The cover to Late Late Party, a snapshot of Packy Axton, Don Nix and Steve Cropper looking sharp and bequiffed outside Satellite Records in Memphis in March 1961, packs a powerful nostalgic punch.
Satellite was run by Jim Stewart and his sister, Packy's mum Estelle, who transformed it into Stax Records, following the success of "Last Night" by Packy's band The Mar-Keys. The rest is history – a history poor Packy was written out of when his penchant for liquor became too much of a stumbling-block, leading to his demise in 1974. But his honking tenor sax lives on in the handful of (mostly booze-themed) R&B instrumentals collected here, such as The Martinis' "Holiday Cheer" and "Hung Over", and the lock-tight grooves of The Pac-Keys' "Dig In" and "Hip Pocket", a match for any Memphis Group.
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