Richard "Groove" Holmes

Soul Power!

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The selection of material for Soul Power! was a little pop-oriented, including a few contemporary soul hits ("How Can I Be Sure," "Sunny," "Gimme Little Sign"), "Since I Fell for You," and Neal Hefti's ballad "Girl Talk," rounded out by Horace Silver's "The Preacher" and Richard "Groove" Holmes' own "Soul Power." There's not much that can be said about the performances that couldn't be said about numerous other soul-jazz sessions of the late '60s (many on the same label, Prestige). It's relaxed and funky, organ-paced small-combo music, Holmes perhaps breaking out less of a sweat than some of his more bop-influenced and frenetic contemporaries. The unexpected high point is the cover of the Rascals' "How Can I Be Sure." Far from being a routine run-through of a then-current pop hit, it has some compellingly stuttering, overlapping runs from Holmes and a swinging, tense rhythm backup. That rapid-fire style of organ reappears to a somewhat lesser degree in "Sunny," and for the most part the rest of the set is more in line with the routine Prestige soul-jazz product of the era. [All but one of the tracks ("Gimme Little Sign") were added to the 2004 expanded CD reissue of Holmes' 1967 album Super Soul as bonus cuts.]

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