Sunday, November 13, 2016

R.I.P. Leon Russell

In the last decades of his life, Leon Russell became sort of a forgotten figure of rock and roll and he never got his dues. Addictions, lawsuits and mediocre albums have unfairly relegated this music giant to the C List. Elton John recently recorded an album with him, which triggered a resurgence in interest for this man who has been a part of Phil Spector's Wrecking Crew, played with JJ Cale, assembled the Mad Dogs and Englishmen band for Joe Cocker and has written some enduring classics (Delta Lady, A Song for You, Superstar, This Masquerade...) which hopefully helped him get solvent again and enjoy the last years of his life. The concert I saw at the New Morning was very good, but a far cry from the Leon Live triple album, one of the most raucous, rocking, rolling and rollicking live recordings ever committed to acetate. Do yourself a favour and track it down (preferably on vinyl), it's killer from beginning to end.

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