Album: Aretha Franklin & King Curtis

Live at Fillmore West: Don't Fight the Feeling, ATLANTIC
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The Independent Culture

This four-disc set offers all three of Franklin and Curtis's March 1971 concerts at the Fillmore West, the first time every note and holler has been released. Curtis's Kingpins, an assemblage featuring Bernard Purdie on drums, Jerry Jemmott on bass, Cornell Dupree on guitar and a brass section built on The Memphis Horns, open each night with a blistering "Knock on Wood", followed by standards such as "Whole Lotta Love" and "Whiter Shade of Pale", alongside Curtis's "Soul Serenade" and, of course, "Memphis Soul Stew". Aretha begins with "Respect" taken at a breakneck pace, then a slew of covers: "Love the One You're With", "Make It With You", an uptempo "Eleanor Rigby" featuring Aretha's extemporised chant of "El! El! Eleanor Rigby!", and three versions of "Bridge Over Troubled Water", which she returns to its gospel roots. The nightly climax is provided by lengthy rave-ups of the secular "Dr Feelgood" and devotional "Spirit in the Dark", the latter extended to 26 minutes on the final night after Areth

This four-disc set offers all three of Franklin and Curtis's March 1971 concerts at the Fillmore West, the first time every note and holler has been released. Curtis's Kingpins, an assemblage featuring Bernard Purdie on drums, Jerry Jemmott on bass, Cornell Dupree on guitar and a brass section built on The Memphis Horns, open each night with a blistering "Knock on Wood", followed by standards such as "Whole Lotta Love" and "Whiter Shade of Pale", alongside Curtis's "Soul Serenade" and, of course, "Memphis Soul Stew". Aretha begins with "Respect" taken at a breakneck pace, then a slew of covers: "Love the One You're With", "Make It With You", an uptempo "Eleanor Rigby" featuring Aretha's extemporised chant of "El! El! Eleanor Rigby!", and three versions of "Bridge Over Troubled Water", which she returns to its gospel roots. The nightly climax is provided by lengthy rave-ups of the secular "Dr Feelgood" and devotional "Spirit in the Dark", the latter extended to 26 minutes on the final night after Aretha pulls Ray Charles out of the audience to play and sing along. This set affirms the shows' status as landmarks of soul performance.

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