Monday, July 21, 2008

Deep Soul, Mark 1973

Kim Tolliver - Medley (I Need You - Drop Whatever You're Doing)

One of the most-awaited reissues of this year was the late Kim Tolliver's Come and Get Me I'm Ready, her 1973 LP for Chess. Despite solid material - songwriter/producer Freddie Briggs was her husband - and solid performances by Kim, Chess elected to release no 45s and the album drifted into obscurity. John Ridley, who had a hand in the reissue, has a write-up about Tolliver on the Sir Shambling site that I'll defer to for more details about Kim.

Although every track on the album is stellar, my personal favorite is "Medley (I Need You - Drop Whatever You're Doing)." The tune starts off with a "cinematic soul" opening that would not be out of place in a blaxploitation soundtrack, complete with swirling strings, chanted lines from the background singers, and Tolliver providing falsetto embellishments along the way. After a couple of minutes of this, however, the tune shifts gear, slowing down and settling into a mid-tempo groove over which Kim most effectively delivers the message of the song. This is "sho' 'nuff" soul despite the 1973 influences, and in a perfect world it would've been, in my opinion, a hit record had it received 45 release.

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