One of the best labels in re-edition of super-hard-to-find 60s/70s music (ace records) has strike again with a splendid compilation of material composed by the trio Nick Ashford, Valerie Simpson and Josephine Armstead.
These 3 genius met in NY in the mid-60s (they were 20 years old) before they separate and that Ashford and Simpson left to Detroit for Motown (you know the rest of their success, check my previous posts). Nick, Valerie and Josephine had all started writing music in Church Gospel groups, Valerie had learnt the Piano by ear (isn't it genius?..). Each had joined NY in search of a fertile ground for work, Nick was inicially homeless for a time in the Big Apple (a bench in Bryant Park Manhattan says "Nick was here").
During 3 years (1964-1967) the trio scored superb compositions for a big number of chart-busting groups like the Shirelles, Betty LaVette, Aretha Franklin from R&B labels as VJ, Scepter Records, ATCO, Wand.
This compilation is a must-have for any 60s/70s collectors, it is absolutely good from track 1 to 24, great remastered sound and the notes are really well documented. I will post one teaser track but of course do not count on me to go further, this is great work by the guys at Ace Records /Kent soul and and it needs to be respected.
The Diplomats - Love ain't what it used to be (Wand 1965)
Ashford, Simpson, Armstead
from the Compilation
The Real Thing - the songs of ASHFORD, SIMPSON & ARMSTEAD
(Ace Records 2009)
download of the track with the right arrow in the box