Friday, May 19, 2006

Little Milton - Greatest Hits (Chess, 2002)

Few musicians combined blues and soul music as well as Little Milton. On his very successful Chess sides, Milton's declamatory, gospelish vocals and stinging guitar were combined with intricate large band horn arrangements along the model of the music Bobby "Blue" Bland was taking into the R&B charts during this period. Milton's slow burning version of Bland's hit "Blind Man" is a centerpiece for his deep and passionate vocals, while the jumping horn-led swingers like "We're Gonna Make It" and a hopping version of Ike Turner's "Grits Ain't Groceries" kept Milton in the thick of the action in the competitive R&B singles market. Little Milton would go on to have a very long and successful career with the Malaco record label which tones down his guitar and turned up the soulful arrangements, but he made his best music for Chess, and this makes for an excellent introductory work.

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