Brent was the '60s soul imprint for Bob Shad, a record man who began his career as a producer at Savoy and National. He was based in New York City but Brent showcased soul singers from across the country with a slight emphasis on Los Angeles. This history is told in Ady Croasdell's liner notes for Ace's 2014 compilation Brent: Superb 60s Soul Sounds, but the collection itself isn't so much a history as it is an excavation of what the label has in its vaults. Some of these was released at the time -- Brenton Wood's "I Want Love," the Lovells' "Here Come the Heartaches," etc. -- but there are also seven previously unreleased cuts here, along with a few sides that were unearthed relatively recently. Rarity is part of the appeal of this compilation -- this is music that just isn't widely circulated -- but it's also a pretty good example of uptown '60s soul, heavy on cool grooves, happy hooks, and sophisticated strut. If there's not really anything that's a knockout, at least it's all enjoyable and there's not a cut that breaks the spell.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine