Cornell Dupree—the master guitarist responsible for the opening riff on Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” and some 2500 other notable recordings—needs a lung transplant. New York promoter David Kramer gathered Dupree’s Soul Survivors and fleshed out a remarkable show for Dupree’s benefit at B.B. Kings, with MC Paul Shaffer (David Letterman) ushering in the Soul Survivors and Gil Paris filling in for Dupree on guitar.
The evening offered a lineup just short of a Beatles’ reunion: multi-instrumentalist Frank Canino on bass, the great Bernard Davis on drums, Grammy-winner Eddie Palmieri on keyboard, Lew Soloff (Blood, Sweat & Tears) on trumpet, Bob Malach (Steve Miller, Robben Ford) on tenor sax, backup singers Donna Jean Godchaux, Joanne Lediger, and Lizzie Friel, Hammond B3 pioneer Jimmy Smith on organ and serving as musical director, and others.
Featured artists include the New Orleans legend Henry Butler, also on keys, and wound up with two Rock Hall members, Dr. John and Joe Cocker, each energized and in perfect form, performing a selection of their celebrated hits. Joe Cocker’s musical director, Nick Milo, joined Cocker on keyboards. What a night!
If you were unable to attend, you can make a tax deductible donation by going to the Cornell Dupree website, and maybe the good karma will guide you to a future great performance.
Photos by Arnie Goodman.