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King Curtis - Soul Meeting ((Vinyl))

King Curtis

King Curtis - Soul Meeting ((Vinyl))

$ 17.12 $ 19.99

Soul Meeting makes for a good album title, as various performers who bring lots of soul to any gathering can attest. The only thing that might make for a better Soul Meeting than this 1960 King Curtis side would be an actual meeting of everyone that has indeed utilized this particular album title, including Ray Charles, Milt Jackson, and Billy Preston. For the final comment about this album title, it should be pointed out that the Prestige two-fer reissue of this session was also entitled Soul Meeting but contains an entire additional King Curtis album as well. As originally released, Soul Meeting featured a half-dozen tracks from one early fall date, the sublime Rudy Van Gelder manning the recording controls. King Soul! had been tracked the previous spring, both albums falling into a certain category in the discography of this important rhythm and blues instrumentalist as in the stuff he did that wasn't exactly rhythm and blues. Prestige was more of a jazz label, so albums such as this are generally thought of as King Curtis' attempts to play jazz.
Patterns of accepted critical thought regarding this situation eventually shifted when genres such as acid jazz and hip-hop lifted ideas as well as entire passages from the soul-jazz many of the players that traipsed through Van Gelder's studios were into. As a result , there is less and less possibility of someone commenting "Well, King Curtis isn't much of a jazz player" when auditing a program that includes covers of Duke Ellington and Sammy Cahn material mixed in with originals by the leader that inevitably have the word "soul" in their titles. To be appreciated is the quite special meeting of musical minds, one man on the verge of what would be a groundbreaking commercial instrumental style in the company of players whose open attitude involved an embrace of many expressions, roots basic to the most complex. The saxophonist's invited collaborators changed significantly from the previously mentioned earlier recording date with a shift in only one man. Instead of Paul Chambers on bass, it is Sam Jones. It is still King Curtis with a walking acoustic bass instead of funky electric bass. The connection with the popular Miles Davis rhythm section with Chambers and pianist Wynton Kelly is gone, however.
Kelly is still around and it is true that Curtis can either ignore or completely miss the implications of his pianist, as if someone was shouting instructions at him in a foreign language. Belton Evans is the drummer, his name sounding like instructions following a TSA scanning and not that well known despite having served on at least three dozen recording sessions between the '50s and '80s.
It is an efficient, at times groovy rhythm section. Curtis is joined on the front line by the affable Nat Adderley, back for another romp alongside a saxophonist with whom his sound blends in a way that can be difficult to understand exactly, a possum wrapped in burlap, dropped into a lazy river. No relation to the "Ode to Billie Jo" incident, nonetheless the program ends with a pair of musical questions as if an interrogation was in process: "Do You Have Soul Now?" and "What Is This Thing Called Love?." The former title is a Curtis original, one of three, all of which along with "Jeep's Blues" are the most satisfying performances on this date. ~ Eugene Chadbourne

  • RSD Release Date: DDD
  • Genre: Pop