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By Mark Barry
HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
"Lost Masterpiece", "Forgotten Classic", "...An Album You Must Hear Before You Die" - take your pick, because 1972's "Occasional Rain" genuinely fits them all - it really does.
Hailing out of Chicago and a childhood pal of Curtis Mayfield, Terry Callier had put out only 1 album before this called "The New Folk Sound Of..." on US Prestige in early 1965. It did little business. Session years then went by until his signing to the Chess offshoot label Cadet, where he made 3 albums with legendary producer and writer CHARLES STEPNEY - the other two albums are "What Color Is Love" (1973) and "I Just Can't Help Myself" (1974) which are equally good - especially "Color".
Charles Stepney is another big name in small circles - a hero of sorts for soul lovers. He was involved in The Rotary Connection with Minnie Riperton, produced four albums with The Dells and even twiddled the knobs on the iconic and now much-vaulted psych-blues-fusion album "Electric Mud" by Muddy Waters. I'd personally scour down anything he had a hand in...a genius...
Two other words printed on the back inlay beneath the CD also give this reissue the edge - GAVIN LURSSEN. He's an American sound engineer and I've sung his praises before (see separate reviews for "Gold" by THE CRUSADERS and "Careless" by STEPHEN BISHOP). Lurssen has just short of 900 mastering, remastering and audio restoration credits to his name (Universal, Hip-O Select) - his work stretches back decades, so he knows his way around a master tape or two.
I mention this because a lot of the songs on here are quietly soulful, Stepney didn't clutter them with instruments except when it complimented the melody - so the remaster needed the deftest of touches and Lurssen has done that. Read more ›
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