Dee Dee McNeil began her career singing jazz with such greats as Hampton Hawes and Frank Butler, and then veered towards R&B and soul, writing hit songs for Motown. The Afro-American singer/songwriter’s pieces have been recorded by the likes of Diana Ross & the Supremes, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and Nancy Wilson. Singer Barry Window’s father was South African, and those roots serve him well: he is the perfect counterweight to Dee Dee’s resonant voice. Saxophonist Barney Wilen is something of a jazz legend in France, having played with Miles Davis on the sound track for Louis Malle’s iconic Ascenseur pour l’échafaud. Wilen recorded two highly regarded MPS albums under his own name: Dear Prof. Leary and Auto Jazz.
Their obscure album Soul Hour is a hidden gem. With its funky renditions of such classics as New Orleans R&B legend Allen Toussant’s Get Out of My Life Woman, Wilson Pickett’s Midnight Hour, and Ray Charles’ It’s Alright heated by incendiary instrumental solos and fervent vocals, the album sweats soul.