USA Native Soul Quartet back with “Soul Step”, Talking Drum Records

Native Soul’s second album, “Soul Step” opens with the eponymous song charachterized by soft tones which instantly recalls the sounds of ‘70s fusion: Noah Haidu on keyboards plays for a long while the same chords creating suspense and Marcus McLaurin repeats a funky sequence of notes at electric bass while Peter Brainin phrasing on soprano sax. The introduction leads to the main theme tune in unison, creating a relaxed atmosphere.

End Of A Love Affair (Edward C. Redding), is the only standard on the CD. Interpreted in a smooth jazz style and stripped of sadness, it is opened by pressing the piano chord sequence that follows the tenor sax along with the fast pace dictated by the drummer with the tick of chopsticks on plates. It slows down only for more melodic digressions by Haidu at the piano supported by McLaurin on bass and then the main theme is taken up and abandoned in Haidu “nervous” improvisations, followed by changes in Brainin. In the closure Steve Johns on drums reserves its own space. A song that lasts about 8 minutes but flies away with its brilliant and light sound.

The album changes again with blues tinge of Deep Blue, a relaxing and romantic ballad characterized by the crystalline sound of the piano and sax that take turns, supported by a rhythm section of bass-bodied and vibrant. Haidu is split between oiano and Hammond while McLaurin arpeggio on electric bass remindes  a guitar. The arrangement is enhanced and increases in volume during sax improvisation and the Hammond gives a certain gospel impression to the conclusion.

While you will be impressed since the first three songs for the variety of moods, solutions and arrangements, this is confirmed by the ominous tones that characterize Inner Search with Brainin “insinuating”  flute searching for atonality, dirtying the final notes and flanked by a stamp mat keyboard, or from Mingus where Brainin returns to pick up the sax seducing the listener with its clear sound and creates a certain suspense along with the stride piano of Haidu and strokes on the snare drum that “thunder” or even from Slipstream sound fresh with the time marked by rapid double bass.

This does not mean that you never lose a certain elegance and composure and consistency in executions in assembling the compositions of the four musicians in a single project, which can really be said to be leading all equally.

It is still the round with a cover of Castles Made of Sand (Jimi Hendrix) characterized by funky electric bass entrusted with opening and closing mirror. The melody is entrusted to the enthralling and brilliant sax improvisation becomes more “whining” followed by a long solo imaginative keyboards that take the place of the guitar of the original version.

It slows down the pace at which Brainin Into the Night in the flute melody in the first fan and then blown matt just makes the dreamy atmosphere. If, by the title Talking Drum one might expect an explosive start battery, the opening of this piece is soft and sensual instead entrusted to the piano, followed by bass and drums once again to support the entry of the notice of the sax melody and makes his long solo, leaving space in the end the piano with its cascades of notes.

The swinging One For Op immediately transmits relax and serenity, while a streak of romanticism is guaranteed in the driving bop Gift Within the stamp matt sax accompanied by the sweet notes of the keyboard.

Laura Mancini

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