Swiss drummer Charly Antolini is a super-technician often compared with Buddy Rich and Louis Bellson. His play is punctuated by its precision and explosive attack. Beginning his professional career playing in Paris with such New Orleans legends as Sidney Bechet and Albert Nicholas, he graduated to swing and bop. Soul Beat is something else altogether. Recorded in 1968, it grooves in the direction of “soul jazz”. Antolini has two Caribbean giants with him, saxophonist Wilton Gaynair and trumpeter Shake Keane. Third horn is the world-renowned American trombonist Jiggs Whigham. The album struts out with St. James Blues, a jazz march in which New Orleans meets Killer Joe. Wiener Blues is a 6/8 swing – you can waltz to if you want. La Belle is a beauty with a bossa feel, and Dear Chaples transports you right to Rio and carnival. The other pieces are pure funk. Tight, well-worked-out arrangements, commanding solos, and Charly Antolini at his crisp virtuoso best. A collector’s item for Antolini fans. For everyone else, a funky ride on the soul side.