One Night Stand: Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club 1963by Sam Cooke
For anyone who thought they knew Sam Cooke's music based on the hit singles, this disc will be a revelation. This is the real Sam Cooke, doing a sweaty, raspy soulful set at the Harlem Square Club in North Miami, FL, on Jan. 12, 1963, backed by King Curtis and his band, a handful of local musicians, and Cooke's resident sidemen, guitarist Clifford White and drummer Albert "June" Gardner. To put it simply, it's one of the greatest soul records ever cut by anybody, outshining James Brown's first live album from the Apollo Theater and easily outclassing Jackie Wilson's live record from the Copa. Cooke's pop style is far removed from the proceedings here, which have the feel of being virtually a secular sermon. The record opens with the frantic, desperate chant-like "Feel It," followed by a version of "Chain Gang" that has all of the gentling influences of the single's string accompaniment stripped from it -- Cooke's slightly hoarse voice only adds to the startling change in the song, transformed from a piece of pop-soul into an in-your-face ode to freedom and release. "Cupid," perhaps the most sweetly textured song that Cooke cut during the 1960s, gets the full soul treatment, with horns and Curtis' sax up front and Cooke imparting an urgency here that's only implied in the studio rendition. "Twistin' the Night Away" gets two hot King Curtis sax solos, the highlights of a pounding, rippling performance with a beautifully vamped extended ending (with the drums, bass, and White's guitar wrapping themselves ever tighter around the central riff) that never would have made it to the floor of the Copa. "Somebody Have Mercy" leads into a long vamp by Cooke, a brief, soaring quotation from "You Send Me" that could easily have been a high point in sheer intensity -- and then Cooke and the band crank the tension and the spirits several notches higher with the greatest version of "Bring It on Home to Me" ever done by anybody. It all ends with a version of "Having a Party" that manages to be both soothing and wrenching at the same time, Cooke luxuriating in every nuance as the crowd joins in singing, reaching a higher pitch to the gently swinging tune, the drums kicking in harder, the rhythm guitar rising up, and Curtis' sax and the horns rising up slowly while Cooke goes on with his singing, which is more like preaching and the group sounds like it could play the riff all night. It's one of the cruel ironies of the recording business that this unique and extraordinary concert recording went unreleased for almost 22 years, in favor of the more polished (but also more antiseptic and duller) Sam Cooke at the Copa.
- Release Date:
- Sbme Special Mkts.
Performance CreditsSam Cooke Primary Artist,Vocals
King Curtis Saxophone
Jimmy Lewis Bass
Cornell Dupree Guitar
Albert "Gentleman June" Gardner Drums
Tate Houston Saxophone
George Stubbs Piano
Clifton White Guitar
Technical CreditsSam Cooke Composer
William Best Composer
Peter Guralnick Liner Notes
Tony Salvatore Engineer
Bob Simpson Engineer
Rob Santos Reissue Producer
Curtis Ousley Composer
Clif White Back Cover Photo
Deke Watson Composer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Here is Sam Cooke, arguably the greatest combination Soul, Blues, Gospel, and Romantic Pop singer ever, on stage, giving one of the finest live musical events I've heard. Sam even engages the noisy and appreciative audience in his gentle, cool way, then jams out the place with a fantastic backup band and singers. This is no polite sit down auditorium show, here. The crowd is dancing and carrying on, like they should at a Club. And this vinyl LP issue puts you, the listener, right in the show with them. This is real Club ambience and the finest of performances by Sam.
Although most of Sam Cooke's music is great, this paticular cd features Sam singing with a fervor never heard before. If you like ''down home'' R&B, you will love this cd. I never get tired of listening to it
This is one of if not sam's best recordings.There is not anyone that can put more feeling in to a song than sam.I would suggest this cd to anyone who wants to hear some good oldes music.
Sam Cooke is one of the most respected song writers and singers in the history of moderm music. So many people in the business will tell you he was one of their greatest influences. Just listen to the soul in the CD.
FRIST OF ALL LET ME SAY THAT, SAM COOKE MAYBE THEE MOST DIFFUCULT SINGER TO JUDGE BY SINGLE ALBUMS. SIMPLY BECAUSE HE WAS ABLE TO SING SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS,POP,CLASSICAL POP, R/B AND GOSPEL. SO PURCHASING JUST ONE ABLE WOULDN'T BE ENOUGH IF YOUR TRYING TO HEAR THE THE COMPLETE SOUND OF SAM COOKE ,BUT THIS CD IS ABLE TO CAPTURE THE STYLE, THE EMOTION AND THE INFULENCE AS NO OTHER LIVE CONCERT OF A SOUL SINGER IN THE HISTORY OF MUSIC HAS(AS A SINGER/PERFORMER, NOT A PERFORMER) FROM "CUPID" TO "CHAIN GANG" TO THE INCREDIBLE VERSION OF"BRING IT HOME TO ME" TO THE ENERGETIC AND FUN SOUND OF "HAVING A PARTY" ITS DEFINITELY A MUST GET CD,ALSO OTHER MUSIC FROM SAM COOKE, A MORE RECENT RELEASED CD"KEEP MOVIN ON " AND SOME GOSPEL GREATS FROM HIS EARLIER CARRER ,WHICH MAYBE HIS MOST DEFINATIVE SINGING PERFORMANCES. HE'S IN MY OPINION THE GREATEST ALL AROUND SINGER THAT I'VE EVER HEARD IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME NOT ONLY SPEND MONEY ON THIS CD FROM SAM BUT I'LL LIST OTHERS. "SAM COOKE AND THE SOUL STIRRERS" "SAM COOKE LIVE AT THE COPA" "SAM COOKE'S GREATEST HITS" "COMPLETE RECORDINGS OF SAM COOKE WITH THE SOUL STIRRERS".