SOULFUL SOUNDS…Kingly T: Life in the City, Narada Michael Walden: Evolution

Soul music and reggae both get the feet moving, and with social conscious messages, the package gets complete.

Titus “Kingly T” Whittle leads a band of Leslie Randolph.voc, Jennifer Grove/key, Dave Grove/b, Anthony Hunter/dr, Ryan Marsh/sax and Drew Darby /tb through a mix of reggae originals. He’s got an earnest and earthy vocal delivery, and when he harmonizes it with Randolph as on “Got to Win,” the songs increase their enrichment. The two horn provide a nice sweaty feel, and Groves occasional keyboard solos add depth and variety. The only complaint is that the groove stays the same the whole way through, with nary an increase or decrease in the temperature. A bit of livening things up once or twice would have helped.

Drummer Narada Michael Walden leads a spirited soul band of Angeline Saris/b, Matthew Charles Heulitt/g, Frank Martin/key and various guests through a collection of songs that is like a throwback to the disco days of the 70s. Lots of horns and backbeats on “Billionaire on Soul Street” and “baby’s Got It Going On” as well as some snazzy synth work that begs for a reflective ball. Walden’s voice is a charmer on the Spartan “It’s The Sixties Now,” while he and the team do a Funkadellic read of Lionel Ritchies’ Tear the House Down.” Best of all is the soulful strut on Paul McCartney’s “Long and Winding Road,” but the crisp drumming the revs up Richie Havens’ “Freedom” isn’t too far behind. Get out the platform shoes!

T Dom Records

Tarpan Records

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