Preston Love

Omaha Bar-B-Q

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Saxophonist Preston Love was far more associated with the early sounds of West Coast R&B in the 1940s and 1950s than he was with modern soul-funk. However, he, like numerous other R&B vets, actually did make some recordings in a much more modern style that have been relatively ignored. By the time this CD came out in 2001 early funk was undergoing a renaissance among collectors, spurring the reissue of Love's rare 1969 LP. Helping Love out on this collection of instrumental soul-funk tunes were the legendary Johnny Otis on piano and vibraphone, Clifford Soloman on tenor sax, and, on one of his earliest recordings, legendary guitarist (and son of Johnny Otis) Shuggie Otis, just 14 years of age when this was made. It's a good, though not great, set of instrumentals that bubble along nicely, with both grit and jazzy accents. Shuggie Otis' bluesy playing is already stinging and imaginative at this point, sometimes with a slightly distorted wah-wah edge that gives the R&B-based jams a late-1960s feel, and, in fact, he and his father co-wrote most of the material. On "Cream Dream," the sounds take on a slightly psychedelic hue, with the combination of underwater bubbling noises and way-in-the-background flute by Love. It's a nice record, though quite brief at just 28 minutes.

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