Jimmy Witherspoon

Love Is a Five Letter Word

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All one has to do is glance at the instrumentation to quickly realize that this is not a Jimmy Witherspoon date one would recommend to blues purists. With the utilization of such instruments as Pete Wingfield's dated electronics, steel guitar, electric sitar and Johnny Dankworth's electrified alto, plus a string section, the music does not look too promising. Actually, Witherspoon sings in prime form throughout the set and sounds quite strong, but with a few exceptions (such as "Fool's Paradise"), the material is not up to his level and the arrangements are so much of the period that they often come across as corny. A pre-disco R&B set that is closer to Isaac Hayes than to Spoon's roots, this 1997 CD reissue is just a historical curiosity today.

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