independents were an act I always admired – they had a series of no fuss, almost quaint albums that scored large on lyric and melody. There was something elegant and graceful about their sound – an earthiness. I think one of the main protagonists of this aura was Charles (Chuck) Jackson’s brittle vocals, especially when you listen to tracks like the wonderful ‘Baby I’ve been missing you’ where Helen Curry booms with so much more confidence. That mild-flatness in his pitch has the same endearing properties of Little Sonny of the Intruders – an enigmatic charm that musicians have used to great effect to evoke a sombre, dejected resonance (eg. down-tuning a guitar). However there are very few vocal exponents of the technique as gifted as these two, both owning a fragility in their larynx that cuts that bit deeper.
I read somewhere that Rev. Jesse Jackson and Charles Jackson were brothers and that Charles used to help in writing some of his speeches. However, I would like that confirmed by anyone in the audience, especially as they presumably could only have been half-brothers at most, Jesse taking his surname from his adopted father. What is clear is that having spent a period writing/editing for Playboy magazine, he joined Jerry Butler’s writer’s workshop where he met Marvin Yancy and formed a winning partnership. Jerry subsequently employed 2 of their compositions for his ‘Sings Assorted Songs’ LP of 1971. Of course, the duo went on to record many of their compositions as The Independents and then materialised over at Curtom Records where they recorded ‘Same thing it took’ as a demo for themselves. However, history dictated that they were better employed as writers for the label, providing many excessively catchy, finger-clicking hits for The Impressions, Natural Four and The Notations. They really hit the big time when they helmed Natalie Cole’s debut, ‘Inseparable’, for me easily her finest collection of songs. Subsequent LPs with the lady meant more Gold records and more recording acts in the form of Ronnie Dyson, the Gary Glenn Complex, the Independent Movement, and Lace, among others.
About this time, both his writing partner and Chicago/Capitol Records legend Larkin Arnold were enticing Charles back into the spotlight, whereupon an album duly followed. ‘Passionate Breezes’ is a homecoming as if he never went away, playing as a slightly more polished Independents. Co-produced by Marvin and Gene Barge (who had helped them out on previous outings, and had built a reputation over at the Chess label for many years), the music has a gentle, almost unassuming Southern Soul quality that permeated their earlier work. The LP begins with two Jackson/Yancy ballads: firstly the sumptuous title track, a romantic swayer that is half sung, half spoken. A definite clink of glasses beneath a summer moon, and my favourite track – although I must admit to having a slight preference for The Dells version from 1980. The mood is maintained for the striking ‘Love of you’. A dramatic string-fest that oozes sophistication, this is gorgeous rare groove heaven. The thought of Charles Jackson’s frail reedy vocals fronting a phat slamming funker would ordinarily have me hiding behind the settee, but the opening bass of ‘Ooh Child’ instantly creates a secure atmosphere where Charles really does an amazing job. A massive hit with the sophisticats, but it is the BASS that owns this record – a certain James Brown being cited as one of the bass players on the credits. It’s back to what Charles does best, ‘I’m in Heaven’ is a tender ballad that subtly incorporates Billy Preston’s ‘You are so beautiful’ while maintaining the majesty of another Jackson/Yancy original.
‘The train’ reminds me very much of a left-over from The Independents. It has that simplistic feel, the use of double-tracking on the vocals and a Deep Soul tinge that were characteristic of those glory days. A wafting joy. ‘Tonight’s the night’ is a nice, dignified cover of the Rod Stewart number, while ‘Get on down’ is another slice of funk with a dash of disco cynicism. All very competent and functional, rather than spectacular. It’s back to earthy Bluesville with another stunning Jackson/Yancy number, ‘I really love you’, to close the album.
The album is really a mood-piece. It is gentle and heart-warming, and perfectly captures Charles Jackson’s wispy and wistful articulation of his voice. A thoroughly nice album that is guaranteed to put a wide smile on your face without you even realising it.
Never released on CD.