Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » The Modern Beat Combo: Soul​-​Jazz Reflections


The Modern Beat Combo: Soul​-​Jazz Reflections


Sign in to view read count
The Modern Beat Combo: Soul​-​Jazz Reflections
The Modern Beat Combo is a British group with an affinity for American mainstream jazz and jazz fusion, which they demonstrate through the swinging, supple grooves they consistently put out on this album.

Their skill at fusion is shown best by their version of Miles Davis' "It's About That Time" where Steve Harding's electric piano maintains a funky groove over the thick, bubbling electric bass of Dave Good and the simmering percussion laid down by John Baker and Rosko. Bill Evans' "Funkallero" gets a similar workout with Good's heavy bass bounce reaching into Jaco Pastorius territory.

The band does just as well in the acoustic realm. Bobby Watson's "Wheel Within A Wheel" features Lee Goodall's alto sax sliding joyfully over Watson's slippery melody as Good and Harding dance underneath him. Good's nimble bass harmonics and Harding's energetic piano are also highlighted on enjoyable versions of two jazz evergreens, Dizzy Gillespie's "Birk's Works" and Duke Ellington's "Caravan." The latter also has some intricate rhythmic byplay by Baker and Rosko.

The quartet dabbles in more exotic textures on two tracks. "Koto 4" has the band dancing a core of spidery, harp-like guitar (presumably by Goodall), and "Beryl" works up layers of repeating minimalist patterns for five minutes, which the guitar and bass play off.

This group has fun injecting familiar jazz melodies with playful rhythm charges and is also not afraid to do a bit of exploring. Their music cruises and grooves in pleasant and sometimes surprising ways.

Track Listing

It's About That Time; Funkallero; Birk's Works; Wheel Within A Wheel; Caravan; Koto 4; Barbados; Beryl. Barbados, 8) Beryl


The Modern Beat Combo
band / ensemble / orchestra
Lee Goodall
Additional Instrumentation

Steve Harding: Fender Rhodes, keyboards; Rosko: electric percussion, drums; Lee Goodall: alto sax, soprano sax, guitar.

Album information

Title: Soul-Jazz Reflections | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Rockpool



For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter 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.

You Can 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.


In Duo
David Liebman, Jeff Williams
Two Moons
Michelle Lordi
Michael Weiss
Chris Rottmayer


Vijay Iyer
Jazz Hands
Bob James
London Afrobeat Collective

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.