King Curtis

Azure

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King Curtis' lone LP for the tiny Everest label eschews his signature gutbucket R&B approach in favor of a late-night, bluesy atmosphere that brilliantly captures the unparalleled soulfulness of his tenor sax solos. Ballads and standards spanning from "Unchained Melody" to "The Nearness of You" are vividly realized by the lush arrangements of Sammy Lowe, complete with vocal contributions from the Malcolm Dodds Singers. Still, it's Curtis' melancholy leads that command the spotlight, boasting the cerebral intricacy of jazz and the emotional heft of soul.

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