March 07, 2006

Four Kings (The Series): Going With B. B.

"You're Going With Me" (Doc Pomus - Dr. John)
B. B. King, MCA 51101, 1981

Long overdue

We start off with a B. B. King single side taken from his MCA LP, There Must Be a Better World Somewhere. All but one of the songs on it were written by Dr. John (Mac Rebennack) and his frequent New York collaborator, lyricist Doc Pomus. They’ve done some fine work together over the years. The deep soul/blues title cut on There Must Be A Better World Somewhere has been covered by a number of artists since; but I believe the Two Docs wrote it and most of the other tunes specifically for B. B. With an outstanding lineup of mainly NYC session players*, plus Dr. John on keyboards and fellow New Orleanian Charlie Miller on trumpet, the album exudes uptown class with touches of jazz, R&B and gospel to the blues feel. Most of the songs aren’t roof shakers or rump movers; but are effective none the less. My particular favorites are the title cut, the soul/jazz of “Born Again Human”, the righteous “More, More, More” (By Hugh McCraken and Jay Hirsh), and, of course, today’s feature.

Having Dr. John writing the music and radiatin’ the electric 88’s lends Crescent City credibility to “You’re Going With Me”. Although there is no album credit for over-all arranging, I would suspect the Good Doctor was the main contributor, although sax giant Hank Crawford arranged the horns. Pumpin’ bassist Wilbur Bascomb and legendary drummer Bernard “Pretty” Purdie funk up the strut here quite rightly, making the tune the lone loose booty track on the collection. B. B. sounds like he’s having fun riding this groove.

So, that’s round one. B. B.’s iconic vocals and string bends meet the music of Dr. John,turned out here with some New Orleans style. It’s not the only HOTG hook-up for this King, but surely one of the best.

*Players on There Must Be A Better World Somewhere:
B. B. King - guitar and vocal
Dr. John - keyboards
Pretty Purdie - drums
Wilbur Bascomb - bass
Hugh McCracken - rhythm guitar
Horns: Hank Crawford - alto sax; David 'Fathead' Newman - tenor sax; Ronald Cuber - baritone sax; Tom Malone - trombone; Waymon Redd, Charlie Miller - trumpet


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well shoora-ti-da! Two of my all time favorites-- the doctor and the king-- nice find, I had no idea! Gonna have to get this one. . .

7:24 AM, March 12, 2006  

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