Paul “Hollywood” Litteral : Legacy Review
Paul “Hollywood” Litteral has been an in-demand trumpeter for decades, appearing on over 150 albums. Litteral founded the Uptown Horns with saxophonist Arno Hecht in 1978, and he has since worked with many rock and soul groups (including J. Geils, the Rolling Stones, Robert Plant, Tom Waits, Joe Cocker, James Brown, Pat Benatar, and Ray Charles). In addition, Litteral’s work as a trumpeter, arranger-composer, and musical director resulted in him gaining the nickname “Hollywood Paul.” He currently performs with Angela O’Neill and the Outrageous8, and many others. Litteral is releasing his debut album as a leader titled Legacy, on which Litteral is very much in the spotlight, augmented by a talented roster of guest musicians.
Opening the album is a pleasing arrangement by Bill Bodine on David “Fathead” Newman’s “Hard Times.” The arrangement features a three-horn front line of trumpet, alto saxophone, and baritone saxophone. Litteral says the inspiration behind the tune is that ‘’Hard Times” “was the song the Uptown Horns opened with at The Uptown Horns Jam at Terry Dunes “Tramps”… a Great memory.” Litteral’s trumpet tone is superbly rounded with superb pitch and clarity of accents and rhythm. Litteral’s solo is a study of elegance in creating beautiful melodies through the harmonic progression.
“I Can’t Make You Love Me,” made famous by Bonnie Raitt and written by Mike Reid and Allan Shamblin, another exemplary arrangement by Bill Bodine that features hauntingly beautiful vocals by Angela Mae O’Neill. Litteral’s trumpet playing is mysterious and evocative exemplified during his performances on the melody, fills, and solo. O’Neill’s singing is rich with expression, and her timbre is appealing. Together they perform an imaginative and stirring arrangement of this well-known radio hit from the eighties.
Legacy is a gorgeous, perfectly crafted take on a wide range of styles and genres brought into the jazz atmosphere by Litteral’s playing and various band members. Legacy shows that Litteral is a successful studio musician but has creative ideas and sounds for a successful solo career as a bandleader.
Paul "Hollywood" Litteral
April 30, 2023