J.J. Jackson

But It's Alright

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    7
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Soul belter J.J. Jackson is best known for his 1967 smash, "But It's Alright," but he has some fine singles and a couple of excellent albums as well, and 1967's But It's Alright on the Calla label is one of them. Kicking off with the infectious title track, the record alternates between flat-out rockers like "I Dig Girls," "Come See Me (I'm Your Man)" (which was written by Jackson, covered by the Pretty Things, and then reclaimed powerfully here), and "Boogaloo Baby," midtempo groovers like "You've Got Me Dizzy" and "The Stones That I Throw," and ballads like "Try Me" and a righteous "A Change Is Gonna Come." Jackson's live-wire voice and boundless energy put the songs across and the band kicks up quite a storm as well. The only times Jackson stumbles are when he takes on Lou Rawls' "Love Is a Hurting Thing" and loses the battle and on the Temptations' "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," which is a boring instrumental version. Otherwise, the record is a bit of a lost gem and Collectables deserves praise for digging it up and releasing it in the U.S., as See for Miles had done in the U.K. in 1996. Too bad they didn't put as much care into the sound of the record as See for Miles did, however. It sounds like it was mastered through a wall of cotton wool on some of the songs, "But It's Alright" among them, suffering from wobbly high end that verges on the unlistenable. It's a real pity and ruins an otherwise worthy release.

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