JOSEPH WOOTEN: Hands Of Soul (Label: Xplosive Joseph Music)

Monday, 29 October 2007 15:18 Bill Buckley Print


Joseph Wooten is the keyboard player in the Steve Miller Band and his input to said group has earned him the nickname "hands of soul" -hence the title of this, the man's first solo album. However, if you come to the LP expecting conventional soul music (if indeed such a thing exists) you'll be disappointed. A lot of what's on offer here has a rock edge to it - not surprising when you consider his long-tern involvement with Miller - and the guitar solos and screeching sax input are often at odds with the message Joe's trying to project. That said there are some good moments here, notably 'My Baby Shows Me' - a pleasant mid-tempo groove with a lovely keyboard interlude. Vocally, it reminds me of Howard Hewett. That Hewett connection is also apparent on the intense closer 'When No One Noticed Me' - a simple, jazzy piano-accompanied piece. 'Heidi's Waltz' has a jazz feel too; while on 'Meet Your Family' the jazz flavour's overlayed with some rock insensitivities. Elsewhere you may think of Prince (the sparse, funky 'I Work') or the Isleys in their Ernie I-fuelled hey day; so, like I said, not your run-of-the-mill soul set - but one that will appeal to the more adventurous. CD Baby should allow you to investigate.
(BB) 2/5