190

Paprika Soul: Paprika Soul

By

Sign in to view read count
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

| Record Label: Higher Octave Music | Style: Funk/Groove


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
John Scofield John Scofield
guitar
Dr. Lonnie Smith Dr. Lonnie Smith
organ, Hammond B3
Richard "Groove" Holmes Richard "Groove" Holmes
organ, Hammond B3
Javon Jackson Javon Jackson
saxophone
Leon Thomas Leon Thomas
vocalist
Irene Reid Irene Reid
vocalist
Robert Walter Robert Walter
organ, Hammond B3
Mala Waldron Mala Waldron
piano
Steve Reid Steve Reid
drums
Melvin Sparks Melvin Sparks
guitar

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Playgrounds" CD/LP/Track Review Playgrounds
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "Between Brothers" CD/LP/Track Review Between Brothers
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 29, 2016
Read "All The Dreams" CD/LP/Track Review All The Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 12, 2016
Read "What's Wrong" CD/LP/Track Review What's Wrong
by John Sharpe
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "In Love With" CD/LP/Track Review In Love With
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: July 25, 2016
Read "New World" CD/LP/Track Review New World
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 9, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!