On the back cover it sez, “File Under Soul”. And that billowy, burnt umber leisure suit suggests quite the wah-wah fest, doesn’t it. But no, this enticing Charly R&B comp of Bobby Powell’s mid-70s Hep’Me recordings is mostly a straightforward blues record.
Now I happen to like the Blues (listening, not having, obs), but for my money, the kind of blues & rhythm Powell’s trading in here peaked around 1959 with the release of T-Bone Walker’s T-Bone Blues. That’s a long time to have the élan vital sucked out of a subgenre. Not that A Fool For You is lifeless exactly, Powell is a great singer and a really good band leader, but it’s just hard to see the point of an argument that merely restates a case without taking it forward somehow. Fidelity to artistic roots is not an end in itself.
Picked up this morning at the Etchinghill Bootfair, maybe it’s a grower.