The Best Solo Ever
SRV Couldn't Touch Albert King | Austin, TX | 02/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was a Jimi fanatic in high school and read all of those cheesy guitar magazines and as a result heard about Albert King along the way. I found this CD in a close-out section right when I graduated high school in 1994. This bar-none the best $3.99 I have ever spent. I'm not so much into the guitar solos and blues that I once was, but do yourself a favor and listen to the solo on "As the Years Go Passing By" on this live CD and tell me its not the best. Nobody can touch his tone and evoke a fraction of the emotion he can get with one note."
But available elsewhere, and better
eurocrank | Ketchikan, Alaska | 12/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Except for "Overall Junction," all tracks are also on 'Live' (Tomato/Rhino/Wea), along with excellent liner notes by Robert Palmer and better packaging.
All tracks plus "Matchbox Holds My Clothes" and "Jam in A Flat" are on 'Blues from the Road' (Fuel 2000/Varese Sarabande), along with informative liner notes by Bill Dahl and, again, better packaging.
The material on all three albums is from King's 1975 Montreux Jazz Festival appearance. While his Tomato studio albums from the '70s seem contrived and less satisfying than his King/Bobbin ('50s), Stax ('60s), and Fantasy ('80s) albums, I prefer his live albums from this period to those before and after. King seemed to have found his musical home with the horns on the road, after having been juxtaposed to them and female choruses in the studio. Compared to the '50s and '60s live albums, the sound is fuller, the solos even more focused and meaningful, and the vocal presence even more centered and commanding. There are precious few live albums from the '80s. I have 'Live in Canada' (Charly Blues Legends 'Live' Vol. 6): no date is given, but the Elmore James number "The Sky Is Crying" and the "Texas Flood"-rewrite "Rainin' in California" put it in the mid-'80s. It's a fine CD, but the recording quality is lacking (excellent for an audie) and King didn't seem to be reaching anymore or feeling he had something to prove or reveal.
'Live' (Tomato/Rhino/Wea) is my favorite blues album. 'Blues from the Road' may be more complete, but I prefer the single disc format of 'Live' with its "Watermelon Man" opener--a perfect combination of convenience and musical sense. I enjoy having both, frankly, since the extra tracks are well worthwhile.