Here is an ongoing excavation of R&B and soul history. Hunter’s fluid piano yielded the slow-dance classic ”Since I Met You Baby” and lots of workmanlike blues; saxophonist Curtis filled the ’60s with chords they would have called phat if the term had existed then. Willis was smooth, charming, but not quite the balladeer he fancied himself. By far the most consistent and varied of these collections is Mercy Mercy, on which songwriter Covay proves his ordinary-guy voice was fully capable of detailing the pleasures in the hits he wrote for Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, and many others. Mercy Mercy: A Instant Soul: B+ Stroll On: B Since I Met You Baby: B-
Posted March 3 2000 — 12:00 AM EST
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