Sunday, July 27, 2008

I went for a walk this morning listening to Sunnyland Slim's Slim's Shout and was struck once again by what a wonderful and cohesive album this is. Recorded at a time when most blues LP's were still a collection of disparate singles, Slim's Shout was recorded much like a jazz album, in Rudy Van Gelder's famous studio. Highlights of this album are numerous: Slim's deep and supple voice singing about him being chased by Ol' Satch in "The Devil is a Busy Man" and with buoyant glee on "Shake It" or profound sadness on "Decoration Day." Slim plays both piano and organ with great facility throughout, particularly on his feature "Sunnyland Special." To top it off, King Curtis adds extraordinary tenor saxophone solos and accents throughout, both caressing melodies and attacking them like a man with a musical sand blaster. There are many good and even very good blues albums, but it is only once in a great while that fortune smiles, and one for the ages is made. This was one of those times.

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