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Otis CLAY – Soul Man, Live In Japan 1991

Posted in BLUES, Otis CLAY on December 4, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Otis CLAY – Soul Man, Live In Japan 1991
Recorded live at Yubin Chokin Hall, Tokyo, Japan on October 22, 1983.


Clay has been singing soul music intertwined with gritty blues since 1965, when he crossed over from the gospel world, and his passion hasn’t abated over the years. Yet the Chicagoan’s 1983 performance, with his voice forcing its emotion and his ersatz Otis Redding, 0. V. Wright, and Al Green moves, is of interest to admirers only. Clay’s studio-recorded 1992 release I’ll Treat You (Bullseye Blues CD) is better, though it can’t touch his 1970s I Can’t Take It LP on the Hi label, or his recent gospel sides.
By Frank John Hadley.
Otis Clay sings in front of a devoted Japanese audience and gives the performance of his life. He sticks to the style that made him – raw, passionate, Southern-style soul that sounds like it was born in Memphis. His intense singing shows his gospel roots with His Precious Love included on this disc. Other highlights include Holding On To A Dying Love, and the O.V. Wright song, A Nickel And A Nail. This collection is an excellent overview of his hits. It was recorded in 1983 and has the core of the band that backed up Al Green in the 70’s. A good place to start if you’re new to Otis Clay. There’s no one like him!
By Douglas MacRae.
Thankfully, Otis Clay is an artist who refused to change with the times. When the R&B audience embraced disco and, later, urban contemporary, the hard-edged belter wisely stuck with the type of raw, unapologetically Southern-sounding soul that put him on the map. Though he calls Chicago home, Clay’s approach has always shouted Memphis! in no uncertain terms. A 41-year-old Clay was clearly very much in his prime when this magnificent live date was recorded in 1983. Sparing no passion on such treasures as Holding on to a Dying Love and Al Green’s Here I Am (Come and Take Me), Clay illustrates why his small yet devoted following holds him in such high regard. One of the most pleasant surprises is the ballad Love Don’t Love Nobody. While the Spinners’ excellent hit version boasted a sleek Philly soul production, Clay takes the gem straight to Memphis.
All of Otis Clay’s albums are worth hearing, but this one–a 1983 concert recorded in Tokyo–is not only his masterpiece but one of the best live soul albums since the mid ’60s heyday of the Stax/Volt Revue. Backed by an incredible band (mostly the guys who played on Al Green’s hits), Clay roars through a set that includes a couple of Green tunes that he thoroughly makes his own. He also quotes Sam Cooke to fine effect on the gospel-ish “Precious Precious,” and nearly convinces the audience that he’s the second coming of Otis Redding. This is an essential album for any soul music collection.
Otis Clay- (Vocals);
Mabon “Teenie” Hodges- (Guitar);
Henri “Hank” Ford- (Tenor Sax, Background Vocals);
Paul Howard- (Trumpet, Background Vocals);
Bill McFarland- (Trombone, Background Vocals);
Charles Hodges- (Organ);
Dedrick Blanchard- (Keyboards);
Leroy Hodges- (Bass);
Howard Grimes- (Drums).
01. Hard Working Woman 6:04
02. Here I Am (Come And Take Me) 6:31
03. Love Don’t Love Nobody 8:14
04. A Nickel And A Nail 5:05
05. Precious Precious 13:49
06. Holding On To A Dying Love 5:12
07. His Precious Love 6:41
08. Love And Happiness/Soul Man 13:33

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