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Monday, November 14, 2016

Leon Russell was at the height of his powers in 1971

I was never a fan of Leon Russell's voice but as an arranger/producer/ringmaster he made a lot of great things happen. Quite a few of them happened in 1971.

He produced and played piano on "Watching The River Flow", which was one of Bob Dylan's great singles. He was the musical director of the Concert For Bangla Dash.

And he was instrumental in one of the very few blues/rock crossovers that worked and still works, Freddie King's 1971 album, "Getting Ready".

 It's got all Russell's signature touches: barrelhouse piano, swelling female choruses, the ear for a good song and driving rhythm. Best track is this one, which, I note, still sounded fresh enough to make the sig tune of the U.S. comedy show "Southbound And Down" a few years back. Take it away.