Jewel Bass

“In And Out Of Love”

Label: Soul4Real Records
Catalogue Number: S4RLP03
Release Date: 20th September 2023 
Format: LP

Jewel Bass’ recordings have, over time, developed a global underground following. The fact that Malaco Records used Jewel as a backing singer on so many of their A-Listers recordings (Johnnie Taylor, Latimore, Bobby Bland, Z.Z. Hill, Dorothy Moore, etc.) speaks far more to her talent than I can ever write in 300 words!

Jewel started singing in church but began her career in secular music when a friend approached her to ask if she would replace a singer in his band who was ill. She was only required for one song, and she agreed to do the gig on a one-off basis to help out. It was all that was needed to start her career. She joined the band and went on the road with them.

Then, in 1969 she joined Malaco as a backing singer. During her time there, she had four singles released in her own name, starting in 1973 with “I Tried It And I Liked It” – essentially ‘Mr. Big Stuff Part 2’ (Jean Knight had recorded the original song at Malaco in 1971). Three further singles followed.

Jewel also sang in a number of groups over the years and toured extensively, first with The VIPs (1973), later Polephemus (1976), and from 1979 onwards with These Days. Then there were her immense vocals on late 70s projects like the Carbon Copies “grail” 45 “Just Don’t Love You”, which also featured on the rare Centaura LP with another recording of hers.

Jewel is an artist who is consistently good. She is just as at home singing on a deep soul ballad as she is on a funky dance number.

Back in 2010, southern soul supremo Garry Cape issued all 12 of her Malaco recorded Jewels on a long since deleted CD on Soulscape. Now, thanks to Soul4Real, these tracks are available on this vinyl LP. Additionally, “Sweet High”, a non-Malaco track from 1981, is included as the closing song.

Steve Guarnori

Alex Subinas
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