Friday, September 10, 2010

Little Milton's Stax'd Best

After the sale of Chess to GRT and its eventual demise, the best place for Little Milton was to join the Stax where he produced several albums before that legendary label also folded. Milton may be best known for this Chess/Checker recordings as well as the Malaco recordings after Stax folded. But its clear listening to the reissue “The Very Best of Little Milton,” this was as musically fertile a period of his recording career as any.

And checking out some of the titles he recorded for Stax shows why. Among the classics he recorded for Stax were “That’s What Love Will Make You Do,” “Walking the Back Streets and Crying,” and ”Little Bluebird.” Then he made his own renditions of songs associated with others like “Tin Pan Alley,” or “Women Across the River,” and place his own stamp on them. And perhaps the most classic in this vein was his interpretation of Charlie Rich’s country hit, “Behind Closed Doors,” but given Rich’s strong ties to Southern blues and soul, it is no surprise his songs translated so well when handled by a strong soulful blues performance by Milton.

Milton’s impassioned vocals and strong guitar playing is matched by typically fine backing, from among others, The Memphis Horns, and the use of strings is complementary, not syrupy here. This is a strong compilation of one of the true blues masters who passed away too young.

For purposes of FTC regulations, I do not remember if I received a review copy of this or purchased this.

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