Roderick Paulin: RPM

Saxophonist Roderick Paulin, formerly lead player with ReBirth and Kermit Ruffins’ Big Band, goes out on his own to further the melding of traditional jazz with soulful funk and R&B. The saxophonist wrote two of the eight tracks: “You Know What I Mean,” a swinging shuffle with keyboardist Chuck Chaplain’s synthesized B3 sound, and the hard-grooving “Funk Influences.”

After a funky “Sweet & Tangy (The Chicken),” guitarist Leroy Aych introduces a R&B funk version of the Ramsey Lewis hit “Sun Goddess.” Paulin changes the pace with a nine-minute slow groove on Joe Zawinul’s “Mercy Mercy Mercy.” Drummer Doug Belote’s energizing street beat opens for Paulin’s sizzling sax and Craig Klein’s growling trombone on “The Preacher.” Paulin is positively torrid on the Marvin Gaye hit “What’s Going On?” and takes a slow but sizzling route to “Georgia on My Mind,” well supported by bassist Irving Charles. The musical merger works because Paulin possesses a chameleonlike command of his tenor, living up to his legacy as the son of New Orleans trumpeter “Doc” Paulin, who was a contemporary of Louis Armstrong.