The Scraps Companion

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

The Scraps Companion presents NRBQ at Ardent Recording Studios in Memphis, TN, on April 30, 1972. Before this release, the only way hardcore New Rhythm & Blues Quartet fans had of hearing this performance was via tapes made of the original WMC-FM radio broadcast. The sound on this release is flawless. There are also a half-dozen tracks from the earliest recording sessions for the 1972 album Scraps. This seminal incarnation of the band features the addition of former Wildweeds guitarist "Big Al" Anderson. Upon his arrival, the "Q" in NRBQ actually stood for quintet.

NRBQ eagerly models their musical multiplicity throughout this set. Among the musical genres covered are the cool R&B sounds of Johnny Moore's Three Blazers on "Huggin' Bug." They also cut loose with a scrumptious version of Sonny Rollins' delicate "Valse Hot." Anderson's phenomenal songwriting is already in full bloom as heard on "Mare, Take Me Home." The heartfelt '50s doo wop track "Brothers" shows off the band's amazing vocal harmony chops -- demonstrating that the 'Q can truly conquer any style of popular music.

The innocuous wit and candid charm of NRBQ runs rampant throughout their music. For example, the band improvises a version of the I Love Lucy theme to a heavy thumping disco beat -- not bad since disco would not be around for nearly four years. The half-dozen Scraps sessions which augment this disc should not be written off as filler. Adams leads the 'Q through Thelonious Monk's "Misterioso." These 70 seconds are arguably the highlight of the entire disc. Not only does Adams capture the mathematical and logical performance style, but he embodies the innocent and freewheeling spirit of Monk -- a feat few can claim.

blue highlight denotes track pick