Senor Soul

What It Is Y'All: The Best Of Senor Soul

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This 20-track CD compiles most of Senor Soul's sparse recorded output, including most of the songs from their sole LP (from 1968) and 1967-1970 singles, along with a couple of previously unissued outtakes. Most of it's decent but second-level instrumental soul music, and not quite among the best of the 1960s' soul-jazz or Latin soul hybrids. Certainly, however, you can hear the seeds of some of War's future ideas, particularly in the Latin RB flavor and the flute parts of Charles Miller. A good portion of it is devoted to covers of contemporary rock and soul hits like "Psychotic Reaction," "Sunshine Superman," "Uptight (Everything's Alright)," and "It's Your Thing," though a little more personality and originality come through on the tunes penned by Miller or producer Maurice Rodgers. By far the most solid indication of Miller's future direction in War is the 1970 single "Don't Lay Your Funky Trip on Me"/"I Ain't Got No Soul Today (What It Is, Y'All)," both because it has vocals and it most likely features the original lineup of War (most of whom get the songwriting credits for both numbers). In fact, those two slyly humorous tracks sound enough like War's early records that they could slot in on an early bona fide War album with little problem. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi