The song titles on Soul Supreme’s new 45 not only consist of the A Tribe Called Quest originals he reinterprets, but also the Weldon Irvine and RAMP originals Tribe sampled. This shows the layered depths to ‘Award Tour (We Gettin’ Down)’ b/w ‘Bonita Applebum (Daylight)’ by the Amsterdam-based keyboardist, DJ & producer. Bridging the gap between hip-hop classics, timeless soul and jazz-funk, and Soul Supreme’s own smooth-like-butter renditions.
The A-side track floats somewhere between A Tribe Called Quest’s 1993 classic “Award Tour” and the late Weldon Irvine’s “We Gettin’ Down.” Not just because of the slightly upped tempo compared to the original beat of the song off ‘Midnight Marauders.’ Even more so because Soul Supreme builds his instrumental compositions around hooks, vocal flows, and cadences of the artists whose work he reimagines. “My hooks are built on Tribe’s hooks,” says Soul Supreme. “Each verse by Q-Tip and Phife Dawg is rhythmically strong. All of that allows me to arrange something new on the keys.” For instance, that’s how Q-Tip’s jazz scatting-like “do that, do that, do do that, that, that” led to a call-and-response between drums, keys, and horns: Jay ‘J-Zone’ Mumford came up with a drum lick based on Q-Tip’s flow, which Soul Supreme and the entire horn section respond to.
Soul Supreme’s take on “Bonita Applebum” and the Roy Ayers-produced “Daylight” by RAMP is also a nod to the past on a personal level: “Hearing ‘Bonita Applebum’ as a kid was the first time I fell in love with the sound of Rhodes,” he says. The B-side offering brings out the very best in Soul Supreme’s arrangements when it comes to a collaborative spirit. For this release, he’s worked with frequent collaborators Jay ‘J-Zone’ Mumford (drums on “Award Tour (We Gettin’ Down”)) and Glenn Gaddum Jr. (bass), newly enlisted musicians like drummer Tamuz, Julius Jansen on violin and Tane on guitar, and an all-Dutch horn section featuring Lucas van Ee a.k.a. Rebiere (tenor sax), Jeroen Verberne (trombone), and Lourens van der Zwaag (trumpet).