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13 Feb 2017

Lee Moses “Time and Place” 1971 US Funk Soul






Lee Moses “Time and Place” 1971 US Funk Soul
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Lee Moses' 1971 LP on Maple Records called Time and Place has long been the Holy Grail for R&B and soul collectors, and one listen to this Atlanta musician's scratchy and funky guitar playing and his raspy and throat shedding deep soul singing style should be enough to convince anyone that he was indeed a great lost soul treasure. Moses, who died unsung in Atlanta in 1997, recorded a handful of singles for the Musicor, Dynamo and Gates imprints in the late '60s and early '70s as well as that sole LP, and Castle Music has finally put all of it together in what is essentially a complete recorded works package. It's easy to hear what all the fuss is about. This guy was the real deal, playing and singing with an uncommon passion and tracks here like the powerfully emotional "I'm Sad About It," the funky and name-checking tour de force "Got That Will," and the stunning ballad "My Adorable One" (there are two versions of this song included here, and both are gems) should have been huge radio hits in a fair and equitable world. Also impressive are the instrumental versions of "Reach Out I'll Be There" and "Day Tripper" which were originally released as a doubled-sided single by Musicor in 1967, both cuts exhibiting an engagingly ragged and soulful exuberance that still sounds fresh and vital forty-odd years later and show Moses to be a finely nuanced and undeniably funky guitarist. But it is Moses' searing vocals that will garner most of the attention, which is as it should be. Taken as a whole, this edition of Time and Place sounds like a secular gospel meeting with Moses' singing passing for a fired-up preacher's impassioned sermon as he shouts, growls and purrs through the ins and outs and the ups and downs of love as convincingly as any soul singer one can name. That Moses never had so much as a regional hit seems criminal and his death in 1997 in complete obscurity is an incalculable tragedy. Big thanks go out to Castle Music for bringing these remarkable lost treasures of Lee Moses back into the world. [Time and Place was also released with bonus tracks.].... Steve Leggett........

Possibly one of the most intense vocal recordings ever made. Lee is battling 'hellhounds', being chased by demons; he works through it all in a gospel soul blues rock mix. This is raw tight and very intense music. Recorded in '71, and augmented with singles recorded in the 60's through the 70's. Propelled by a tight rhythm section he screams, whoops, and hollers his way to deliverance.

Fans of James Carr, Otis Clay, and Wilson Pickett should enjoy this CLASSIC.....

SoulSistas And SoulBruthas! Quite often, you’ll hear crate diggers talk about “holy grail” records. Generally, it means stumbling upon a super rare record that you completely love at a good price. One of mine is Lee Moses’, “Time And Place.” For such an incredibly gifted artist, Lee only made one full length LP and a few singles between 1967 and 1970. As is often the case, I can’t remember when or where I heard the massive title tune from Lee’s LP. I do distinctly remember it blowing me away though. Ever since then I’ve been hoping to find the album to spin on my turntable. Sad to say, it’s never happened. Lucky for me, the excellent record label, Light In The Attic, just announced they’ll be reissuing the album with all the love and care it deserves. I’m so SO, excited about this. Here’s some sounds to check out…...............

f you dig deep enough into the underground you will find the most precious jewels and it ain't that much of an effort these days to turn on the computer and trip through the colorful World Wide Web. But beware for not all the glitter is gold. I stepped by some dark and dusty back street club in Atlanta / Georgia, USA and some enchanting music tempted me to enter. A powerful raspy voice screaming out the pain of the world no matter if it were big or small affairs. "California dreaming on such a winter's day", wow, when the MAMAS AND PAPAS sang this in a sweet folk manner it was a light and joyful anthem for all hippies and hipsters back in 1966, like a call to love. Lee Moses' version is more of a desperate cry for sunshine and freedom. And it goes on this way. His voice has this special phrase showing determination, pain but also sheer joy of life. His 1971 album is a steady groover with a steaming hot band performing , which includes a brass section of divine greatness. These devoted players build up a massive wall of groove and melody on which Lee Moses can unleash his voice like a volcanic eruption. The groove itself stays quite relaxed but definitely hypnotizing throughout the whole album and clears up your mind for the message of love Lee Moses raves about. The high skills of Lee's backing band gets showcased in a steaming instrumental version of THE FOUR TOPS' "Reach out (I'll be there)", which appeared on an early 7" first and got added here as a bonus track. They don't stop for THE BEATLES' "Day tripper" either and next to "California dreamin'" you can find another heart warming version of "Hey Joe" on the regular album. Not as extraordinary outraging as Hendrix' turn on this classic Lee and his mates make it a slightly more epic effort. All in all this is a soul album with very few covers and even more classic anthems of this genre that should actually be worshipped by lovers of the late 1960s Motown sound. Especially the bonus tracks will drive you wild. Go for it, brothers and sisters.......


In the years leading up to his recording of Time And Place, Musicor released several singles performed by Lee Moses between 1965 and 1967, such as My Adorable One, Reach Out, I’ll Be There and Bad Girl. None of them received the recognition they deserved and thus, the singles were a commercial failure. This didn’t put Lee off and he ended up recording his debut album, Time And Place. It was an example of the best the soul genre had to offer but the album took the same route as the singles preceding it; being completely underappreciated it and being labelled a commercial failure. The gifted musician continued performing locally in his hometown of Atlanta but after the let down that were his singles and album collectively, he never recorded again.

