190

Paprika Soul: Paprika Soul

By

Sign in to view read count
Paprika Soul: Paprika Soul On their eponymous debut, Paprika Soul, a new UK-based band, seeks to rekindle the fiery, soulful grooves of the seventies’ soul-jazz greats such as Jack McDuff, Grant Green, and Lou Donaldson, while updating them with today’s production resources.

The disc gets off to a great start with an accurate cover of Seawind’s late-seventies hit “He Loves You.” (Seawind was one of the most under-recognized outfits of the era; this band gave us trumpeter/arranger Jerry Hey, keyboardist/saxophonist/producer Larry Williams, and singer Pauline Wilson.) Here, the rhythm is emphasized a little more, and vocalist Sarah Newell comes close to matching Pauline Wilson’s gifted delivery.

As the program progresses, it becomes apparent that the band is more successful at updating soul-jazz tunes from yesteryear than creating their own originals. Manny Albam’s “Bad, Bad Simba” (enlivened by guest drummer Steve Gadd) and Gene Ammons’ “Jungle Strut” are the other highlights. The originals tend to consist of a simple foundation of a repetitious two-chord pattern and a head that is more like a repeated riff than a melody. The low point is “Each & Every Day,” a two-chord vamp that drones on endlessly and steals vocal snippets (actually sung, not sampled) from the above-mentioned “He Loves You” without crediting composer Bob Wilson. However, throughout the entire program the requisite groove is always present, and the band’s talented soloists turn in skillful, well-developed solos. The sax duties are split between Frenchman Herve Gamilen and Belgian Poli Cousse, and although the liner notes don’t distinguish their performances, I believe Gamilen handles the soprano and alto on about a third of the tunes, and Cousse blows funky baritone and tenor on the rest. Guitarist Malcom McFarlane is impressive as well, both as a soloist and as a funky rhythm guitarist. The band boasts two qualified vocalists in Sarah Newell and Christine Glen, but they’re only sporadically heard. Band co-founder Andy Spiller, who supplies all keyboards and drum programs (very life-like, I might add) and shares in four compositions and the production duties, is the preeminent force behind the band, along with co-founder, co-producer, and co-composer Alan Barnes.

Despite wanting for a little more compositional substance on a few tunes, this is a good CD. There are some great tunes, great soloing throughout, and good grooves. And the band is establishing it’s own sound and style rather than trying to fit into a formula. I hope this is but the first of many installments. (Higher Octave Jazz HOJCD 50957)


Track Listing: He Loves You; Rio Dawn; Bad, Bad Simba; Skindo Le Le; Burn It Up; Each & Every Day; Jungle Strut; Ocean Dance; Boss Tres Bien; Mellow Mellow (Right On). (60:50)

Personnel: Andy Spiller

Title: Paprika Soul | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Higher Octave Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Magnetic CD/LP/Track Review Magnetic
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 27, 2017
Read A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: July 27, 2017
Read Someone Else CD/LP/Track Review Someone Else
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 27, 2017
Read Falling Forward CD/LP/Track Review Falling Forward
by James Nadal
Published: July 27, 2017
Read I Know Who I Am CD/LP/Track Review I Know Who I Am
by James Nadal
Published: July 26, 2017
Read "Backlog" CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Leaps In Leicester" CD/LP/Track Review Leaps In Leicester
by John Sharpe
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "Beyond The Moon" CD/LP/Track Review Beyond The Moon
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Twelve Moons" CD/LP/Track Review Twelve Moons
by Phil Barnes
Published: August 30, 2016
Read "Jazz Jukebox" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Jukebox
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Heritage" CD/LP/Track Review Heritage
by James Nadal
Published: October 3, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.