Soul singer Solomon Burke grew up listening to Philadelphia shout bands that made joyful, healing church music loud enough to be heard in Heaven. He had a trumpet-like brightness in his tenor voice and a trombone-like growl in his bass notes. He helped to found soul music, mixing gospel, blues and gritty R&B and polishing them with a smoother, mainstream feel. After releasing a number of chart-toppers through the ʼ60s, he performed until his death in 2010. Fans of Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding will dig Burke’s loose, vigorous set at the 2006 Montreux Jazz Festival.
He sings the stuffing out of “Cry to Me.” He urges the band to “go down there” in the aisles and “play like y’all in N’Awlins.” He’s so into “Got to Get You Off My Mind” that he sings “Having a Party” just to get over the breakup. The fine band includes Sam Mayfield (guitar), Moyes Lucas (drums) and Milard Jackson (keyboards). Standouts include “In the Midnight Hour,” “Down in the Valley” and “The Lord Will Make a Way Somehow.” The CD offers 17 of the DVD’s 20 cuts. Never was a groove more sublime.
– Annie Dinerman