5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: The Cream (Audio CD)
As a long-time Hooker fan I came to this with a little trepidation, notwithstanding the other positve reviews to be found here. In his tremendous autobiography of Hooker 'Boogie Man' (a must read for fans of the man) the authoritative Charles Shaar Murray is lukewarm about The Cream. Recorded at the back end of the Seventies before Hooker was 'rediscovered' following his Blues Brothers slot and all the success that followed The Healer I feared it might be a low key offering. On the contrary, The Cream is a joy. I can understand that for those who prefer their Hooker rough and ready, and preferably alone, the performance could be considered almost too slick. There are fewer of the idiosyncratic bar counts familiar on other live recordings and the band sounds reasonably tight. But the other players are sympathetic to Hooker's gift and they stretch out without overwhelming him. And it's always good, for this listener anyway, to hear a harp behind John Lee. Hooker himself is on great form. On Rock Steady he really rocks and his meditative numbers are soulful. Tupelo never sounded better than here. I'm not sure why I waited this long to pick up The Cream but fortunately it's never too late. It is by no means the definitive Hooker and I was only going to give it four stars but why spoil the party? - five it is.