Back in August 2008 I did a Listmania on Amazon (UK and USA) called "Ace Records Hip Pocket Series..." - it pictured 22 releases of 5" card repros in the British label's eclectic and varied reissue series.
This December 2010 CD on Kent Soul CDHP 032 (UK import) is the latest to get the 5" card treatment in that run (30:05 minutes).
Tracks 1 to 12 are a straightforward reissue of Jackie Lee's ultra-rare soul album called "The Duck" on Mirwood Records MW-7000. It was released in early 1966 in the USA and this remastered CD features the original MONO tapes digitally remastered by Nick Robbins at Ace's Sound Mastering studios in London. Being mid Sixties Soul and on a minor label, this is not exactly audiophile territory - but don't let that put you off. These are the real tapes used here and the sound is just great - big, clear and full of vim and vigour.
Musically it's wonderfully evocative stuff. The vibe is very uptempo mid-Sixties Motown - Jackie Lee's lead vocal supporting by girly vocals, pinging vibes, brass and an incessant bass and drums backbeat - all of it done with an almost Wall-Of-Sound production. None of the tunes push past two minutes thirty seconds - they come in - do the business - and exit again. It's proper Northern Soul territory and easy to see why Soul fans adore him on the dancefloors of the UK and Europe.
The title track on 7" was a huge hit the USA charts in December 1965 and the album charted too in February of the following year - 1966. The same irresistible beat infests "Hully Gully" (lyrics above) and as you can see from the track list, there are plenty of Atlantic and Motown covers tapping into the same territory.
The 5" card sleeve is dinky looking. The rear sleeve contains the original liner notes (not exactly readable I'm afraid) and the inner card sleeve reproduces the original Mirwood Records label on both sides (a nice touch).
Apart from Ace's superb 2009 28-track CD "The Mirwood Records Masters", there's been precious little of Jackie Lee in the marketplace. So if you already own that great CD, then you won't need this. But if you don't, then this is a very cool place to start appreciating the man's mojo - and start practising those talcum-powder floor-filling moves...
Recommended like your baby doing the 'Temptation Walk' in hot pants.