Live At The Summit Club
R & B great Johnny Taylor existed on the classic Stax/Volt roster. Born in Crawfordsville, Arkansas, in 1938, Taylor began performing in Memphis after honing his vocal skills in gospel groups.
Taylor played a major role in releasing popular songs for Stax Records. His biggest hits "Who's Making Love" and 'Disco Lady" propelled him into an international spotlight.
Live At The Summit Club was recorded in September of 1972 in Los Angeles as part of the documentary WattStax: The Living Word. This live performance shows Taylor in his element...where spontaneous musical occurrences allow him to control an audience and his band. Steeped in thick blues, funk, and R & B this release proves a classic.
These polyryhtmic beats, brass, and greasy funk riffs find this recording as a testimony to the power of these musicians. Taylor performs the Jimmy Hughes ballad "Steal Away", the Porter/Haynes tune "Little Bluebird", and the Booker T. Jones/William Bell composition "Hello Sundown".
Bell performs an incandescent version of his song "Who's Making Love" that remains just as powerful over 30 years later. "Stop Doggin' Me", a great blues tune, sounds as if time forgot Johnny Taylor in all his glorious talent. How could this performance remain buried for all these years? This performs ranks as a timeless performance in a gig hanging in the balance of a hostile political climate of the time.
"Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone" marks the final song in a exilarating set. Live At The Summit Club represents a glimpse of Stax's legendary community. Johnny Taylor's musical talent is bottled and preserved in this essential release....
- James Calemine