Count Basie and His Orchestra – Basie In Sweden (Roulette SR-52099)

1 Lp, Essential Basie In Sweden was recorded August 10, 11, and 12, 1962 at an amusement park in Sweden. This recording would be Count Basie's last live recording for Roulette. Basie and men were in top form as they played a mixture of swing,  blues and sweet dance music.  Notable musician on this live recording …

 Otis Redding – Live at the Whiskey A-Go-Go: The Complete Recordings (Volt Records 39646)

6 CDs, essential   On the nights of April 8-10 in 1966, Otis Redding became the first R&B artist to play at the well-known Sunset Strip rock club, The Whiskey A Go Go.  These landmark performances were recorded for the occasion, but have never been released until now.  All three nights are documented for posterity …

 Various – Soul On the West Coast 2: Call On Me (History of Soul 29)

2CD, 57 tracks, very highly recommended.   This is the second volume (the first was That’s Where It’s At: West Coast Soul) compiling R&B that came mostly from Los Angeles recording studios during the early and mid 60’s.  Although it says soul on the front of the tin, the contents here are actually a bit …

Percy Sledge – My Special Prayer/Singles and Rarities (Edsel 7113)

2CD, 41 tracks, highly recommended.   Edsel’s re-issue of Percy Sledge’s Atlantic albums comes to blazing climax with the release of his 1970 platter, My Special Prayer on the first disc.  Unlike Sledge’s other Atlantic LPs, this one was not released in this U.S.; this Dutch release compiled 1969/70 singles—his revival of Chuck Jackson’s “Any …

Various – Please Release Me: The Soulful Side of Country (Jasmine 942)

29 tracks, highly recommended.   Although Ray Charles’ groundbreaking 1962 LP Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music gets the credit for the first commercially successful fusion of Country and Soul music, the truth of the matter is that R&B artists had been recording Country material for years before hand.  But after Charles hit paydirt …

 Syreeta – The Rita Wright Years: Rare Motown 1967-1970 (Kent 455)

24 tracks, highly recommended. Syreeta Wright is best known today as Stevie Wonder’s first ex-wife, co-writer on his 1970 hit “If You Really Love Me”, and for her 1979 hit duet with Billy Preston, “With You, I’m Born Again”.  But before all that, during a brief period in the late 60’s, Motown attempted to carve …

Linda Jones – Precious: The Anthology 1963-72 (Kent 458)

24 tracks, very highly recommended.   Although Linda Jones had a major hit with “Hypnotized” in 1967, today she’s remembered as a cult artist by Soul scholars and Northern Soul freaks.  Kent has compiled a complete (it even contains her first side from 1963 as Linda Lane) picture of Jones’ recording career for Atco, Blue …