Billy Price has hooked
up with producer Jerry `Swamp Dogg' Williams and as a result has turned
out an excellent straight-ahead back-to-basics R&B set with eight out
of the 10 tracks written by the loveable Dogg. Additionally, there's an
inventive multi-layered approach to Tyrone Davis' `Can I Change My Mind'
- an Afro-Cuban rhythm with an underlying gospel piano (courtesy Edell
Shepherd) and jazz flute (played by Jerry Peterson) at the bridge. But,
amazingly, such a concoction works! The pop/soul of the Peter Brown/Frank
Fuchs-penned `One In A Million' with its early '70s sophisticated Philly
feel a la Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes appears somewhat out of place,
but is good of its kind.
Of the SD compositions,
`Crack, Crack (When Are You Coming Back)' opens things up in riproaring
fashion with Swamp pounding the ivories. The title has nothing to do with
drugs, but a rhyming piece of nonsense that Swamp has been fond of using
in the past. The Memphis feel of the tender ballad `This Magic Hour' has
a strong Otis Redding-style horn arrangement with a sensitive treatment
from Billy. `I Know It's Your Party' fairly belts along, whilst the deep
`What Is Love (And What Makes You Think You Deserve Some)' with its unusual
lyric and Billy's superior soulful vocals has rapidly become a favourite
of this reviewer. More surprises are to be found on `No Matter How You
Turn Or Twist It' with its flamenco guitars, and on the lyrics of the
cheating saga `Pass The Sugar'.
The tight rhythm section
is driven by guitarist Landis Armstrong, bassist Vince Jefferson, keyboardists
Swamp and Edell Shepherd, and drummers Craig Kimbrough and Andre Robinson.
Jerry Peterson arranged the horns and Benjamin Wright provided a touch
of poignancy with added strings to `One In A Million' and `What Is Love'.
A sure-fire winner!