TUNE Carlton Jumel Smith - This Is What Love Looks Like
From Harlem to Helsinki, the language of Carlton Jumel Smith only speaks loyalty and love. The smooth, vintage groove of 1634 Lexington Avenue traces the upbringing of an 8-year-old James Brown-fanatic, singing his way from New York’s Puerto Rican district to dedicated entertainer clicking with the cooler climes of Finland’s finest soul label, Timmion and respected producers, Cold Diamond & Mink.
If there’s one thing Carlton knows, it’s soul classics. In the summer 1968, while sitting on the fire escape of apartment 4S at 1634 Lexington Avenue a fourth-floor walk-up in located in Spanish Harlem he would lap up the energy of the neighbourhood known as El Barrio. His mother would constantly play the 45 records of Wilson Pickett, Isaac Hayes, Barry White, and Aretha Franklin, and in a life altering moment one evening she took him to see James Brown at Harlem’s Apollo theatre; “He was amazing. Other boys wanted to be Batman, Superman, or the Lone Ranger. I wanted to be James Brown. That time was when music was real, organic and created by some of the most talented/creative people to exist. They were at the peak of their powers.”
Through troves of classic 1970s R&B, 1634 Lexington Avenue explores the golden age of Curtom, Memphis soul and Motown. The poetry of Curtis Mayfield and tenderness of Otis Redding ring true as Carlton channels the spirit of those heroes whose names are tattooed down each of his arms. On his right limb; James Brown, Al Green and Bobby Womack. On the left; The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Willie Hutch, Ray Charles and more..
Taken from '1634 Lexington Avenue', released 10th May 2019 on Timmion