- Released: March 21, 2006
- Originally Released: 2006
- Label: Blue Note Records
Description by OLDIES.com:
The death of Lou Rawls on January 6, 2006 silenced one of the most distinctive voices in music. With his rich, resonant baritone, he could sing gospel, blues, jazz, pop, and soul with equal authority and success. From a traditional hymn like "Motherless Child" to "Let's Burn Down the Cornfield," Randy Newman's ominous ode to boredom, Lou could get inside a song and make it his own without compromising its essence.
This collection, drawn from 14 albums, covers the greatest blues and jazz performances of his Capitol years (1962-70) and finds him in the company of such great arrangers as Benny Carter, Onzy Matthews, Benny Golson, and H.B. Barnum, and with Les McCann's trio and The Pilgrim Travelers. Researching this compilation uncovered an amazing, previously unissued session of three classic blues tracks with saxophonist Curtis Amy's sextet featuring the legendary trumpeter Dupree Bolton. Now these wonderful performances (tracks 18-20) are available at last.
Living Blues - p.77
"Lou Rawls could have sung the phone book and made it sound good....We're fortunate, however, that he applied his distinctive baritone to blues and jazz material of such quality."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1225 stars out of 5
-- "From the start of his storied career, Rawls loved to swing and he loved it gritty..."
- 1.Motherless Child (with The Pilgrim Travelers)
- 2.God Bless The Chil (with Les McCann LTD.)
- 3.Nobody But Me
- 4.Blues For The Weepers
- 5.Blues For The Weepers
- 6.Goin' to Chicago Blues
- 7.How Long, How Long Blues
- 8.Something Stirring In My Soul
- 9.Georgia On My Mind
- 10.So Hard To Laugh, So Easy To Cry
- 11.Old Folks
- 12.Somebody Have Mercy
- 13.Why (Do I Love You So)
- 14.Street Of Dreams
- 15.I Wonder
- 16.Let's Burn Down The Cornfield
- 17.One For My Baby, One More For The Road
Personnel: Lou Rawls (vocals); Cliff White, Dennis Budimir, Clifford White, Howard Roberts , Walter Namuth, Junior Lowe, Les Buie, Ray Crawford, Arthur Adams , Barney Kessel, Gene Edwards, Cal Green (guitar); Jim Horn (saxophone, baritone saxophone); Wilbert Hemsley (saxophone); Curtis Amy (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Jackie Kelso (alto saxophone); Herman Riley, Teddy Edwards (tenor saxophone); Jay Migliori (baritone saxophone); Freddie Hill, Al Porcino, Tony Terran, Bobby Bryant , Bud Brisbois (trumpet); Lou Blackburn (trombone); Clayton Ivey, Don Abney, Don Randi, Gerald Wiggins, Gildo Mahones, Les McCann, Onzy Matthews, Tommy Strode (piano); Jimmy Bond (bass instrument); Leroy Henderson, Sharkey Hall, Mel Lee, Frank Butler, Freeman Brown, Jim Gordon , Alvin Stoller, Ron Jefferson (drums); King Errisson (congas); Gary Coleman (tambourine); Pilgrim Travelers (background vocals); Herb Ellis, Rene Hall (guitar); Eddie Beal (piano); Richard "Groove" Holmes (organ); Earl Palmer (drums).
Liner Note Author: Michael Cuscuna.
Recording information: Capitol studios, Los Angeles, CA (02/05/1962-04/26/1970); FAME Studios, Muscle Shoals, AL (02/05/1962-04/26/1970).
Arrangers: Rene Hall; H.B. Barnum; James W. Alexander.
Though the late Lou Rawls's career was launched on the gospel circuit, he never exuded the churchy grit that marked the vocal stylings of many of his 1960s R&B contemporaries. Rather, his strong, smooth baritone lent itself perfectly to interpreting a wide variety of styles and songs. At no point in his career was this more apparent than during his near decade-long run with Capitol Records, the majority of which was spent in collaboration with famed producer David Axelrod.
Twelve of the 20 tracks on THE BEST OF THE CAPITOL JAZZ & BLUES SESSIONS contain Axelrod's studio signature and illustrate just how well he and Rawls jibed. Standouts include the robust, swingin' blues of "So Hard to Laugh, So Easy to Cry," the slinky, shuffling, vibes-laden "Street Dreams," and the sultry, slow-burning "Let's Burn Down the Cornfield." Rawls is one of soul music's finest vocalists, and the work he did with Axelrod not only proves that, but shows the degree to which his success was due in large part to his originality and versatility. CAPITOL JAZZ & BLUES SESSIONS is a perfect introduction to this wonderful, pleasingly enigmatic singer.