After my run this afternoon, the girls napped (for three hours!) and I went record shopping in Buffalo, NY…just because. Hey, when someone advertises “up to %40 off on all stock” – you jump on that shit! No questions asked. So this evening we’re beginning to listen to the fruits of my labors, beginning with a little sexy soul in the way of ‘Black Moses‘ by the original “Soul Man” himself, Isaac Hayes.
The sheer tenacity – albeit undeniably fitting – of this double-disc set has made ‘Black Moses‘ (1971) one of Isaac Hayes’ most revered and best-known works. The multi-instrumental singer/songwriter and producer had been a central figure in the Memphis soul music revolution of the mid-’60s. Along with Booker T. & the MG’s, Hayes wrote and performed on more Stax sides than any other single artist. By the time of this release – his fifth overall, and first two-record set – Hayes had firmly established himself as a progressive soul artist.
His stretched-out and well-developed R&B jams, as well as his husky-voiced sexy spoken “raps,” became key components in his signature sound. This album not only incorporates those leitmotifs, but also reaffirms Hayes abilities as an unmistakably original arranger. Although a majority of the album consists of cover material, all the scores have been reconfigured and adapted in such a fundamental way that, for some listeners, these renditions serve as definitive. This is certainly true of the extended reworkings of Jerry Butler’s ‘Brand New Me‘ and Esther Phillips’ ‘You’re Love Is So Doggone Good‘ – both of which are prefaced by the spoken prelude to coitus found in each respective installment of ‘Ike’s Rap‘. Oh, and let me drop some musical history on you: did you know that the opening swankiness of ‘Medley: ‘Ike’s Rap II / Help Me Love‘ was 100% stolen by Portishead for their hit ‘Glory Box‘? It’s true. There’s no missing it.
Listen for yourself.
The pair of Curtis Mayfield tunes on the album – ‘Man’s Temptation‘ and ‘Need to Belong to Someone‘ – are also worth noting for the layers of tastefully scored orchestration – from both Hayes and his longtime associate Johnny Allen. Hayes’ own composition, ‘Good Love‘, recalls the upbeat and jive talkin’ ‘Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic‘ from ‘Hot Buttered Soul‘ (1969), adding some spicy and sexy double-entendre in the chorus.
Needless to say, this is some sexy shit…or should I say “sex-ay”.
My fear with putting this album is that it was going to put Kelly in such a state of infinite horniness that I wouldn’t be able to do any of my planned activities this evening like read my book (‘Road Trip Rwanda‘, Will Ferguson), eat cheese, listen to records and later clean out the cat box. I know, I live quite the life. She swears up and down that it’s not turning her on, like, at all. But for the record, whenever she does protest this fact it’s usually while she has her tongue in my ear so, whatever dear…just admit it, chicks dig the ‘ol schmaltzy soul.