KING CURTIS

RnB / Hard Bop / Blues • United States
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KING CURTIS picture
Saxophonist, songwriter and producer. Born 7 February 1934 in Fort Worth, Texas, died murdered by junkies on 13 August 1971 in New York, New York.

Succesful both as a solo artist -best known for his 1967 hit Memphis Soul Stew- as well as a session musician and producer. Curtis mainly played and composed rhythm and blues or soul but also some Rock and roll and great bop or soul jazz. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

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Thanks to snobb for the addition and js for the updates

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KING CURTIS Discography

KING CURTIS albums / top albums

KING CURTIS Have Tenor Sax, Will Blow album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Have Tenor Sax, Will Blow
RnB 1959
KING CURTIS The New Scene Of King Curtis (aka King Soul!) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The New Scene Of King Curtis (aka King Soul!)
Hard Bop 1960
KING CURTIS Soul Meeting album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Soul Meeting
Hard Bop 1960
KING CURTIS Old Gold album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Old Gold
RnB 1961
KING CURTIS It's Party Time With King Curtis album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
It's Party Time With King Curtis
RnB 1962
KING CURTIS Trouble in Mind (aka That's Alright) album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Trouble in Mind (aka That's Alright)
RnB 1962
KING CURTIS Soul Serenade album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Soul Serenade
RnB 1964
KING CURTIS King Size Soul album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
King Size Soul
RnB 1967
KING CURTIS Sweet Soul album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sweet Soul
RnB 1968
KING CURTIS Instant Groove album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Instant Groove
RnB 1969
KING CURTIS Get Ready album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Get Ready
RnB 1970
KING CURTIS Everybody's Talkin' album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Everybody's Talkin'
RnB 1972

KING CURTIS EPs & splits

KING CURTIS live albums

KING CURTIS Live at Fillmore West album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Live at Fillmore West
RnB 1971
KING CURTIS Blues At Montreux  ( with Champion Jack Dupree) album cover 4.48 | 4 ratings
Blues At Montreux ( with Champion Jack Dupree)
Blues 1973

KING CURTIS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

KING CURTIS re-issues & compilations

KING CURTIS Instant Soul album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Instant Soul
RnB 1994
KING CURTIS Night Train album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Night Train
RnB 1995
KING CURTIS The Best of King Curtis album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of King Curtis
RnB 1996
KING CURTIS King Curtis Plays the Great Memphis Hits / King Size Soul album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
King Curtis Plays the Great Memphis Hits / King Size Soul
RnB 1998
KING CURTIS The Platinum Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Platinum Collection
RnB 2007

KING CURTIS singles (0)

KING CURTIS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

KING CURTIS Reviews

KING CURTIS Live at Fillmore West

Live album · 1971 · RnB
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Rokukai
This record takes me back a long way. DW's first put on The Allman Bros. "You Don't Love Me" into "Soul Serenade" off the Dreams box set--the one where Duane does the King Curtis intro. After that rousing event, Danny said "Now let's listen to 'Live At Fillmore West'". I was blown away.

At 15, this was a life altering event for me and certainly clouds my judgement on this particular set. As non-biased as I can, I'd say at worst "Live at Fillmore West" is a fantastic live R and B album. At best, it's a deserved R and B and jazz masterpiece. Curtis and his crack band (WOW we've got Cornell Dupree, Jerry Jemmott, Billy Preston, Bernard Purdie, Pancho Morales, Truman Thomas--an all star band) are in superb form on his hits (Memphis Soul Stew and Soul Serenade) sandwiching 7 top-notch covers of overdone hits for others (Whiter Shade of Pale, Signed Sealed Delivered, Them Changes, Ode to Billie Joe etc.). Awesome stuff from a supremely gifted artist whose life was tragically cut short.

One highlight for me on "Live at Fillmore West", and one of my favorite moments in recorded music history, is Billy Preston's solo on "Whiter Shade of Pale". His organ bleeds so much soul it's enough to bring one to tears.

