Smokin' live performance
I've owned a copy of this album in one format or another for over twenty-five years. although my tastes have changed to jazz piano trio music, this one still gets a lot of play time and never ceases to make me smile and tap my foot. since there are sound samples on this page () you can run through those to get a tantalizing taste of the music. those samples will not convey the overall feel of this album, which requires a listen to all of the tracks, but you will get the gist of it. what keeps me coming back is the recording quality and performance itself make me feel as though it's may 30, 1986 and i am in the audience at marla's memory lane supper club in los angeles. few live albums can make you suspend disbelief like that. you can clearly hear that the musicians are 'on' that night. there is an energy that is intense. of course, etta's voice (and personality) are the centerpiece, and she delivers each song perfectly. the entire band on stage is etta backed by eddie 'cleanhead' vinson on alto sax, red holloway on tenor sax, jack mcduff on organ, shuggie otis on guitar, richard reid on bass and paul humphrey on drums. if you are an etta james fan this is an essential album.