Chuck Jackson

Tribute to Rhythm and Blues

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Chuck Jackson and his touring band (led by Bobby Scott on tenor sax) rolled into the Wand/Scepter Records studio in 1966 to cut an album that was decidedly different than their usual fare. While Jackson's best-known sides, such as "I Don't Want to Cry" and "Any Day Now," were slickly produced efforts that found him backed by the cream of New York's session musicians, for Tribute to Rhythm and Blues Jackson and his crew knocked out a set of covers of soul hits of the day with the tunes cut essentially live in the studio, without an official producer in attendance. The result was one of the funkiest and most soulful albums of Jackson's career; the singer revealed a degree of grit and guts that he didn't usually allow himself in the studio, and while all the tunes on board were made famous by other performers (except the opening instrumental), Jackson managed to bring something of his own to each number. The lighthearted vibe of Lee Dorsey's "Ya Ya" and "Get Out of My Life, Woman" becomes heavier and more rueful in Jackson's hands, his take on Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come" is deeply emotional, and "Quarter to Three" is changed from an homage to a party out of bounds to a very fine woman. While Chuck Jackson is usually regarded as one of the more pop-oriented voices in the golden age of soul, this album demonstrates he was capable of tougher stuff when he was given the chance.

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