Personnel: James Cotton (vocals, harmonica); Magic Slim, Michael Coleman (guitar); Douglas Fagen (tenor saxophone); Danny Fields (trumpet); Johnny Cotton (trombone); Pinetop Perkins (piano); Eddie Harsch (keyboards); Robert Covington, Ray Allison (drums).
Recorded at Streeterville Studios, Chicago, Illinois. Includes liner notes by Ashley "The Cincinnati Kid" Kahn.
One of James Cotton's best studio albums, HIGH COMPRESSION neatly splits the difference between traditional '50s and '60s Chicago blues and more contemporary funk influences. About half the cuts feature his '80s touring band, who put a modern spin on Bobby Bland's "Ain't Doing Too Bad" and have a ball covering Steve Miller's "Ying Yang."
The other cuts feature veteran Chicago sidemen Magic Slim and Pinetop Perkins. The sound gets low down and Muddy Waters-esque, particularly on "23 Hours Too Long," which gives rise to one of Cotton's most impassioned performances ever, both vocally and on harp.