Personnel: Z.Z. Hill (vocals); Leroy Emanuel, John Barranco, Jimmy Johnson, Vasti Jackson, Dino Zimmerman (guitar); Stuart McDonald , Brian Gum, David Chappell, Jorge Orbon, Gail Bauser, John Frantz, Bogdan Chruszcz, Bennett Randman, Linda Geidel, Kathy Robinson, Guy Weddle, Marjorie Lash, Ann Mason, Bob McNally, Mickey Davis, Peggy Plucker, Janet Dressler, Claudette Hampton, Marguerite Haldeman (strings); Walter King, Harrison Calloway, Chris Colelessor, Jim Horn, Ben Cauley, Whit Sidener, Dana Teboe, Charles Rose, Harvey Thompson, Ronnie Eades, Kenneth Faulk (horns); Carson Whitsett (keyboards); Carl Marsh (synthesizer); George Allen, Ray Griffin, Don Barrett (bass guitar); Glen Holmes, James Robertson, Owen Hale (drums); Valerie Williams, Charlotte Chenault, Jewel Bass, Kathy Young, Thomisene Anderson, Tommy Tate (background vocals).
Photographers: Peter Damroth; Marion Vance.
When he died in 1984 at the relatively young age of 48, Z.Z. Hill went down in history as a great blues singer. But he was also an excellent soul singer, and this 1990 CD reminds us that he had as much to do with earthy, gospel-drenched Southern soul as he did with B.B. King-influenced electric blues. Focusing on Hill's Malaco output, Greatest Hits contains some inspired 12-bar numbers (including "Open House at My House," "Shade Tree Mechanic" and Denise LaSalle's "Someone Else Is Steppin' In") but is just as heavy in its R&B content. "Right Arm for Your Love," "Get a Little, Give a Little" and "Cheatin' in the Next Room" serve as fine examples of his unpretentious approach to Stax-influenced soul. And, of course, the CD boasts what became Hill's signature song, the infectious "Down Home Blues." For those who haven't experienced the impressive material Hill was delivering during the last years of his life, this CD would be the appropriate starting point. ~ Alex Henderson