"I Stand Accused" is another memorable 6 minutes with a great rap intro.

KING CURTIS Blues At Montreux ( with Champion Jack Dupree)

Live album · 1973 · Blues
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Matt
More so a Champion Jack Dupree album than King Curtis but no matter as music really does not get much better than this Live recording which came about unintentionally as Jack was only at the Festival playing his solo barrel-house Blues piano and King Curtis was actually supporting the head-liner Aretha Franklin with his stunning saxophone contributions. Neshi Ertegun from Atlantic was in the bar at the Montreux Casino with Joel Dorn, Champion Jack Dupree and of course King Curtis and the idea was floated for the King and Jack to do a set together for the Festival. Different style of musicians is noted on the album cover but not really as the Blues is the basis for all that Jazz and R&B that King Curtis played anyway. King Curtis was a wonderful saxophonist and was in hot demand and had made 26 albums under his own name by this period with "Yackety Yak" which he did with The Coasters giving him his first break. King Curtis could play Jazz without a problem but he knew that Jazz was not going to give him the return that he received by playing all those Pop and Country hits and he did state himself "I wanted to hit the public's pulse, to play what they could understand and enjoy" which he sure did. Champion Jack Dupree was New Orleans born, never learned to read music but learnt to play by ear from an early age which is not surprising when he was brought up in an orphanage having lost both his parents in a fire. Blues is usually played in bar sequences with the number 12 often being the main one but Jack being self taught does not really pay that much heed with his count on piano but this is one of the reasons for his appeal with although a lack of training this does stamp Jack's music as his own, making it a beautifully rough distinct style of piano based Blues. It has been ten years since his last recording at Atlantic Records with "Champion Of The Blues" being the album but Jack Dupree had been around a long time before that with many recordings that were originally recorded with Okeh during the early 1940's. and his masterpiece "Blues From The Gutter" which was actually released in 1958 by Atlantic.

Talking about "Blue's From The Gutter" it is the song "Junker's Blues" taken from the album which gets the show underway by Jack putting down a bit of Boogie Woogie piano with King Curtis and band following with a quick spoken word introduction concerning the tune from Jack about reefers with their ups and downs in life with a laconic humorous approach that only a Southern Blues man can deliver but the slow groove that the band maintains is superb with some great work from King Curtis with his alto gargling at times during his solo and the beautiful blues bounce from Jack's piano on this classic number. That blues bounce is back even at a quicker tempo for "Sneaky Pete" with Boogie Woogie just pushing it all along with King Curtis putting down some terrific solo sax bits in between Jack's comments and he really hits one riding groove to just keep things interesting in between and not only that remember the band has to keep one ear on Jack's piano count and this material was not even rehearsed for the show with masterful being only the word to desribe King Curtis and band. It just keeps boogie-ing along with the next "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" and does the King give it to us with his sax on this one with one beautiful blues solo with the band in full swing right behind him but yes there is more when Cornell comes in on lead guitar with Jack's piano flicking in and out to lead us to his own great little tinkler.

That was just side one of the record with things staying in full swing for the flip with "Get With It" which is followed by "Poor Boy's Blues" being the big slow blues with Jack singing "I'm just a poor boy a long way from home" I ain't got nobody to teach me right from wrong" of course with a blues repitition and amongst all this slow build up Jack keeps singing that "he keeps on drinking like a fool" and King Curtis just powers through with that saxophone during his superb blues solo. Jack gets right back into the full swing boogie for "I'm Having Fun' which is what Jack is doing in this little rough diamond of a song to finish of this great spontaneous set that was recorded back in 1971 at some Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

This is fresh, rough, has the odd muck-up but it only makes things more authentic with Roots being the source for this wonderful distinct Blues album. This is not Chicago Blues with all it sharp lead guitar and harp breaks but primarily piano, saxophone with just a little tasty lead guitar at times thrown in from Cornell Dupree. Essential music and it does not get much better than this with a New Orleans influence of course.

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