From the U.K.-based Sequel Records imprint comes this unique collection containing all three long-players cut by Dave "Baby" Cortez (organ) for Roulette circa 1965 and 1966. The respective platters in question are Organ Shindig (1965), Tweety Pie (1965) and In Orbit With Dave "Baby" Cortez (1966). As was common practice at the time, with the exceptions of "Tweety Pie" and the cover of Duke Ellington's jazz standard "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" -- the track lists of both Organ Shindig and Tweety Pie are identical. Cortez is undoubtedly best-remembered for his earlier Top Ten singles "The Happy Organ" in 1959 and "Rinky Dink" in 1962. However, in contrast to those self-penned compositions, the vast majority of the material comprising these LPs cross a fairly broad spectrum of concurrently popular tunes. Sadly, none of the support musicians are credited, another all too familiar sign of the times. Although no particular instrumentalist stands out from the rest, they provide Cortez a platform similar to that of the infamous Wrecking Crew. Highlights include Sam Cooke's "Shake," which is much closer to Otis Redding's version, as well as the rollicking "Twine Time." The swinging interpretation of "Can't Buy Me Love" allows Cortez to muscle in with some wailing Hammond B-3 inflections. Plus, the Motown sound is aptly re-created on the buoyant "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)." In Orbit With Dave "Baby" Cortez produced a completely different feel. Among the changes are the heavy jazz vibe, recalling the likes of Jimmy Smith. There are also omnipresent background singers and a horn section that, at times, supplies more of the melody than Cortez does. Notably, the originals "Count Down," "Belly Rub" and "My Sweet Baby" are presented as two separate songs (i.e "Part(s) I & II" respectively) and have been co-credited to the head of Roulette Records, Morris Levy. A savvy move most likely precipitated by Levy in order to receive an additional paycheck for royalties.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer