61

Noel Catura: Soulful Situation

Nicholas F. Mondello By

Sign in to view read count
San Francisco Bay Area saxophonist/flautist Noel Catura's debut, Soulful Situation, is about as smooth and soulful a debut as possible. Unlike some smooth jazz recordings—passionless, contrived, and delivered as easy listening jazz for the masses—Catura and crew withhold little in terms of expression and energy on this collection of eight original compositions.

The various rhythmic grooves supporting Catura's lead lines are familiar, but, Catura's playing commands and seizes the day. He's focused, swings with a fine rhythmic sense, and his improvisations are neither cliché-ridden nor boring. His robust tenor tone on "That's It" and elsewhere has an earthy bite to it, as if his reeds are soul- flavored. His overdubbing of multiple woodwinds and its blending with the ensemble on the title cut and throughout the set is excellent.

Of special note is the sultry "When I Lay Next to You." Here, Catura's tenor speaks an elegant image of soft lighting, fine wine and all that follows romantically, with an obvious channeling of the late saxophonist Grover Washington Jr. in the saxophonist's approach. He lights it up quite well on the up-tempo "Angry Sicsate." While not exceptional harmonically or rhythmically complex, Catura's compositions do possesses memorable melodic hooks.

The multiple rhythm sections each lend support and drive throughout, doing an admirable job at making this a fine team effort.

"Blues Avenue to Karen's" must be a curvy, soul-slithering path as Catura and his group get down and dirty at a perfectly funky tempo. "Let's Wrestle Poppy!" is introduced by a priceless, but unnecessary, dad/baby recorded moment, but then jumps into a Gene Ammons-like straight-ahead blues, the ensemble scoring and Catura demonstrating some fine jazz chops. "Just a Blues Shuffle" reeks of composer/arranger Louis Prima and saxophonist Sam Butera's Witnesses, with Catura overdubbing multiple saxophones that jump, jive and wail away.

Soulful Situation is an enjoyable, very listenable first effort by a fine composer and performer. It is a soulful, but not smothering, smooth jazz solution.

Track Listing: That's It; Soulful Solution; When I Lay Next to You; Angry Sicsate; Blues Avenue to Karen's; Let's Wrestle Poppy!; Looking; Just a Blues Shuffle.

Personnel: Noel Catura: saxophones, flute, keyboards (1, 3); Bryant Mills: drums (2-4, 7); Ron E. Beck: drums (1, 5, 6, 8); Dan Nieckarz: guitar; Eric Bolvin: keyboards (7); Paul Dorr: Rhodes and Organ (2, 5); Soni Sasmita: bass; Steve Czarnecki: piano and Rhodes (1, 5, 6, 8).

Title: Soulful Situation | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Phoenix Rising Album Reviews
Phoenix Rising
By Jack Bowers
June 24, 2019
Read Last Works Album Reviews
Last Works
By Doug Hall
June 24, 2019
Read The Change Album Reviews
The Change
By Roger Farbey
June 24, 2019
Read City Night Album Reviews
City Night
By Doug Collette
June 24, 2019
Read Waves Album Reviews
Waves
By John Eyles
June 23, 2019
Read Elevate Album Reviews
Elevate
By Doug Collette
June 23, 2019
Read Connor Sings — Kenton Swings Album Reviews
Connor Sings — Kenton Swings
By Jack Bowers
June 23, 2019