Paprika Soul has a fresh, club-like sound that they create with each and every note on this self-titled debut for the Higher Octave label. As one of the U.K.'s hottest smooth jazz acts, this group comprised of Andy Spiller on keyboards and drum programming, Malcolm MacFarlane on guitar, Phil Mulford on bass, Poli Cousse and Herve Gamilen on saxophones, and Sarah Newell and Christine Glen on vocals, season their offerings with great musical flavors on these covers of classic jazz and soul tunes from the early '70s and on several original songs written by Spiller, Gamilen, and Alan Barnes. Included is the Seawind classic "He Loves You" and the funky Latin original groove "Rio Dawn." Andy Spiller lays down some great percussive templates on "Bad, Bad Simba" with guest drummer Steve Gadd as Poli Cousse blows his alto sax in and out of the groove with an oh-so-cool workout. Christine Glen really does what she has to do and shines on "Skindo Le Le" with great scatting that literally sweeps you away as she sings her heart out. Her vocals come across in a lively samba-esque style and gets better with every note. Paprika Soul is filled with nuances and soul, piano grooves, and bass-heavy jazz fusion, and their infectious musical expressions will leave you wanting more of their soulful flavors.
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AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein