Sweet and Soulful Sounds, from 1962, is a most atypical record for Bobby Timmons. Long thought of only as a funky piano player in the style that Ramsey Lewis would later make commercially successful, Timmons could also play prettily, as he does on this ballad-heavy set. There's a little funk here; the up-tempo "Another Live One" sounds like a potential Cannonball Adderley hit (Timmons, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Roy McCurdy were all once and future Adderley accompanists). But for the most part, Timmons keeps his cool, showing a very strong Bud Powell influence throughout. (Actually, the two solo tracks, "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" and a meditative "God Bless the Child," sound as if Timmons had been listening to Bill Evans' solo records, as the latter in particular has the same rhythmically loose, melodically free style.) The highlights are the three standards, Richard Rodgers' "The Sweetest Sounds," a relaxed and swinging take on Cole Porter's "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To," and a version of Oscar Hammerstein and Jerome Kern's "Why Was I Born?" that turns it from a show tune into a despondent blues. This is an unusual record for Bobby Timmons, but a great one.
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason