Friday, 7/29/11

by musicclipoftheday

what’s new
(an occasional series)

Kanye West & Jay-Z, “Otis” (feat. Otis Redding)


(an occasional series)

Buddy Holly, Patsy Cline, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and many more, including this man: if you could somehow revive all the folks who’ve died falling out of the sky, you’d have a hell of a band.

Otis Redding, “Try a Little Tenderness,” live, Norway, 1967


give the drummer some

Listen to the double-time pattern Al Jackson begins playing at the start of the second verse (0:47): what a subtle, rippling urgency it creates.



“[Otis would] keep pushing, and each time Al Jackson would go with him. He would enable the rest of the musicians to reach whatever Otis was trying for. Otis would record stripped to the waist. He put bath towels under his arms. He wanted those horn players live on the floor; he’d sing their parts to them and put that whole session together. Otis got a live feel that nobody else on that label [Stax] ever got.”—Jim Dickinson (in Peter Guralnick, Sweet Soul Music [1986]; for more on Dickinson, see the 9/9/09 post)


Bassist Duck Dunn (also in Guralnick’s book):

— “Otis would come in [the studio], and, boy, he’d just bring everybody up. ‘Cause you knew something was gonna be different. When Otis was there, it was just a revitalization of the whole thing. You wanted to play with Otis. He brought out the best in you. If there was a best, he brought it out. That was his secret.”

— “When you talked to him [Otis Redding], he was like you was. Then you see him on stage. Hey, there ain’t too many people wear the crown. Elvis wore it, and I guess Frank Sinatra wore it. And here he comes, and, boy, he wore it. He wore that halo. He knew it. He was a goddam star.”


At Redding’s 1996 Whiskey A Go Go shows in Los Angeles, Bob Dylan “presented Redding with a prerelease copy of ‘Just Like A Woman,’ claiming his vocal approach had been Otis-inspired. ‘Otis’ appraisal of it,’ says [Phil] Walden, ‘was that it had too damn many words in it.'”—Carol Cooper

(Originally posted 9/25/09)