Glam Sam and His Combo - The Paradise Groove

Glam Sam and His Combo
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After satisfying crowds with a soothing mix of jazzy funk and new age disco on their debut, Groovy, the Swedish dance outfit Glam Sam and His Combo returns with another nifty offering for the überbossa nova dance crowd on The Paradise Groove. Mostly instrumental tracks using the grit of a jam session, Paradise Groove focuses heavily on stretched-out grooves with a few vocal highlights and the occasional ad libitum. The album kicks off with James Brown-inspired bass lines on "The Drop-Out Bossa." Guest vocalist Biker Boy, decorated with a heavy English accent, latches to the upbeat, light-humored ode to ‘70s dance on "The Last Days of Disco" as he painfully unveils his clumsiness in working the night fever.

After satisfying crowds with a soothing mix of jazzy funk and new age disco on their debut, Groovy, the Swedish dance outfit Glam Sam and His Combo returns with another nifty offering for the überbossa nova dance crowd on The Paradise Groove. Mostly instrumental tracks using the grit of a jam session, Paradise Groove focuses heavily on stretched-out grooves with a few vocal highlights and the occasional ad libitum. The album kicks off with James Brown-inspired bass lines on "The Drop-Out Bossa." Guest vocalist Biker Boy, decorated with a heavy English accent, latches to the upbeat, light-humored ode to ‘70s dance on "The Last Days of Disco" as he painfully unveils his clumsiness in working the night fever. Further into the lyric, Biker Boy recounts some of disco's proudest moments and even some of its earlier prehistoric artifacts (the disco fox/the hitchhike/the bump/ the hustle/Giorgio and Barry Blue/with the Trammps/on the final line). It's a feel-good moment, like "Holding On (To the Disco)," the soul jazz "Give It To Me, Baby" and the smooth house standout "Only You (Make Me Feel Good." Other cuts, not as essential, are good cause for conversation pieces: "Jump" is accented with country "dosado" melody, "La Fiesta" sneaks in Isaac Hayes's "Joy" bass line along with a portion of McDonald's infamous jingle while "The Gospel" taps into archived tapes of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream." Much of the album's tropical breeze gives listeners a satisfying journey into Glam Sam's unique jazz fusion. Without much vocal involvement, some will see the effort as being proper mood-starting background music, but it's that laid back approach to dance - especially with the live instrumentation - that gives Paradise Groove its well-deserved passing grade.

Notable tracks: "The Last Days of Disco," "Give It To Me, Baby," and "Only You (Make Me Feel Good)"

Vocals: 1.5 stars
Music: 2.5 stars
Lyrics: n/a
Production: 2.5 stars
SoulTracks Call: Recommended

 

By J. Matthew Cobb

 
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