Recorded in 1962 with most of the same band that made Soul Clinic, Hank Crawford turns in a simmering, deep soul performance that draws in equal parts from Ray Charles' R&B, James Moody's blues and Duke Ellington's swing. Accompanied by Texas tenor giant David "Fathead" Newman, baritone saxophonist Leroy Cooper, trumpeters John Hunt and Phil Guilbeau, bassist Edgar Willis and drummer Bruno Carr (with Sonny Forrest on guitar on three tracks), Crawford follows the soul-blues Muse into the night on this set. His four originals, including "Stoney Lonesome," "The Peeper" and "Sherri," are high points, so are his readings of Percy Mayfield's classic "But on the Other Hand," and Charles' "Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand." The bookends on the set are the Unger-Bernie-Johnson blues finger-popper "Don't Cry Baby" and the elegant, melancholy ballad "What Will I Tell My Heart." From the Heart features Crawford digging deep into the Memphis tradition for expression. His own playing is exceptional as is that of Newman. These solos are as notable for their restraint in the service of melody as they are for their depth of expression. This is an early highpoint for Crawford.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek