Yes, Jackie Lee was a one-shot artist. But in the wake of his soul-dance smash "The Duck," he did quite a bit of recording for the Mirwood label, even if his association with the company didn't last too long. The Mirwood Records Masters is a comprehensive collection of those mid-'60s Mirwood recordings, the 28 tracks featuring all of his 1965-1966 singles for the label, as well as his 1965 LP and a few outtakes and cuts with alternate vocals. "The Duck" is a fun song to hear on a various-artists compilation, but this much Lee from the same era at once is really the territory of soul specialists. Frankly, much of it's rather samey-sounding, slightly pop-oriented mid-'60s soul with a strong dance beat, often showing substantial influence from the Motown records of the time that ploughed a similar field, though without quite crossing over into blatant imitation. Squeezing mileage out of a hit with a similar formula happens often in pop history, but in Lee's case it was something of a shame as he occasionally proved himself a pretty capable singer of other soul styles. For instance, "Send for Me, I'll Be There," the 1965 single he put out under the name Earl Cosby, is a decent Sam Cooke-styled ballad, and "Trust Me" proves he could handle uptempo soul that wasn't in a more generic sub-Motown style. Overall, however, this isn't one of the more varied anthologies of a soul singer with a big hit under his belt that you'll come across. Note that, to be technical, this doesn't have everything Lee did for Mirwood, since the singles "Your P-E-R-S-O-N-A-L-I-T-Y" and "Oh, My Darlin'" are represented by takes with alternate vocals.
The Mirwood Records Masters Review
by Richie Unterberger
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|12||Jackie Lee feat: Delores Hall||02:57||Amazon|
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