KING CURTIS — Live at Fillmore West (review)

KING CURTIS — Live at Fillmore West album cover Live album · 1971 · RnB Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
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.

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