Sonny Rollins must have liked hearing Billy Holiday with two of her absolute classic numbers included and a composition he composed himself which has no familarity with Billy Holiday's classic "Loverman" but the title "Love Man" sandwiched in between the two Billy Holiday numbers does make one think. Anyway recorded in 1973 and this album "Horn Culture" is Sonny's second album after his last absence from the Jazz scene in the late sixties and early seventies doing yoga and the Eastern thing but he sure came back vibrant and as usual he played beautifully with this album being no exception.
Summer Madness is a new kind of Richard Elliot recording. For one thing, the cast includes two other horn men augmenting Elliot's signature sax work: trumpeter/trombonist Rick Braun, who also produced the album and, on several tracks, baritone saxophonist Curt Waylee. Most importantly though, the music was created from scratch as Elliot and his handpicked musicians formulated and honed their ideas in the studio, with Braun's ultra-capable guidance. For Elliot, recruiting the additional players and having the entire band plus a well-respected veteran producer help him shape the music was integral to the project's success.
Super Soul was a little funkier than much soul-jazz that had passed before 1967, and its horn parts sometimes slanted more toward pop and soundtrack territory. That was particularly evident on one of the strongest cuts, the opening "Why Don't You Do Right?," where the rhythm (particularly with the aid of a conga drum) goes into grooves that are at least as much soul as jazz, and the horns have a TV adventure theme-like flavor. The album's a little on the innocuous side, even for a genre (Prestige 1960s soul-jazz) that can be pretty homogeneous. It's easygoing background party music, though Holmes summons an interesting light, prickly, almost vibes-like organ sound at times, as on the solo for the cover of Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar."