Sunday, 22 February 2009

Booker T. Jones - I Want You - 1981 - A+M

Michael Stokes was firing on all cylinders in the early 1980s, and his work with legendary Stax artist Booker T. Jones was no exception. The uptempo and ballad material on here really are magnificent and I am sure that many a modern dance floor would still heave to a few items of choonage on here, and the ballads enough to ruffle up the most satin of sheets. This LP was made available on CD in 2002 but is, sadly, unavailable now and when it does pop up on the likes of eBay commands a king's ransom. I'm not surprised either. Check out the hot dancer, "Don't Stop Your Love" below and see why this should be getting some serious airplay, even today. Quality always persists and stomping dance tracks of this caliber prove that assertion right time after time after time. Another strong dance floor groove comes in the form of "Power In Your Love", an explosive string-laden effort with more than a familiarity with the Emotions' "Best Of My Love" in the detail of the groove. These are great tracks, and complimented by the slower dance groove of "You're The Best" which should get a few creaking old bones and more wee timorous beasties such as myself at least on the very edge of the dance floor!

You know me, folks, for ballads and stuff, and the three ballads to burn a hole in your bedsheets and set the bed alight. The Sam Dees penned "Prized Possession" is simply luxuriant. The swirling strings, Fender Rhodes piano and Booker's more smooth vocal approach add up to a bubbling pot of super-sexy soul. Fans of Tyrone Davis a la "Leave Well Enough Alone" or "(Love) Ain't Over There" will melt when they hear this. However, this is not the best of the sexy trio, not by a long chalk. Check out the unbelievable "Treasure Chest", complete with a solo Jerry Hey styled trumpet, harp and swirling strings. If heaven could be l;aid down on vinyl then here it is. What a genius Michael Stokes is. Thankfully my final choice has been included on the recent Leon Ware and Friends" compilation so there's no reason you cannot lay your hands on it here. "I Came To Love You" is, unsurprisingly, a joint collaboration with Leon Ware and is just knockout. Those strings and Rhodes are a dream. What I call this material is "sophistisoul" - sophisticated Soul. Mega rare, mega expensive BUT a mandatory purchase.

Barry Towler

The Vibe Scribe

Buy Rare Booker T CDs and LPs at MusicStack

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