Expansion Records




The title of this website Smooth & Soul stands for the passion for Smooth Jazz and Soul. After some months of explorations I remarked that Smooth Jazz is such a huge musical terrain, that I will never have the time to devote my energy to Soul, although this genre of high valence deserves it. For interested user I therefore recommend Soul Express Online, a website specialized in Soul Music and Blues and Soul, the online-part of the famous UK music magazine, where you will find further links.  But sometimes one should make an exception. The exception is Expansion Records.


Expansion Records is a label situated in London UK specialized in Soul music, R'nB and Smooth Jazz of a high quality. This label  is at the seam-position between Soul and Smooth Jazz. So you easily find at this label selected albums of Soul with a jazzy impact. That makes these albums worth for deeper reflections.

I have choosen the albums 

Nathan Heathman - Right Here Right Now

André De Lang - Educate Your Soul

Gary Taylor - Under The Nightlight

because each of these albums are just released and are exceptional and outstanding. In Europe Soul is sharing the fate of Smooth Jazz: it is living in the shadow. Pop, Rock, Techno and other genres are dominating the music market. Therefore is the engagement of labels like Expansion Records inestimable. But let's speak about the music now.




Nathan Heathman - Right Here Right Now



Nathan Heathman  has played with the cream of Soul music like the late Phyllis Hyman, Rachelle Farrell, Norman Connors, Jennifer Holliday, Miki Howard, Angela Bofill and Jean Carne. Attentive fans of Smooth Jazz also know his relationship to Norman Connors, whom he had supported. Nathan first solo release is his album Right Here Right There.

Until We Meet Again starts with Kevin Levi's sensitive Alto Saxophone solo introducing Nathan warm and intimate voice. The leading melody of a longing heart is gently plaited by Kevin 's sax solos.

Accept The Chance is another awesome interpretation of a love song with a nice keyboard solo. Nathan is the perfect combination of a singer and instrumentalist.

Not Gonna Bring Me Down is a midtempo tune about the eternal relationship between man and woman.

I Can Feel It Will Get Better features Patricia's Greene Gueory silk and smoky vocals.

Anew Kevin Levi's sax play brilliants on the slowtempo"Hi Dahlin" (Hi Darling) accompanied by Nathan 's pianoplay on Steinway grand piano interupted by Gerry Gillespie's short keyboard solo.

The vocals of Nathan Heathman and Jean Carne joins together on Lean On Me to a Gospel-like highlight. 

On Last Time Trying continues the slowtempo romantic mood of typical love songs.

Guess I Didn't Really Know You After All features Marjorie Hughes impressive expressiveness. I didn't know until this time that Jean Carne can whistle and using her mouth as such an instrument. Phenomenal!

After eight slowtempo tune Nathan has surely decided to go more uptempo. Just Kicking It is this funky uptempo interruption. This tune contents all incredients of a groovy Funk and DJ "Mello T" gives the Funk the contemporary Hip Hop touch.

Contrast Emotion is an excursion to a more uptempo Disco-sound with a blend of  distorsion guitar, piano and background sing-sung.

After these contrasts Nathan returns to a slowtempo  love song on Right Here Right Now, the title song. Ray Tilkens guitar solo and Nathan impressing voice let's prick our ears.

Believe Me It's Real continues this slowtempo romantic mood. Kevin Levi remembers us of his skillfullness in sax playing.

In A Hurry To Get Nowhere showcases Dante Hawthorne Soprano Sax qualities. Nathan reveals his jazzy background in a wonderfull piano interpretation.

The final is a Dance Remix of Contrast Emotion with some keyboard orchestral accords, vocal samples, drum-programming and raps. Outstanding Patricia Greene Gueory ("Shang") vocals reaching the highest hights.



André De Lang - Educate Your Soul



André de Lang, a singer born in South Africa, had the first musical contacts with noone else than Jonathan Butler, for whom he played the bass. After touring with several gospel-groups in Sueden, he settled down in Stockholm, where he soon became part of the local Acid Jazz scene. But his heart is beating for the Soul music. He expresses his devotion for this genre in his albums Worth The Wait from 1996 and Educate Your Soul from 2000, released in UK 2001.

