Fans of Paul Hardcastle will be more than aware of British vocalist and songwriter Helen Rogers who, between 1991 and 2006, provided her textbook soulful vocals to his iconic Jazzmaster recordings. However, it was back in 1982 when, as lead singer with the band Direct Drive, Helen first experienced chart success. This funk driven collective posted hits, both on the Black Echoes and the UK singles charts where the single ‘A.B.C. (Falling in Love's Not Easy)’ made number 75 in 1985. Now Helen is back with her (long overdue) debut solo CD, the intriguingly titled ‘Smooth Jazz Meets Reggae’ and just in case you are wondering where the reggae came from it is worth noting that one of her first professional gigs was in 1978 with One Stop Music, an independent South London label, that specialized in this Caribbean inspired genre. ‘Smooth Jazz Meets Reggae’ is out now on Skinny Bwoy Records, an independent US label with a leaning toward reggae, and is worth a closer look.