Booker T & The MGs/Mar-Keys - Stax Instrumentals

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Stax
Catalog Number: SCD-8609-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 58:56:00

Twenty-five great instrumental tracks finally get the dust blown off and are seeing the light of day for the first time with this extraordinary release on Stax (Fantasy Jazz). This collection offers further evidence that the label and its impressive roster of musicians created timeless music that has served as both a benchmark for styles and techniques across the board in sound and musical production.

I feel very strongly that this music was a precursor to jazz-rock fusion. With the combination of rock, jazz, blues, rhythm & blues and blues, it is obvious to me that this was surely the first kind of modern rock oriented fusion music to take shape.

Booker T. & The MGs and The Mar-Keys had many of the same musicians. That does not come as a revelation because Stax and their strong stable of artists gained their well-known reputation for playing on every record the label ever recorded. The bands would later receive accolades both with their respective bands and individually.

This music, recorded in the early '60's, and subsequently forgotten for what seems like an eternity now, is finally available for our listening gratification. Even though all of these tracks are strong, it never came off the shelf. No doubt, the label most likely looked at the songs as not being viable ?single? material. I do not think the recordings took aim at that market anyway, which is understandable as the creative process was a carefree jam style approach with no deadlines imposed on the recording sessions, which really had no particular structure to start with. Steve Cropper commented that they had a lot of fun and there was no pressure and that is why it sounds so happy. It really does sound happy, and it all is such a joy to hear.

The liner notes that accompany this CD are splendid, giving eye-opening detail of the techniques and equipment used for the sessions. This is a must-have CD of over 64 minutes of instrumental paradise. If you enjoy instrumental music that is multi-crossover, this CD will be welcomed in your stereo time after time.

Let's Go* (2:21) / Good Groove* (2:52) / Candy** (2:45) / Peppy (2:02) / Slidin'* (2:43) / Put a Label An It* (2:03) / Raw-Hide** (1:54) / Gigglin'** (2:17) / Jazzy* (2:07) / Weird Stomp* (2:39) / Made In Memphis** (2:48) / Soul Twist ** (2:48) / Funky Folks Cha Cha* (3:32) / Tick Tac Toe (alternate take)* (3:34) / Settle Down** (2:08) / Blue Peanut** (2:50) / Ain't* (2:54) / Lawn Party* (2:45) / Tighten Up** (2:06) / Saucy** (2:36) / Consumption* (2:52) / Three Leaf Clover* (2:24) / Sassy** (2:10) / The Floyd*** (2:03) / The Bo Vitch* (2:13)

* = performed by Booker T & The MGs, ** = performed by the Mar-Keys, *** performed by the Mar-Keys and Floyd Newman

Booker T & The MGs:
Steve Cropper - guitar
Booker T Jones - organ
Al Jackson - drums
Lewis Steinberg - bass
Donald "Duck" Dunn - bass

The Mar-Keys:
Steve Cropper - guitar
Don Nix - sax
Charles Axton - sax
Donald "Duck" Dunn - bass
Terry Johnston - drums
Jerry Lee "Smoochie" Smith - piano
Wayne Jackson ? trumpet

Booker T...:
Green Onions (1962)
Soul Dressing (1965)
In The Christmas Spirit (1966)
And Now ... Booker T. And The MGS (1966)
Hip Hug-Her (1967)
Doin' Our Thing (1968)
Soul Limbo (1968)
Uptight (1968)
Get Ready (1968)
The Best Of Booker T & The MGs (1968)
McLemore Avenue (1970)
Greatest Hits (1970)
Melting Pot (1971)
Evergreen (1975)
Memphis Sound (1975)
Union Extended (1976)
Universal Language (1977)
That's The Way It Should Be (1994)
The Very Best Of Booker T. & The MGS (1994)
Play The Hip Hits (1995)
Booker In Paris (1996) Time Is Tight (1998)
The Essentials (2002)
Stax Instrumentals (2003)
Soul Men (2003)

The Mar-Keys: The Last Night! (1961/2002)
Do The Pop-Eye (1962/2002)
The Great Memphis Sound (1966)
Back To Back (1967)
Mellow Jelly (1968)
Damifiknow! (1969/1994)
Memphis Horns (1970)
Memphis Experience (1971/1994)
High On Music (1976)
Stax Instrumentals (2003)

Genre: Other

Origin US

Added: June 15th 2003
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck
Artist website:
Hits: 1515
Language: english


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