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Great American Soulbook
     

Great American Soulbook

4.2 5
by Tower of Power
 

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Tower of Power have openly admitted resistance toward covering any hit R&B classics, preferring to play their original brand of funky soul and dance music with a horn-fired edge over their four decades on the scene. But they have finally acquiesced, reluctantly but with growing confidence during this session, in producing a tribute to the many solid singers who

Overview

Tower of Power have openly admitted resistance toward covering any hit R&B classics, preferring to play their original brand of funky soul and dance music with a horn-fired edge over their four decades on the scene. But they have finally acquiesced, reluctantly but with growing confidence during this session, in producing a tribute to the many solid singers who appeared in the charts during the '60s and '70s with these renditions of tunes familiar to Top 40 AM radio listeners. Special guest singers range from Sam Moore of Sam & Dave fame to young pop songstress Joss Stone, the veteran British lounge crooner Tom Jones, and rocker Huey Lewis, not to mention TOP frontman Larry Braggs. Philly and Motown music, love songs, retro-soul, and a little disco are included in this collection that is, for the most part, faithfully reproduced. A Sam & Dave hit penned by Isaac Hayes, "I Thank You" is soulfully rendered by Jones, while Moore digs in on Otis Redding's "Mr. Pitiful," both the most authentic highlights of the album. Lewis is quite convincing in his blue-eyed soul role during Wilson Pickett's shuffle swing "634-5789," offering the premise that he could pull off a whole album of this stuff. Braggs cops Stevie Wonder's style during "You Met Your Match," while he and an overamped Stone combine on the more heavily funky and contemporized version of Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston's "It Takes Two." Aretha Franklin's "Since You've Been Gone," sporting the refrain "Why'd you have to do it" with a backup chorus, is as true to the original as any other version. A James Brown medley unfortunately does not come close to the Godfather of Soul, and there are some sappy renditions of such numbers as Billy Paul's "Me & Mrs. Jones," Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band's "Loveland," and the Gaye/Tammi Terrell hit "Your Precious Love" with Braggs and Stone. "Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel," originally done by Tavares, is simply soupy and far too slick, and the Bill Withers song "Who Is He (And What Is He to You)?" is a revisited disco throwaway. Missing from these songs are the extended, powerful horn charts that made Tower of Power famous, with only a modicum of interaction and with little punch to add to the flavor of these charts. Perhaps a second volume might yield better results than the overtly commercialized collection that is presented here. Not bad -- just not great.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/04/2009
Label:
Imports
UPC:
4029758988718
catalogNumber:
5003533

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tower of Power   Primary Artist
George Duke   Keyboards
Emilio Castillo   Tenor Saxophone
Bruce Conte   Guitar,Soloist
David Garibaldi   Drums,Group Member
Mark Harper   Guitar,Group Member
Stephen "Doc" Kupka   Baritone Saxophone,Group Member
Huey Lewis   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Tom Politzer   Saxophone,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Soloist,Fills
Francis "Rocco" Prestia   Bass,Group Member
Adolfo Acosta   Trumpet,Flugelhorn,Group Member
Joss Stone   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Charlean Carmon   Background Vocals
Larry Braggs   Vocals,Background Vocals,Group Member
Michael Bogart   Trombone,Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Dee-Dee Foster   Background Vocals
Monet Owens   Background Vocals
Roger Smith   Keyboards

Technical Credits

Steve Cropper   Composer
Otis Redding   Composer
Bill Withers   Composer
George Duke   Producer
Bill McKinley   overdub engineer,Vocal Engineer,Rhythm Engineer
Nick Ashford   Composer
Kenny Gamble   Composer
Leon Huff   Composer
Valerie Simpson   Composer
William "Mickey" Stevenson   Composer
Stevie Wonder   Composer
Erik Zobler   Engineer,Vocal Engineer
J. Brown   Composer
Sylvia Moy   Composer
Otto D'Agnolo   Vocal Engineer
Adolfo Acosta   Horn Arrangements
A. Franklin   Composer
Dave Eskridge   Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Lula Mae Hardaway   Composer
Keni St. Lewis   Composer
Mike Bogart   Horn Arrangements
James Murray   Vocal Engineer
Larry Braggs   Duet
D. Trotter   Composer
E. Floyd   Composer
D. Hunter   Composer
L. James   Composer
C. Wright   Composer
C. Gilbert   Composer
A. Ellis   Composer
I Hayes D Porter K Johnson   Composer
S. Mckenney   Composer
F. Perren   Composer
D. Porter   Composer
B. Williams   Composer
T. White   Composer

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Great American Soulbook 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
DJ_Ray_Arrucci More than 1 year ago
It's been awhile since Tower Of Power, America's premier R & B and funk band with the legendary horn section, has released an album. This time around TOP has reached back into the past for a star-studded covers CD that includes such guests as Tom Jones, Josh Stone, Sam Moore and Huey Lewis. By putting the TOP touch on these classic R & B tunes they have come up with a disc that is danceable, funky and downright soulful. Rather than just copy the originals, TOP rearranges the tunes to show off it's great players and gives it a nice bottom sound thanks to capable production by TOP's leader and founder Emilio Castillo. Among the highlights are "Star Time", a funkalicious medley of James Brown hits, an incredible vocal performance by Larry Braggs on Billy Paul's "Me And Mrs. Jones", and extremely well done versions of "You Met your Match", "I Thank You" with guest vocals by Tom Jones, and "Since You've Been Gone"! A highly recommended disc, let's hope TOP doesn't wait long to release it's next offering!
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