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    Isaac Hayes

    presenting isaac hayes

    Presenting Isaac Hayes ( 1967 )
    Precious, Precious / When I Fall In Love / Medley: I Just Want To Make Love To You/Rock Me Baby / Medley: Going To Chicago Blues/Misty / You Don't Know Like I Know / Precious, Precious (Long Version)

    Stax lost their catalogue to Atlantic, the owner of Stax pulled in all their talents in order to release some 30 singles and 26 albums to be released simultaneously to create something of an instant back-catalogue. This Isaac Hayes release was one, although ended up selling poorly and it seemed as if Isaac wanted a return to the behind the scenes role he had previously occupied, one that had seem him pen a number of hit singles for Sam and Dave, among others. So, 'Presenting Isaac Hayes' it was, a release where time for preperation wasn't exactly generous, so the band improvised a number of tunes and standards. The near-instrumental album opener therefore is all well and nice, if pointless and also immediately indicates a problem with the album. The production values aren't all that great and the arrangements are very skeletal. This does create some interesting crossover in styles however, with 'When I Fall In Love' for example becoming something of a genuine soul/jazz crossover highlighted by Isaac's gentle lead vocal. 'I Just Want To Make Love To You' - the song made famous by Etta James - contains genuine jazz, soul and blues moments too, depending on which part of this nine minute version you're listening to. Again, the sound is a little light and basic and the arrangement loose and sloppy. At one point it seems like prime rhythm and blues and then Isaac wings it, improvising until the songs inconclusive, erm, conclusion.

    'You Don't Know Like I Know' is a highlight here, a very convincing jazz instrumental workout with some great playing and soloing from all involved - let's not forget that Isaac Hayes wasn't primarily a singer at this stage, he was a very talented musician. So, we leave this slightly underwhelming album with a horrendously long, nineteen minute version of the album opener, 'Precious, Precious'. Some truly stupendous piano playing arrives before the seven minute mark at which time the tune just seems to disintegrate and descend into virtual silence for a minute or so. Very jazzy indeed is this extended take on 'Precious, Precious', although it is something of a warts and all recording.

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    this page last updated 26/08/08


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