Spring Soul


It always seem to happen that about this time of year I find a soul album that I spin the hell out of; something about the salubrious change in weather, coupled with a retro sound and soulful, amorous vocals…yeah, it gets me every spring. Last year it was Darondo’s Let My People Go (or here).

Much thanks to NPR & Soul Sides for shining the light where it need be pointed. “Didn’t I” has fast become one of my favorite soul songs of all time; really, at brief 9 tracks, Let My People Go is a gem from front to back.

Soul Sides is also where I was introduced to Joe Bataan; his track, “Average Guy” was featured on Soul Sides, Vol. 1. At any rate, this spring’s album which has been on constant play is Joe Bataan’s Riot, yet another 9-track spring soundtrack. Classifying sound isn’t my forte, but for the sake of describing Riot’s sound, I’d venture to say it was Latin Soul. It features a full lineup of incredible songs, including “Pa Monte” & “What Good Is A Castle,” the latter a 7+ minute foray into paradoxes of love & life, “What good is a heart/after it’s torn apart?” Actually, this may be a soul precursor to ATCQ’s “What?” Half-way through the track, the tempo changes (love them horns) and what was once a lamentation on unfulfilled expectations, transforms into a celebration of unexpected fulfillment. I love this song. Also, a different version of “Ordinary Guy” (compared to the Soul Sides version) closes out Riot.

Regardless of the season, this is a great album; it features an inviting soundscape from front to back. Bataan, whose sound comes from the boogaloo & salsa traditions, presents a sound that masterfully joins those two worlds with soul; the rolling transition from more traditional soul to Latin sound is seamless. Currently, I am not sure how hands on Bataan was with the production but if anyone has more information on the album, please forward it my way.

UPDATE: I found this article, authored by Soul Sides Oliver Wang, which provides a good, albeit brief, background to Bataan.


2 Responses to “Spring Soul”

  1. radiorebelde Says:

    I have the full length available to download for free plus tons of others…come check me…

    ¿Revolución, No?

  2. Congrats to Common… « Trading Tapes Says:

    […] with Bilal. I love the original track, “Under The Street Light” by Joe Bataan, who has made an appearance on TT. In addition to that horn sample, you know Karriem Riggins had to throw that Detroit bang into […]

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