Guitarist Jeff Golub presides over a series of soul-jazz jam sessions on Soul Sessions (GRP). The album features deft ensemble playing by some of the top musicians in the business, including drummer Steve Ferrone, bassist Nathan East, trumpeter Rick Braun, saxophonists Richard Elliot and Steve Cole and pop vocalists Steve Perry and Marc Cohn, and together they mine soul-jazz's compositional and improvisational possibilities.
Golub improvises agilely throughout the rousing opener "Boom Boom" and plays with unhurried eloquence on the slinky "Cadillac Jack." He harmonizes with Elliot on the laid-back "Playin' It Cool," and Elliot and Cole each solo on the cool, bluesy "Pass It On." The slow burn of "Can't Let You Go" is enhanced by Perry's sensitive vocals, and Golub offers a playful, reggae-inflected cover of No Doubt's "Underneath It All," which features saxophonist/vocalist Mindi Abair on accent vocals. Sue Ann Carwell's multitracked vocals and Dave Carpenter's grooving acoustic bass help drive Golub's version of the Ohio Players' "Skin Tight," which brings this spirited, soulful album to a funky close.