Various Artists

GWP NYC TCB

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There was considerable talent involved in the GWP label, formed by Gerard W. Purcell (manager of various popular artists) and taking major input from Paul Robinson (who had produced soul artists on RCA) and Larry Banks (the artist/songwriter most famous for writing "Go Now"). The unglamorously titled GWP NYC TCB is a compilation of 24 tracks from the late '60s and early '70s; while some were either released on GWP or otherwise affiliated with the company, a good 15 of them were previously unreleased. Any vintage soul compilation on which the majority of the material was previously unissued is almost by definition for specialist collectors, and so it is here. But even if GWP lacked much of a house sound (or, for that matter, commercial success, though a few of their singles tickled the bottom of the R&B charts), it's OK by the standards of such things. Generally the songs are competent excursions into various shades of the New York pop-soul sound, though few of the artists are often discussed even among soul fanatics. Of particular interest are versions of two songs that would later become early-'70s R&B hits for the Moments, "All I Have" (here titled "All That I Have" and performed by Debbie Taylor & the Hesitations) and "Gotta Find a Way" (here done just by the Hesitations). Taylor's 1969 single "Don't Let It End" stands out as the kind of above-average uptempo soul tune guaranteed to fill the floors at Northern soul dance clubs. Also worthy of a listen, though it wasn't issued at the time, is Lily Fields' catchy midtempo ballad "Keep Your Love Warm," one of several items here actually recorded prior to GWP's formation, but found in the tape library while research was done for this compilation. And as usual, the Kent label's research for this compilation is impressive, the 16-page liner notes presenting more information about this obscure label than is likely to ever appear anywhere else.

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