Home Read Classic Album Review: Shuggie Otis | In session: Great Rhythm & Blues

Classic Album Review: Shuggie Otis | In session: Great Rhythm & Blues

The multi-talented musician collects some classic cuts from his session-man days.

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This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


Shuggie Otis hasn’t made an album since 1974’s Inspiration Information. But thanks to 2001’s long-overdue reissue of that forward-thinking record — which also contained the original version of his hit song Strawberry Letter 23 — Otis is back on the indie-rock radar.

Trouble is, he seems to be in no hurry to capitalize on his revitalized profile with a new record. So, here’s some more old stuff in the form of recordings Otis made as a session musician behind a whole slew of soul, blues, R&B and jump-blues legends in the early ’70s. Playing guitar, bass, keyboards and sometimes engineering and producing the proceedings, Shuggie puts his wide-ranging talent to good work on behalf of Richard Berry (Louie, Louie), Big Joe Turner (Shake, Rattle and Roll), Amos Milburn (One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer), Louis Jordan (Choo Choo Ch’ Boogie) and even dad Johnny Otis (Willie and the Hand Jive). It’s all rollicking, gritty, satisfyingly funky fare, but we’d still rather have a new album. Anytime you’re ready, Johnny.