Lee Moses – 1971 – Time and Place
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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.
A1 Time and Place 2:54
A2 Got That Will 2:58
A3 What You Don’t Want Me to Be 2:50
A4 California Dreaming 4:22
A5 Every Boy and Girl 2:39
B1 Hey Joe 6:08
B2 Free At Last 3:47
B3 Would You Give Up Everything 3:21
B4 Adorable One 3:45
Another unsung hero in the Southern Soul canon, Lee Moses cut just one longplaying album and a few singles, but the unbridled mastery of the man’s voice and guitar chops has long made his album ‘Time and Place’ a cult favorite to those in the know.
Building quite a name for himself as a session guitarist, Moses churned out some appetizing, scorching Southern Soul sides on his own for a variety of labels that all aptly demonstrated the man’s huge talents.
‘Time and Place’ kicks off with the title-track, a sizzling slice of down home, Southern fried funk, showcasing Lee’s tight guitar riffs and his wonderful voice. Think of O.V. Wright with even more grit, and you have Lee Moses. Great horns throughout, as well here.
“Got That Will” namechecks a host of superstars; Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone, Aretha Franklin, a funky tribute to Moses’ heroes. Penned by himself and Herman Hitson, Moses wails on how he too is going to make it.
Next up is the most hauntingly beautiful track of the entire disc, the ravaging, devastatingly intense “What You Don’t Want Me to Be“. Lee’s vocals are smothered in sheer despair and unimaginable sadness. The spooky vibe is further enhanced by ghostly, gospelish backup vocals. One of the greatest Southern Soul ballads ever committed to vinyl.
Moses’ penchant for hard driving funk grooves is further explored on a thundering version of “California Dreaming” and especially on the lurching, fatback, electrified “Hey Joe“. Lee’s guitar work is simply brilliant here; down and dirty, greasy and raw. Southern Soul fused with a huge dosis of back beat heavy funk. And boy that wailin’… Soul personified.
Then there’s the delicious mid-tempo beater “Free at Last“. Moses’ gruffy pipes are set to another thick, rollicking funk groove while the man guides himself on guitar, pluckin’ some heavenly chords.
Wah wah’d superfunk blasts through the speaker as Moses delves into the highly syncopated “Would You Give Up Everything“. Listen to him roar on the verses here, this is Southern Soul at its rawest, something that was becoming quite rare in the early ’70s.
Closing the LP is a cover of Joe Simon’s “My Adorable One“, a tune he had previously recorded as a single in the late ’60s.
This is Funk and Soul at the crossroads. A ferociously raw album brimming with Lee’s tremendous, gutbucket vocals and his equally funky guitar chops.