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Great American Soulbook

( 5 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/7/2009
  • Label: Top Records
  • UPC: 895333002056
  • Catalog Number: 300205
  • Sales rank: 25,445

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
Ryan Greene Digital Editing
Leon Huff Composer
Valerie Simpson Composer
William "Mickey" Stevenson Composer
Stevie Wonder Composer
Erik Zobler Engineer, Digital Editing, Vocal Engineer
J. Brown Composer
Dave Shirk Mastering
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
W. Withers 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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Tower Of Power Salute Their Influences!

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 29, 2009

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    Posted June 16, 2009

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    Posted January 2, 2010

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    Posted July 15, 2009

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews