Jean Carn – 1976 – Jean Carn

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jean carn 1976 lp front

Jean Carn’s self-titled debut for Gamble & Huff’s Philadelphia International Records could be subtitled “Philly soul at its best.” Released during the era of emerging sophisticated soul-formatted FM radio stations, Jean Carn provided perfectly suited singles, the wise R&B hit “Free Love” and format-friendly, radio-aired LP tracks: the airy ballads “No Laughing Matter“, “I’m in Love Again” and the jazzy “You Are All I Need“. “Free Love,” “Time Waits for No One,” “You Got a Problem,” and the second single “If You Wanna Go Back” were all long-running hits on Billboard’s Hot Disco charts.

A classy affair that merged the best of ’70s soul and jazz with solid song-writing and tight instrumental support (MFSB, Instant Funk).

Tracks
A1 Free Love 4:11
A2 No Laughing Matter 4:55
A3 I’m In Love Once Again 6:54
A4 Don’t You Know Love When You See It 5:18
B1 Where Did You Ever Go 3:58
B2 You are All I Need 5:36
B3 If You Wanna Go Back 3:27
B4 You Got a Problem 3:21
B5 Time Waits for No One 4:19

jean carn 1976 lp back

I dare say that this is the finest artistic achievement of Messrs. Gamble and Huff and their organization, as well as Ms. Carn. I refer specifically to JEAN CARN, which is not to diminish HAPPY TO BE WITH YOU, an equally fine achievement. I would also like to say that pairing Jean Carn with the Gamble-Huff organization was a match made in heaven.

And that pretty much describes this debut album featured here. A distinct slice of musical heaven. The voice! The songs! The orchestrations! If you are a fan of jazz-influenced R & B, there is no finer set of music. I always thought that pairing the great Lou Rawls with G & H was a stroke of genius. While Mr. Rawls’ efforts with the team usually sold better, the overall craftmanship and execution of the Philly music organization was never better than on JEAN CARN.

jean carn 1976 lp label

ARTISTRY is the main word and the main thrust here. All involved appeared to be concerned only with creating a musical masterpiece. I cannot imagine my music collection without this sparkling gem. Perfect from start to finish, with enough variety of sound and texture to captivate. Hard to pick a favorite. “Free Love“, the first single, is the pinnacle of the classic 70’s Philly sound, while “If You Wanna Go Back” expands the sound a bit. “No Laughing Matter“,  incorporates the best Philly elements with a classical jazz feel. “I’m in Love Once Again“,  is different, also a jazz vibe, and almost an “ambient” piece, but, at the same time couldn’t fit better. “Don’t You Know Love” is in a similar vibe as Billy Paul’s “Me and Mrs. Jones,” but with a harder edge. “You Are All I Need” is in a laid-back mood, but still moving, swirling, and intoxicating. “You’ve Got A Problem” is a dance-influenced self-help message song, and “Time Waits for No One” is a soul-dance gem.

Highest recommendation for lovers of soul/jazz and incredible vocal artistry and dexterity.

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22 Comments
  • Regina
    Posted at 09:54h, 13 June 2015 Reply

    Gamble & Huff the kings of Soul Music.

  • Antonio
    Posted at 10:17h, 13 June 2015 Reply

    One of my all time favs. Masterpiece.

  • Lukas
    Posted at 10:21h, 13 June 2015 Reply

    TSOP…gotta love it!

  • Bob
    Posted at 10:41h, 13 June 2015 Reply

    Lovvvvve it So Soulful

  • manny
    Posted at 14:05h, 13 June 2015 Reply

    Until the first time I heard Jean Carn produced by G & H, I only knows the Black Jazz album “Infant Eyes” by Jean with her ex-husband Doug Carn. Much after, I purchased the UK label Kastle 4 LP’s box “Philadelphia Years Vol. II (1976-1983)” and when i put it in the turntable and hearded “Free Love”, as I read The Jacksons in the cover art… I think that was MICHAEL JACKSON who sang that song! much, much jazzy-mellow treasures by this jazz-soul diva in her 4 G&H albums. PIR is a magic blend of doowoop, gospel, jazz, soul,… The Original Sound Track in the lives of the soul aficionados who were teenagers in the 70’s.

    Cheers to all!

  • Lonelyboy
    Posted at 18:20h, 13 June 2015 Reply

    Classic. Thanks a million.

  • Pietro
    Posted at 10:57h, 14 June 2015 Reply

    Thank you for the gems.

  • Maria - Anna
    Posted at 08:54h, 15 June 2015 Reply

    A Philly gem. Classic.

  • Michelle
    Posted at 08:57h, 15 June 2015 Reply

    I was struck and fell in love with Jean Carne by the mere power and soulfullnes of her voice. That was many years ago. Still in love.

  • Gabriel
    Posted at 09:25h, 15 June 2015 Reply

    This… is… MUSIC!!!! Absolutely brilliant!

  • Harriet
    Posted at 16:20h, 15 June 2015 Reply

    Love this music! Not much of this around except for Jo Harman etc, love her music!

  • Tina
    Posted at 21:03h, 15 June 2015 Reply

    Super smooth! Top class! Simply mindblowing!

  • JR
    Posted at 09:19h, 16 June 2015 Reply

    She’s awesome!

  • sARA
    Posted at 11:06h, 16 June 2015 Reply

    Pure brilliance there’s only one jEAN cARN

  • Tina
    Posted at 22:17h, 16 June 2015 Reply

    Absolutely one of my favorite by Jean.

  • Dimitris
    Posted at 22:30h, 16 June 2015 Reply

    This is an absolutely beautiful piece.

  • Carlos
    Posted at 09:21h, 17 June 2015 Reply

    muito bom

  • Gareth
    Posted at 10:38h, 17 June 2015 Reply

    This just made my day!

  • Jan
    Posted at 01:43h, 18 June 2015 Reply

    That’s nice soul music. I want to hear more of here

  • Janice
    Posted at 12:11h, 18 June 2015 Reply

    OH YES!…

  • Ip23
    Posted at 22:02h, 21 June 2015 Reply

    Quality soul at its best, thank you.

  • Jaycob Coffee
    Posted at 01:33h, 18 July 2016 Reply

    A total classic! Still playing on the decks after all those years, timeless stuff from Philly.

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