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Kooper, Al: Black Coffee

Just like a fine wine, Al stashed himself in the cellar for a while (first solo album since 1976!!!!) and is now ready for consumption, full bodied and oh so mature. Al has of course still been around producing and guesting on all manner of diverse projects over those almost thirty years but his voice and swagger has been missed! Al has put together a crackerjack backup unit to aid and abet him on this rootsy, varied and interesting release. There are down hope swampy tunes like "Am I Wrong" featuring a solo Al self accompanied on acoustic instruments ranging through full blown horn-charted Muscle Shoals like extravaganzas. Al is certainly much underrated as a bonafide picker of acoustic string instruments like dobro and mandolin. His smoky vocals are also just perfect for these tunes which are backstopped by the "Funky Faculty" Bob Doezema guitars, Tom Stein bass, Larry Finn drums, Jeff Stout and Daryl Lowey on horns and the fabulous "Black Coffee" backup vocalists.

The highlights are too numerous to mention but just listen to Al's swirling live B3 take on the classic "Green Onions" or Smokey Robinson's "Get Ready, the man is a musician with a capital M!! Al has been away for far too long let's hope we don't have to wait another thirty years for the next solo release. This is indispensable stuff. Kudos to Steve Vai and Favored Nations for getting this incomparable artist back out there where he belongs.

Track Listing
1. My Hands Are Tied
2. Am I Wrong
3. How My Ever Gonna Get Over You
4. Going, Going, Gone
5. Keep It To Yourself
6. Get Ready
7. Imaginary Lover
8. Green Onions(Live)
9. Another Man's Prize
10. Childish Love
11. Got My Ion Hue
12. Just For A Thrill
13. Comin' BackIn A Cadillac (Live)
14. (I Want You To) Tell Me The Truth

Added: September 20th 2005
Reviewer: Mike Blackburn
Related Link: Favored Nations
Hits: 2274
Language: english

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