Lou Rawls gives a riveting performance on Live!, covering standards from Basie/Rushing's tambourine-jumpin' "Goin' to Chicago" to T-Bone Walker's foot-stompin' "Stormy Monday," and whole lot in between. Each selection is as inviting as the next, featuring Tommy Short on piano solos on some. On finger-snappin' numbers like "In the Evening When the Sun Goes Down" and "I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water," the crooning baritone wails his way through the lyric. The only single to chart from this live set was the moderately paced number "The Shadow of Your Smile," the theme from the movie The Sandpiper. But Rawls loses no steam; he romances the lyric with vehemence. It peaked at 33 on the Billboard R&B charts after only two weeks. (It was the first single to ever chart for Rawls.) For soul-stirrin' blues and swingin' jazz numbers, this is an excellent pick.
by Craig Lytle