Boots Randolph

Sweet Talk

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This is a quick taste of the country & western saxophonist's work from the initial phase of his career; the tunes go by in a snap not only because of their listener-friendly, unpretentious, and relaxed attitude, but because the record itself only features enough material for one side, not two. With a few hits under his belt, Boots Randolph was probing into new areas as well as trying to provide the type of material that had already won him a solid fan base well outside the cowboy hat crowd. Completely devoid of any information about the sessions or the other players involved, this album contains two of Randolph's better originals, the funky "Red Light" and "Little Big Horn," the latter tune possessing a groove so catchy it might have even turned General George Custer into a dancer rather than a fighter. The album title might be trying to indicate some kind of development from the "Yakety Sax" or more extreme "Cacklin' Sax" sound to something more mellow, a direction that works best on the pretty "Estrellita." RCA studio honcho Chet Atkins helps out with a tune entitled "Difficult," which could be a summation of the chances of getting someone else other than him to play guitar on your RCA session back then. "Greenback Dollar," a cornball folky number that was absolutely ruined by the Kingston Trio, is revitalized nicely by the honking saxman and his studio crew. "The Happy Whistler" is completely corny, and thus most likely to be the first track to get worn out from overplay.

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