Could You Be ... ( My Favourite Girl), a midtempo tune with a fresh beat shows André's something different modern approach to Soul music. 

Finally profits from the same Hip Hop beat. The introducing background vocals singing Oh, Jojo reminding of Coco Jamboo of Mr. President. The tune has some nice jazzy impacts by the brass section of Goran Kajfes - Trumpet and Per Ruskträsk Johansson - Saxophone.

Sunshine (Radio Mix) has all incredients for a  radio hit. Uptempo beat and  a hooking melody. Just the right hit for long summer dances in the Suedish midsummer night.

But André also understand the quiet sounds as you can listen at For Your Love. The song is as all others well-arranged with a tasty background chorus.

Where 's A Question ... There's An Answer (Oyster Mix) is introducing a wonderful chorus, which let you await a Gospelish tune, but immediately the character of this tune changes  to a Hip-Hop tune with a Soul overlay. Personally I don't like these soulless too hard drum beats and the booming basses pressing the deepest sounds out of my loudspeakers. Oh, yes: Caron Wheeler is accompanying on vocals. The song is obviously written for her.

But his next admirable tune Same Ol' Story with an awesome chorus is reconciling.

Angel Eyes is another hooking ballad. Sophisticated souls will find satisfication by a broad variation of instrumental arrangements.  

Educate Your Soul is the uptempo title song featuring ADL 's Rap. A modern song with Hip Hop beats and accentuated vocals framed by interesting keyboard sounds.

The Beautiful Song is a slowtempo song but nomen isn't omen. Same Ol' Story or Angels Eyes are convincing more.

Thula Mama, a reminescence to André 's African heritage, is introducing into the Zulu language.

My Heart Goes (Aj, Aj, Aj) is a mixture of Hip Hop, Spanish Flamenco and Drum and Bass, for everyone everything. This tune is more Pop market oriented.

Final tune is a Markus Enochson Remix of Sunshine. Obviously a dancefloor appetizer for potential buyers of André's album.

André de Lang's album awakens interest and the hope that he will develop his music on his next album more to the direction of his ballad-like style.


Gary Taylor - Under The Nightlight




Gary Taylor isn't an unknown for the music industry. Known as the "Master of the Quiet Storm," Gary Taylor played as a bassist sideman on several albums during the 1960s,'70s and '80s. He also wrotes for Anita Baker,  All City, The Whispers, Vanessa Rubin, Grover Washington jr, The Controllers, Rebbie Jackson, Carl Anderson, Beau Williams, Mac Band, Chico DeBarge, Dazz Band, Joyce Kennedy, Prodigy, Vesta Williams, Marlena Shaw, Double Scale, Ray Parker jr. and Jennifer Holliday among others. He has released seven albums: GT, Compassion (1987), Take Control (1991), Square One (1993), The Mood Of Midnight (1995), Love Dance (1998) and Under the Nightlight (2001).

Gary tags his music as Adult Soul. "Songs written by Taylor have stood the test of time, and many years after they have been recorded,  people can still apply the feeling to today's life," he comments.

And indeed his music has a special atmosphere many productions of nowadays are missing.

The Nightlight presents all experiences, Gary has collected in his musical career and one can hear his skills. Arrangement, instrumentation, interplay, all is in perfect harmony.

Gotta Be Of Way is another excellent ballade in the style of the great Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye or Al B. Sure.

Restore My Faith lets the wonderful recitation continue. Keith Fiddmont adds his sentive sax solo to this masterwork.

Keep An Open Heart is the next slowtempo song. Gary perfectly accompanies his songs with shaded and aspirated organ and keyboards attacks.

Take Me Through is a more midtempo and rhythm emphatic tune.

About The Real keeps up the  slowtempo mood of a melancholic love song. Anew one can hear Gary's contemplative and sentive vocals with this intimate timbre. 

All Or Nothing At All features Lead Vocalist Vann Johnson in an awesome duet with Gary. A further highlight of this superb album.

