A GREAT COLLECTION!
Giovanni Marra | Chicago, IL | 02/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jackie Wilson was one of those rare entertainers that don't come along very often. No one but Jackie could hit you with a rhythm and blues jam like "Baby Workout" and then switch to something like "Danny Boy" and still have you right where he wanted you. This CD was a labor of love from this truly gifted entertainer. The first half of this 2fer is Jackie's tribute to Al Jolson. Swingin' arrangements abound here; from his great reading of "Toot Toot Tootsie" to the romping fun of "For Me And My Gal". And Jackie was always one for belting a ballad. Get an earful of the heartache in the touching version of "Sonny Boy", and the beautiful "In Our House". Perfectly orchestrated and sung all the way around, as is the second half of the disc, which is Jackie's Christmas collection. So what if it's not Christmas yet? The versions of timeless Christmas songs presented by Jackie are wonderful, especially "O Holy Night", "It Came Upon The Midnight Clear" and "Joy To The World". The Edsel/Brunswick label has done a superb job packaging this (as well as several other of Jackie's albums in this "2fer" format) including the original liner notes & album cover art. I also HIGHLY reccomend the TITAN OF SOUL 3CD set to any Jackie Wilson fans out there."
An oddly rare treat
BurtRose | Washington, DC area | 03/02/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Wow, this just might be the oddest album in all of the "soul music" era. Here we have the exquisite voice of Jackie Wilson doing all Al "Blackface" Jolson material! Jackie loooooved Jolson, and was inspired by him as a captivating, charismatic performer. (Jackie Wilson told me that himself, when I met him backstage in his dressing room at the Howard Theater in Washington, DC in the 60's. He couldn't have been more gracious.) Jackie was an electrifying performer, but who could have imagined that Jolson was his idol? -- Amazingly, we get Jackie singing "My Yiddishe Mama," here. If you can get past the oddity of that, and are not off-put by the schmaltziness of the song, itself, it's beautiful, yea almost cantorial. (It helps if you had a Jewish mother.) The other songs are sort of pop-oriented (not R&B), and not terribly exceptional, except that Jackie was exceptional, which made even his unexceptional work a certain sort of exceptional. This ain't for everybody, but if you appreciate the great Jackie Wilson, this is an oddly rare treat."