Monday, June 05, 2006

The Two-Voice Gospel

Johnnie Morisette - I Know It Was Your Love

"Two-Voice" Johnnie Morisette was an associate of Sam Cooke's who, when he was not busy being a pimp, was a great blues-bent singer known for being able to leap into falsetto when needed. As an artist for Sam's SAR concern he hit with "Meet Me At The Twistin' Place" (later recorded by Sam as "Meet Me At Mary's Place"), which featured some pretty inspired ad libs ("Uncle Remus will be there!"). When SAR folded after Sam's death, Morisette recorded sporadically for several labels in styles ranging from blues to funk. Today's selection was a 1970 single for Checker in which Morisette takes the spiritual "I Know It Was The Blood" and turns it into an appreciation for the song's subject. In addition to Morisette's good singing (he moves into "Two Voice" mode by the end), the song features a good jazzy-funk groove from the Chess house band, which lays low until well into the third chorus, at which time they open up. It's a great tune.

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