How Was I To Know , Exotica  and Flirting With An Angel are the further slowtempo tracks of this romantic album, which should be listened with your beloved woman. 

The Nightlight is such a fantastic theme, that it is worth for an instrumental version and this is pure Smooth Jazz. Keith Fiddmont showcases his talents as an captivating sax player. 

Under the nightlight is an album for the hours of the late evening, when the lights are dimmed and the time comes for moody sensitive feelings.









Nathan Heathman - Right Here Right Now


The musicians:


  • Nathan Heathman - Lead Vocals, Steinway Grand Piano
  • Kevin Levi - Alto Saxophone
  • Ray Tilkens - Acoustic, Electric Guitar, Electric Bass Sitar, Drum Programming
  • Kevin Sims - Electric Bass
  • Chuck Deas - Background Vocals, Percussion
  • Patricia Greene Gueory ("Shang") - Lead and Background Vocals
  • Marjorie Hughes - Lead and Background Vocals
  • Gerry Gillespie - Keyboard
  • Stanley Cooper - Guitar
  • Ray Tilkens - Guitar, Drum-Programming
  • Eric Valentine - Drums
  • Mike Harrison  - Background Vocals
  • Debbie Kirkland - Background Vocals
  • Dante Hawthorne - Soprano Saxophone
  • Derek Herford -  Drums
  • DJ "Mello T" - Rapper
  • Ike Archer - Background Vocals
  • Calvin Jackson - Background Vocals
  • Thurston "Hi-Lo" King - Electric Bass, Rap
More informations:



André De Lang - Educate Your Soul


The musicians:

  • Figge Boström - Background Vocals
  • André de Lang - Lead and Background Vocals
  • Emil Gotthard - Guitars
  • Per Ruskträsk Johansson - Saxophone
  • Goran Kajfes - Trumpet
  • Robert Östlund - Rhodes, Organ
  • J. Robertson - Keyboard, Programming, Beats
  • Magnus Frykberg - Programming, Beats
  • Figge Boström - Background Vocals
  • Greta Folkesson - Background Vocals
  • Markus Wilkstöm - Bass
  • Johan Lindman - Guitar
  • Pablo Cepeda - Percussion
  • Moh Denebi - Acoustic Guitars
  • Anders Wihk - Grand Piano
  • Mats Öberg - Harmonica
  • Caron Wheeler - Vocals and Background Vocals
  • Juliet Adokambi - Background Vocals
  • Valerie Harrison - Background Vocals
  • L.A. Rudd - Background Vocals
  • Glen Scott - Keyboards, Hammond Organ, Synth Bass, Drums, Programming, Mallets,  Background Vocals
  • Martin Terefe - Guitar, Drum Programming, Bass
  • Nichol Thomson - Trombone
  • Max Beesley  - Percussion
  • Frazer Hurrell - Keyboards, Programming
  • Lasse Andersson - Background Vocals
  • Peter Hallström - Background Vocals
  • Sarah Brown - Background Vocals
  • David Wilczewsky - Soprano Sax
  • Joakim Milder - String Arrangement
  • David Björnman - Violin
  • Claudia Bonfiglioni - Violin
  • Torbjörn Helander - Viola
  • Lars-Erik Persson - Violoncell
  • ADL - Rap
  • Pål Svenre - Fender Rhodes
  • Cherno Jah - Beats
  • Putte Nelson - Keyboards
  • Ove Anderson - Bass
  • Ben Mahase - Speaking Voice (Zulu)
  • Andréas Olsson - Drum Programming
  • Hampus Lundgren - Bass
  • Gustav Lundgren - Guitar
  • Simon Enochson - Additional Keys
More informations:



Gary Taylor - Under The Nightlight

The musicians:

  • Gary Taylor - Lead and Background Vocals, Keyboards, Programming
  • Bridgette Bryant - Background Vocals
  • Vann Johnson - Lead Vocals
  • Keith Fiddmont -  Alto and Soprano Saxophones
  • Christopher Clermont - Guitars


More informations: