Review by Tim Sendra
Since the passing of Lou Rawls in early 2006, Capitol has been working overtime to document the singer's career. First was a collection of early jazz and blues recordings, then a two-fer containing two of Rawls' best mid-'60s recordings, and now something that Rawls fans have never had before: a best-of collection that contains the man's hits from the '60s with Capitol and his '70s hits with Philadelphia International. It isn't the definitive collection that listeners deserve, as it skips over his early jazz and blues sides, his late-'60s big-band sessions with Benny Carter, and his '80s recordings on Blue Note — but it is a start. All the big hits are here, like "Dead End Street," "Love Is a Hurtin' Thing," "Your Good Thing (Is About to End)," and his biggest, "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine." Also included is a wide range of tracks that show just how impressive Rawls' gift truly was. Whether he is singing funky gospel ("Trouble Here Below"), smooth soul with a message ("Natural Man"), uptown soul ("You Can Bring Me All Your Heartaches"), disco ("Lady Love"), or lush pop ("Down Here on the Ground"), he sounds definitive and natural, like he could have sung just about anything and made it all his. The Very Best of Lou Rawls: You'll Never Find Another is a very fine introduction to the casual fan and a reminder to everyone that Lou Rawls was a true vocal giant.
Originally shot in September of 1979, this entry in the Prime Concerts series features soul-singer Lou Rawls performing several beloved standards. Lou Rawls: Prime Concerts - In Concert with Edmonton Symphony includes renditions of "It's Been a Long Time," "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine," and more.
From gospel and early R&B to soul and jazz to blues and straight-up pop, Lou Rawls was a consummate master of African-American vocal music whose versatility helped him adapt to the changing musical times over and over again while always remaining unmistakably himself.
From gospel and early R&B to soul and jazz to blues and straight-up pop, Lou Rawls was a consummate master of African-American vocal music whose versatility helped him adapt to the changing musical times over and over again while always remaining unmistakably himself. Blessed with a four-octave vocal range, Rawls' smooth, classy elegance – sort of a cross between Sam Cooke and Nat King Cole – permeated nearly everything he sang, yet the fire of his early gospel days was never too far from the surface…
A smooth, often delightful album that kept Lou Rawls squarely in the love/romantic/mellow circle that he'd been scoring in throughout the late '70s. Gamble and Huff were really trimming the productions and keeping things laid-back and casual, while Rawls' emphatic, smoky vocals carried the day. They weren't getting huge pop hits, but were on the R&B charts steadily, and the album just missed the pop Top 40.
This set combines two of Sonny Rollins' LPs for Impulse Records, There Will Never Be Another You and On Impulse!, both of which were originally issued in 1965. There Will Never Be Another You featured the saxophonist playing a live set (in the rain, apparently) with pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Bob Cranshaw, and Billy Higgins and Mickey Roker on drums. Rollins is in fine form, playing standards including a nearly 17-minute version of the title tune. He wanders off the microphone frequently, though, which is a problem, and it makes this otherwise very nice set less than essential.