This is a 2014 Light in the Attic reissue of a 1969 Ode records release. The project originally produced by the legendary Lou Adler, contains 10 tracks of Bob Dylan composed classics performed by The Brothers and Sisters.
The playing time totals 37 minutes, which by today's standards would be considered more of an EP then an LP.
The material was recorded at SRS in Hollywood, considered one of the top tier West Coast recording studios. The session was arranged and conducted by Gene Page, who also played a prominent role on piano. Mr. Page's professional reputation is well earned, having worked on more then 200 gold and platinum albums.
Armin Steiner, the Sound Engineer, worked on over 100 gold and platinum albums. In recent decades, Mr. Steiner expanded his musical career acting as the scoring engineer for countless major film soundtracks.
The session musicians were simply the best gospel/soul artists available, of special note, was the organist, Evelyn Freeman (Ernie Freeman's sister). She was an extremely talented gospel artist. Her 1958 Bell-Canto records release of" Didn't It Rain" is legendary within the music industry. The 1964 United Artist re-release of this tune went on to become a major hit throughout Western Europe, particularly in London and Paris.
Five decades later, it remains a cult favorite in dance clubs throughout Eastern Europe.
The vocalists, eight male and twenty females, were the top gospel/soul/ R&B singers on the planet. Examples include, Billy Storm who had already established his credentials with the R&B super group "The Valients". Jesse Kirkland continued to release successful solo albums with major labels as Columbia, ABC and A&M records. Chester Pipkin co-w rote the soul hit"Love is in the Air". He also co-founded the group"Africa" with Billy Storm. The group recorded and released the legendary album,"Music from Lil Brown".
Carolyn Willis, Shelly Clarke and Edna Wright (Darlene Love's sister) went on to create the wildly successful R&B group "Honey Cone". Clydie King, Merry Clayton and many other of the" Sisters" build their reputations ,through the decades, as in demand backup singers for major artists both in the studio and on tour.
These Bob Dylan compositions contained on this CD readily lends itself to a gospel/soul interpretation. The arrangements are brilliant and the vocals are both fiery and passionate.
Some examples include Merry Clayton's "The Mighty Quinn" and Edna Wright's soulful rendition of" Lay Lady Lay".
Gloria Jones sexy and soulful voice brings"I'll be your Baby Tonight" to a level even the composer may not have conceived. The musicians, featured vocalists and mighty chorus all conspire to elevate Dylan's work to a new musical plateau.
Gratitude should be extended to Matt Sullivan for his re-release production efforts and to Jessica Hunley for her extensive and thorough liner notes.