Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Chess Club Rhythm & Soul|
Chess Club Rhythm & Soul
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop, R&B
Best compilation I own
Mark R. Van Wagenen | Elgin, Illinois USA | 01/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Various-artist compilation collections have their place; they are often the most (or only) practical way to pick up some seldom-heard nuggets. With most of them, however, you have to take the clunkers along with the winners, and sometimes you end up scratching your head as to why they would put certain tracks together on the same CD. It is truly the rare and beautiful issue that gives you the wheat and not the chaff. This is one of them.
The trick is to keep the selections within a tight range and find good numbers that you haven't heard a thousand times without going off into total wonderland. In this case, you have 25 R&B tunes released or popularized in the mid-to-late 1960s on Chicago's legendary Chess label, along with its sister labels Checker, Cadet and Argo. The collection was compiled by two British R & B aficionados (I think the British have more appreciation for classic R & B that most Americans), and they did their homework. No doo-wop, no disco. Lots of blues, jazz, soul and straight, old-school Chicago-style R & B. What else do you need?
Examples: Etta James' "Mellow Fellow" leads off the CD. Wow, can she belt it out (and you see her later in a duet with Sugar Pie De Santo in "Do I Make Myself Clear")! So can Mitty Collier in "Git Out" and Koko Taylor in "Fire".
Billy Stewart's "Summertime" is a jazzy R & B standard, and here you get the album-length version. Hammond B3 master Brother Jack McDuff and legendary sax man Lou Donaldson make instrumental appearances with "Ain't It" and the jazz-funk "Musty Rusty" respectively; and the ever-cool pianist Ramsey Lewis shows up with the funky "Function at the Junction"; you'll know it's him right away, which is a good thing. You'll tap your feet to Marlena Shaw's "Wade in the Water", Jamo Thomas' "Must I Holler" and to Bobby Moore & the Rhythm Aces' instrumental "Hey Mr D.J."
A great tune, if only for the lyrics, is Little Milton's "Grits Ain't Groceries" ("You know I love you baby/and if I don't love you baby I'll tell ya, grits ain't groceries, eggs ain't poultry and Mona Lisa was a man"). Kip Anderson's "A Knife and A Fork" is a good-natured little ditty. Little Walter gives us "My Babe", an uptempo blues tune, immediately followed by Sonny Boy Williamson's more traditional "Help Me" with the harp and organ. The last track on the CD is another great blues tune, Tommy Tucker's "Hi Heel Sneakers".
Maurice & Mac's "You Left the Water Running" and Don & Bob's "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" feature good soul harmonies, and the Kolette's "Who's That Guy" is the CD's "girl-group" contribution.
I also love the photo on the CD cover of a mixed crowd at London's Flamingo Jazz Club; I especially like the woman looking at her man with a seemingly disgusted "what's up with that" look on her face.
There are minor quibbles: Muddy Waters' "Messin' with the Man" takes some getting used to if you're familiar with Junior Wells' "Messin' With the Kid"; "Here Comes The Judge" by Pigmeat Markham is a silly, somewhat out-of-place selection that almost could be considered early rap (although I do like the woman who responds to Pigmeat's "Order in the Court!" decree by ordering two cans of beer); and blue-eyed singer Steve Alaimo's "Every Day I Have to Cry" isn't that exciting or soulful. But overall, this one is a winner.
Never far from my CD Player
J. A. MANKOWSKI | APO, AP United States | 02/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This collection, compiled by the Kent subsidiary of ACE Records U.K., concentrates on tracks that were heavily played during the mid-60's Mod club scene. All of these songs appeared on the Mighty CHESS label, and vary from Etta James storming opener, "Mellow Fellow's" to Kip Anderson's laid-back original version of "A Knife and a Fork". For extra confusion, Tommy Tucker's "Hi Heel Sneakers" is here, and Pigmeat Markham's "Here Comes the Judge" comedy soul disc, which was later sampled by Naughty by Nature for "Hip Hop Hooray", makes its only appearance on CD that I know of. Makes a fine CD for a party of Soul/R&B music historians! Check out "At the Club" for this same brew done up Atlantic/Stax style."
J. Hoffman | dover, pa. United States | 04/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"what a big surprise!!chess uptown soul carries the classic hit ,"searching for my love"now to find it's bang of a flipside,"hey,mr.d.j."on this compilation,chess club rhythm & soul is a pure joy !!!!!i love it's stomping motown's jr. walker & the all stars beat going on!!blow that sax baby!!the other tunes are nice to listen to as well. thank you kent series for bringing back the hits in keeping the music alive!!keep on keepin' on!!brown eyed soul brother,joey hoffman(the soul philosospher of dover pa}god bless!!!!"