Tommy Tate will not be widely known to most soul fans never mind those dipping their toe into the genre. If he is known in the UK it is for his beat ballad 'I'm Taking On Pain' recorded for Okeh which is appreciated by the Northern Soul scene.
Tommy Tate was a typical 'journeyman' singer recording for a number of labels during more than twenty years. Here we have a collection of his post-Okeh music both with The Nightingales and solo. This is quality Southern Soul with the fat, organic sound of Stax used as a template for these recordings for Ko Ko.
Tommy has a light, flexible voice that is appealling and the songs show the transition of soul through the late 1960s and towards the 1980s moving from the original soul sound as it began to incorporate Funk, Philly, Disco, Country and synths.
While it would be hard to claim this is an essential release, the musical quality shines through and it has had many plays at this household. If you enjoy this also try the excellent recent Garland Green compilation also on Kent.
As always the sound quality is superb with the songs taken from mastertapes with sleevenotes that help place the songs into context.