This absolutely packed King Curtis
best-of covers the meat and potatoes soul saxophonist's years with Capitol Records (1963-1964), which came after his original period with Atco and playing with the Coasters
(from 1958-1962) and previous to his signing with Atlantic (1965 until his death in 1971), with the Atlantic years being the period in which he gained most of his fame. That said, the two years he spent with Capitol, as evidenced here, were fruitful ones in a big way. The astonishing detail is that the vast majority of these cuts were issued only as singles, and were widely distributed in record shops, juke joints, bowling alleys, drugstore lunch counters and corner barroom jukeboxes all over urban America. These cuts are drenched in sweet soul and pure gritty R&B, from the garagey "Soul Twist" and the honking "Night Train" to a ramped up reading of Horace Silver
's "Sister Sadie" and a fine reading of Cornell Dupree
's "Soul Twine" -- with a healthy dose of reverb on the sax -- to a true boogie-down-funky version of Herbie Hancock
's "Watermelon Man." This is King Curtis
without the strings that would be pasted all over his Atlantic studio sides, and, if you can find it, is a worthy addition to your collection.