As the mastermind behind Quantic, Will Holland scored a major hit in electronic and club music circles with last year's Mishaps Happening. Here performing on organ, bass, guitar, sitar, percussion, and saxophone, he leads the Quantic Soul Orchestra, the concert ensemble he formed to "put the funk back in it, through its US debut.
It might be an overused expression, but this is a great party record. Holland the songwriter offers tunes that throb and groove; Holland the producer gives them a warm and punchy sound. Hard-rocking snare drums snap the snaky rhythms of "West Pier Getdown and "The Conspirator (Main Theme) tightly into place. "Get A Move On whippets on an up-tempo boogaloo beat while lead flute stirs up Holland's jam pot.
Holland borrows two covers that are quite unusual for a soul record, music for films composed by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse: "Hold On Tight and "Feelin' Good, which slides along strings that project a sleek European, but no less soulful feeling. "Paintings and Journeys also uses strings, and swaps acoustic in for electric guitar, to ride its smooth funk glide.
James Brown's "Cold Sweat sounds like the template for "Pushin' On, its instrumental funk and Alice Russell's steaming vocal creating a proud new soul sister to Aretha Franklin's classic "Rock Steady. Meanwhile, the bass line to "That Goose on My Grave crackles like Brown's incendiary "I Can't Stand Myself (When You Touch Me). From the sound of things, Holland certainly did not miss many James Brown lessons. And if you're going to build a house of soul, it seems wise to start with blueprints from the man who laid the original foundation.
Introducing the Quantic Soul Orchestra; West Pier Getdown; Pushin' On; That Goose on My Grave; Feeling Good; The Conspirator (Main Theme); Hands of My Love; Hold on Tight; Get a Move On; Paintings and Journeys; End of the Road
Andrew Carthy: arranger; Willie Holland: organ, bass, guitar, percussion, arranger,
saxophone, sitar, tambourine, producer; John Hughes: flute; Russell Knight: drums; Simon
Little: Fender Rhodes; Oliver Minkley: percussion, conga, tambourine, cowbell; Alice
Russell: vocals; Mike Simmonds: strings; Todd M. Simon: trumpet, flugelhorn; Tracy
Wannomae: alto saxophone.
All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.