Personnel: B.B. King (vocals, guitar); Maxwell Davis (leader, organ); Irving Ashby (guitar); Bobby Forte (tenor saxophone); Cecil McNeely, Bob McNeely (saxophone); Mel Moore (trumpet); John Ewing (trombone); Lloyd Glenn (piano); David Allen (bass); Jesse Sailes (drums).
Recorded in December 1967.
Includes original release liner notes by Sheldon Harris.
In December 1967, B.B. King entered the studio with noted jazz producer Bob Thiele to record what eventually became LUCILLE. Named after King's guitar, this record finds B.B. adding some fresh ingredients to his already potent stew of traditional blues. With its biting brass and female back-up singers, "You Move Me So" is a funky, spiritual workout, whereas "I Need Your Love" finds King combining Sam Cooke-flavored vocalizing with a dash of rambling country-flavored piano.
As for the blues, Riley B. King has 'em and isn't afraid to share. He digs deep and bathes Ivory Joe Hunter's "No Money No Luck" in heavy pathos. The title track is the most impressive and spontaneous number on this record despite its near-ten-minute length. Done in a talking blues style, "Lucille" started out with King telling the story of his guitar while noodling around on her during a break. Correctly sensing that blues gold was being freshly served up, an excited Thiele had the engineer flip on the record button, preserving a conversation between a man and his guitar for posterity.