Richard "Groove" Holmes

Super Soul

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Super Soul was a little funkier than much soul-jazz that had passed before 1967, and its horn parts sometimes slanted more toward pop and soundtrack territory. That was particularly evident on one of the strongest cuts, the opening "Why Don't You Do Right?," where the rhythm (particularly with the aid of a conga drum) goes into grooves that are at least as much soul as jazz, and the horns have a TV adventure theme-like flavor. The album's a little on the innocuous side, even for a genre (Prestige 1960s soul-jazz) that can be pretty homogeneous. It's easygoing background party music, though Holmes summons an interesting light, prickly, almost vibes-like organ sound at times, as on the solo for the cover of Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar." The players move toward a more big-band approach for "(Back Home Again In) Indiana," and more of a bump-and-grind mood for their interpretation of "Tennessee Waltz," Holmes contributing just one original, "Super Soul" itself.

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