Live at the Summit Club is a live album by Johnnie Taylor, recorded in 1972.
This was one of the performances featured in the documentary film Wattstax to commemorate the Watts race riots.
Johnnie Taylor is little known in the UK compared to soul legends like Otis Redding and Sam Cooke. That’s a shame because this is a vintage performance.
In fact he is steeped in soul history in the United States. In the early 1950s he used to sing with Sam Cooke and then replaced him in the Soul Stirrers gospel group. Cooke signed him to his label in the early 1960s but it collapsed after Cooke’s death. Taylor then became a leading artist for Stax.
My Rating – 27/30 Highly Recommended
Average Amazon Customer Ratings – %%AVERAGERATING%% Stars
Songs On Johnnie Taylor Live at the Summit Club
Introduction by Rufus Thomas – 0:39
Take Care Of Your Homework – 4:54
Little Bluebird – 7:09
Steal Away (Version 1) – 6:21
I Don’t Wanna Lose You – 6:28
Who’s Making Love – 4:54
Hello Sundown – 9:32
Steal Away (Version 2) – 8:20
Stop Doggin’ Me – 6:32
Jody’s Got Your Girl And Gone – 9:04
I give the set list a rating of 8/10. At 63 minutes long, it’s shorter than I’d like and it includes two versions of the same song, Steal Away.
Taylor is an excellent singer with a really good voice. It’s quite a band he’s got with him although this was not his normal touring group. It includes female backing singers, horns including some soulful sax and a funky rhythm section. I’ve read criticisms that the band sound a little lost in places but I didn’t notice., They lay down an excellent groove that makes you want to move your body. I give the performance a rating of 9/10.
This concert is played in a small, intimate venue and Taylor works the crowd hard and has a lot of fun. I’m sure that everyone there came out testifying about this excellent concert. This is packed with atmosphere but it’s never overdone. I give it a 10/10 rating for atmosphere and authenticity.
This is a very good example of live, sweaty, passionate soul with plenty of funk included. It deserves to be much better known.My overall rating of 27/30 confirms it as one of the best ever live soul albums.
If this sounds interesting, I recommend that you take the time to listen to the mp3 samples.
The short version of Jody’s Got Your Girl And Gone from Wattstax.
Buying Johnnie Taylor Live at the Summit Club
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