Nearly forty years after its release and a decade after Lee died, Time And Place was reissued in 2007, pretty much becoming an anthology for all of Lee’s recordings. Placed alongside the original nine tracks from the 1971 album were all of the singles the soul singer recorded from 1965 to 1970. The hope was that Lee would finally be given the praise and mainstream acceptance he deserved... what actually happened was just a repeat of his album release: it sunk under the radar, only to be dragged into people’s consciousness when someone stumbled across it and began radically preaching about its greatness.

The first half of the anthology is made up completely of the 1965 to 1970 singles and it’s probably the strongest section of the album, opening with an emotional ballad, My Adorable One. The third and fourth tracks are instrumentals of The Four Tops’ Reach Out I’ll Be There and The Beatle’s Day Tripper and both of them showcase Lee’s talent with the guitar.

The peak of the album comes next with a song spliced into two parts. Whether that was because of recording limitations or they just wanted two sides of the vinyl to be used for the single release, I don’t know. What I do know is Bad Girl (Parts 1 & 2) could be the greatest song ever composed. The drums are easy and chilled; the guitar tone is the most relaxing you’ll ever hear and even better than that, it sounds damn great! Lee eventually starts singing about the love of his life that broke his heart – and he’s singing from his broken heart. You only realise that you may have stumbled upon the epitome of soul music when the chorus begins and Lee’s voice is surrounded by a blare of beautifully arranged trumpets and a group of female backing vocals. The lyrics are something else as well. It’s just one of those songs everybody has to like because it’s pretty much perfect.

Another of the album’s highlights pops up with If Loving You Is A Crime (I’ll Always Be Guilty), with Lee likening his unrequited love to being on trial in court and admitting he’s guilty, hoping the jury will let him go for the sake of true love. Most tracks on the album have great groovy bass guitar on them but it’s this song that its most prominent, apart from Bad Girl and California Dreaming.

Next up, you have two different versions of Time And Place, a single version released to promote the album and an album version... that appeared on the 1971 version. They are pretty much the same funky, easy listening song but the guitar tones on both are a little bit different, as well as the drumming section. Similar to Bad Girl, it has a perfectly timed trumpet section.

The other album highlights are mostly covers of famous songs that once again, showcase how much of a magician Lee Moses is when he’s handed a guitar. His vocals on California Dreaming and Hey Joe make you wonder if you’re sure they’re cover songs: he invests so much emotion in his performance he makes the songs his own. Another great track off the album is Every Boy And Girl, which begins with a choir singing the song title and Lee comes in singing solo. This stands alongside Bad Girl as seeming completely timeless. It’s a treasure you can lose yourself in. Speaking of Bad Girl, the album actually ends with She’s A Bad Girl, a shorter reworking of the two part single listeners were treated to back in 1967. This reworking loses the original’s beautiful electric guitar work but replaces it with the most addictive bass line you’ve ever heard. Not as good as the single but still worthy of a listen.

Sometimes bad things happen and things don’t go the way they should. Lee’s recording career might have been a flop but I urge you, if you walk away from anything today, walk away having listen to Time And Place. If you Google it, you’re going to encounter the phrase, ‘lost soul treasure,’ a lot of the time and you’re going to encounter it for a reason. Don’t do yourself the disservice of not listening to this album – if you love music, you’ll find something to love on this. And if my review hasn’t convinced you that you will, then I implore you to just Youtube Bad Girl (Parts 1 & 2). It’s one of those songs everyone should hear... by urnamz2longfixit...............

Lee Moses, perhaps due to his tragically minimal output, never got inducted into the pantheon of great soul men, but he should stand strong with the likes of Eddie Floyd, William Bell, and other lovingly remembered Stax/Volt artists, or those he mentions in "Got That Will" such as Dionne Warwick or Jimi Hendrix or Sly Stone, as he tells how he has the will to make it big like them, that his name will be on top. His vocal style is distinctively his own, like those artists, he has a raspy, guttural soul voice, somewhere in between early John Fogerty and Otis Redding, and the man plays some mean guitar and could have held his own with luminaries like Curtis Mayfield. All of which makes Time and Place especially poignant. This is a man who really did have what it took to be one of the legends of soul music, and somehow it just never happened. After this album, he never recorded another song.

However, for this one album he should justly be remembered as a great. There is such a powerful yearning throughout this album, and a great deal of incredibly funky guitar playing, adding up to utterly engrossing deep soul. On "What You Don't Want Me to Be" he has a howl like James Brown at his most impassioned, and his version of "California Dreaming" finds such a deep groove that it makes The Mamas & The Papas' original seem laughably twee. Lee Moses is in all of his songs a man on the outside, not by choice but by circumstance and necessity, dreaming of a time when he can be in the sunshine, free and true, and it is the damnedest shame that he never really got to be that man.....jshopa .......

Tracklist
1 Time And Place
2 Got That Will
3 What You Don't Want Me To Be
4 California Dreaming
5 Every Boy And Girl
6 Hey Joe
7 Free At Last
8 Would You Give Up Everything
9 Adorable One

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