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Little Box of Tricks by Lattimore Brown

When I first popped this one in my CD player, I had no idea that I had opened the door to yesteryear’s serious "soul" sound. Distributed by Australian company AIM, which is obviously partial to the soul sound of the 60s and 70s, it offers one wholesome nostalgic journey into the colorful past of this magnificent genre. Adequately representing the style and substance of the iconic Atlantic and Stax/Volt 1960s (Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, etc.), this posthumous tribute to the relatively unknown, but talented, Lattimore Brown displays the trademark heavy blues and feel-good happy-feet-dancing of original R&B music.

While this may or may not grab the pop-happy or modern smooth jazz listener by the ears, it will almost certainly become part of the ever-delicious diet of old school "soulsters." Ballads and "Mustang Sally"-like pieces alike receive quality tributes here. Short but powerful cuts that featured the heavy use of horns, harmonies, and rich, gospel music-influenced vocals all marked that golden period, and Brown did well in his contributions to that era.

Brown’s profile admits to his not ever being a household name, but it notes that his records have nonetheless been prized by soul and R&B collectors. This collection features recordings from his years with Sound Stage Seven Records of Nashville. Brown shows his affinity for the style of my all-time favorite soul balladeer, the "Big O," Otis Redding. "I’m Not Through Lovin’" is truly reminiscent of the slow, heart-wrenching, pleading style of Otis (it also reminds one of the early "Please, Please, Please" style of the late Godfather of Soul, James Brown). Of further particular note is L. Brown’s literal tribute to Redding, "Otis is Gone," parts 1 & 2.

So, if you’re out shopping for that quality oldies series or album, keep in mind that you just might do your collection proud with this refreshing reminder of when soul music was simple and engaging, all in one fell swoop. Generous in quantity (17 cuts in all), it’s equally as plentiful in quality.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Lattimore Brown
  • CD Title: Little Box of Tricks
  • Genre: Soul / Funk Jazz
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: AIM
  • Rating: Three Stars
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