Best remembered, if at all, for his 1972 Philly Soul smoocher ‘Me and Mrs Jones’, vocalist Billy Paul probably should have gone on to bigger things. But it didn’t happen for him, and the suggestion here is that his record company frightened off mainstream radio with his militant agit-groove follow-up ‘Am I Black Enough For You’. This Swedish doc can’t quite construct a compelling drama from all this, but, as it follows today’s seventysomething Paul around old haunts and on tour, you can feel the love in its affectionate portrait of a talent deserving wider recognition.
A jazz-inflected stylist rather than a gospel shouter, Paul is still in good voice, though between nimbly shot concert highlights there’s a fair degree of archive footage, sometimes heavy-handed in inscribing the context for the artist’s social-conscience-raising ’70s tracks which have since found him a new audience among the rap cognoscenti. Slightly woolly overall, though you might find yourself buying the CDs. I did.