Stax Instrumentals

Rating: NNNN

If you want to hear R&B instrumental kings Booker T & the MGs rework their jams, skip the horrible new Neil Young disc and grab this collection of previously unissued tracks from their mid-60s glory years. The Stax house band of Hammond organ maestro Booker T Jones, guitarist Steve Cropper, bassist Duck Dunn and drummer Al Jackson Jr. built their music to last, and each new Hollywood flick that comes out tapping Green Onions’ inherent sense of cool reaffirms that fact. This collection of previously unreleased session outtakes shows that even stuff deemed second-rate at the time could still give a penguin the sniffles. The inclusion of a handful of similarly unheard party breakdowns by the Mar-Keys (essentially the same guys) complements the MGs’ funky blues workouts. Just the first 10 seconds of Good Groove should convince you that that’s exactly what you’ve got here.

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