Nudge It Up A Notch
Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere
By James Calemine
Recorded last year in Nashville, Nudge It Up A Notch features the latest work of Steve Cropper and Felix Cavaliere. Steve Cropper served as the nucleus at STAX Records back in the days when he recorded with Booker T & The MGs, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and many others.
The disc contains the old R & B sounds Cropper wrote 40 years ago. Nudge It Up A Notch contains various instrumentals that only Cropper could write. In a recent Mystery And Manners interview, Steve Cropper provided insight to the making of the record:
"It’s interesting. We started most of the writing at Jon Tiven’s studio in
"If It Wasn't for Loving You" features on of Cropper's finest guitar solos in years. Cavaliere's voice stands as a fine mix with the low-bottom swing of Cropper's driving musical approach. "Full Moon Tonight" should play on the radio just for the sheer hypnotic riff of Cropper. This instrumental song reminds you why he's a legend. "To Make It Right" may serve as the song radio stations might play.
Every song contains Cropper gems, hooks riffs that amaze. "Still Be Loving You" ranks as another great R & B track. Shake Anderson's bass work on this collection of songs emerges as a strong backbone, especially on the instrumental--complete with horns--"Cuttin' It Close". "Make The Time" sways between a Funk and Rap ditty that should perk a few ears.
"Jamaica Delight" indicates Cropper's mastery of all genres of music--including reggae. This instrumental counts as another classic instrumental for Cropper as does the final track, "Love Appetite". "Appetite" ends this collection with Cavaliere trading piano runs with Cropper's guitar riffs. Nudge It Up a Notch verifies anything recorded by Steve Cropper is worth purchasing.