Howard Tate Rediscovered (Private Music) Rating: NNN
Deep soul belter Howard Tate, having spent much of the past three decades on the down low, recently resurfaced with his awesome pipes in tip-top form. It turns out he'd kept in shape by singing in church every Sunday. Rediscovered reunites Tate with legendary soul producer/songwriter Jerry Ragovoy, responsible for his finest work, including Get It While You Can, popularized by Janis Joplin and reprised here because his classic Verve recordings are inexplicably out of print. While the compositions aren't really up to scratch (even the Elvis Costello co-write, Either Side Of The Same Town, ain't all that), the bluesy arrangements are cool and the production is tastefully understated. Tate more than makes up for the weak material with his warmly soulful delivery, highlighted by his thrilling signature falsetto swoops. Tate's back in action.