This CD of two of Little Milton's classic, early-'60s titles for the Checker label, We're Gonna Make it and Sings Big Blues, features a nice variety of blues material and some stellar arrangements. Towering above it all, though, is Milton's powerful voice: a solid combination of gospel intensity and fluid phrasing that sprang from Roy Brown, moved through B.B. King, and found its way to both Bobby Bland and Milton, among others. The program features one of Milton's biggest hits "Were Gonna Make It" and other uptempo, blues-soul hybrids, like "Who's Cheating Who?" and "Can't Hold Back the Tears" (all benefiting from Milton's fine, sinewy guitar lines). On more traditional, yet vibrant blues cuts, Milton shows off his tremendous vocal control, seamlessly alternating between soft, earnest tones and guttural shouts on "Blind Man" and expertly blending jazz and blues phrasing on "I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town." Rounding out the set are some fine blues and soul covers, including B.B. King's "Sweet Sixteen," Lowell Fulson's "Reconsider Baby," James Brown's "Please, Please, Please," and Milton's reconfiguration of Guitar Slim's "Well I Done Got Over It" ("Ain't No Big Deal on You"). Everything is held together nicely by some of the most tasteful and tight arrangements you'll hear on a blues album, compliments of Phil Wright and tenor saxophonist James Carter. This two album CD is a great bargain when in print and a worthwhile purchase even if you already have one of Milton's career retrospectives from Chess.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook