Saturday, October 09, 2010

Otis Redding's Live Show Dazzled L.A.

Its been over forty years since Otis Redding perished in a tragic plane crash. One of the stars of the R&B circuit, Redding was starting to become a major cross-over artist at the time of his death. He had toured Europe and was a major sensation at the Monterey Pop Festival. The future was looking bright when tragedy struck with a plane crash after a Cleveland, ohio appearance. After his death, besides the release of his biggest recording, “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay,” Atlantic issued “In Person At the Whiskey Au Go Go,” which presented ten performances from a 1966 stint at the famed Hollywood Club (Taj Mahal and the Rising Sons were the opening act). Another dish of Otis from this engagement appeared on LP and then CD. Now Concord has issued a double CD of the last three sets from Otis’ Whiskey appearance, “Live on the Sunset Strip” (Stax). Liner notes by Ashley Kahn provide the context for Otis and his band (that included Katie Webster on keyboards).

With respect to Otis Redding, the music is terrific. What can I say. There are any number of staples of his repertoire from “These Arms of Mine,” I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” the Stones’ “Satisfaction,” “I Can’t Turn You Loose,” “Respect,” and “Mr. Pitiful.” Some of these songs are heard in several renditions like “Satisfaction,” and “Chained & Bound,” and with his strong band, he tears things up. I presume that much of this was issued on the prior two live recordings, but there are some previously unissued tracks, and this reissue presents the compelling performances in the order in was heard by the audience. Over four decades later, Otis Redding’s music remains as gripping as when he performed on the Whiskey’s stage. Obviously those having the earlier reissues may not need this, but others who love “Sweet Soul Music,” will want this.

This was received from the publicity person handling this release.

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