King Curtis

Blow Man, Blow!

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71 songs spread among three CDs, covering King Curtis's tenure at Capitol from 1962 until 1965. This wasn't the most productive period in Curtis's career, but it was his first chance to make records on more than a piecemeal basis under his own name; the result is a dazzling array of sounds and songs. Hidden among the country covers and abortive early sides on Disc One is a lot of gold, most notably "Slow Drag" and the previously unreleased "New Dance," which features some killer guitar; the early unissued material is superb, including the Curtis original "Frisky," a slow version of "Alexander's Ragtime Band," the beguiling "Sukiyaki," and a gorgeous bossa nova called "Amorosa." (Many of these tracks feature guitarist Cornell Dupree, who was to figure in Curtis's most successful records for Capitol.) Disc Two is where things start to cook: from "More Soul" on through to the previously unreleased "Hung Over," there's not a note of filler on the disc, which encompasses all of the Soul Serenade album as well as a brace of unreleased songs and some very fine singles, including a dazzling cover of the Acker Bilk standard "Stranger on the Shore," and a soulful recomposition of Jackie Gleason's "Melancholy Serenade." Disc Three comprises material ranging from reinterpretations of pop standards like "Moon River" and "The Girl From Ipanema" through a dozen covers of Sam Cooke songs, all worthwhile.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 1:59
2 2:35
3 2:45
4 3:01
5 2:54
6 2:38
7 2:54
8 2:44
9 2:36
10 2:05
11 2:21
12 2:43
13 2:11
14 2:05
15 2:39
16 2:30
17 2:30
18 2:20
19 3:02
20 2:39
21 2:12
22 2:19
23 2:41
24 2:55
25 2:41
26 2:30
blue highlight denotes track pick