Sound the Alarm

Sound the Alarm

by Booker T. Jones


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Booker T. Jones has certainly put his mark on modern pop music. As part of the legendary group Booker T. & the MG's, Memphis' first integrated band, and the house band at Stax Records in the 1960s, he pretty much was in at the ground floor of the invention of soul, backing classic soul hits by Otis Redding, Eddie Floyd, William Bell, and many others, as well as generating iconic instrumental hits from the era like "Green Onions," "Time Is Tight," and numerous others with the MG's. Jones left Stax as the 1970s hit and the label was essentially falling apart, and he's drifted from label to label ever since, his legacy secure as the dominant Hammond B-3 organ player of his generation (apart from Jimmy Smith, of course). Sound the Alarm is Jones' tenth solo album since leaving Stax, and it returns him to the label, now owned by Concord Records, a dozen years and change into the 21st century. Homecomings are nice, and it makes for a nice press hook for this outing, but anyone expecting some vintage-styled Memphis soul here is going to be disappointed, because there isn't much of it. Jones, who wrote or co-wrote every song on the album, has brought in several guests to help him out, and while it isn't exactly a duets album, it's pretty close, and the focus is hardly on Jones and his playing. There are a couple of nice urban R&B love ballads like "Broken Heart," which features Jay James on vocals, and "Your Love Is No Love," done with the group Vintage Trouble and spotlighting Ty Taylor on vocals, but most of the other tracks with lead vocals have little real impact or presence. The best tracks here by far are the handful of instrumentals, including the soul-jazz-like "Feel Good," the funky and bluesy "Austin City Blues" with Gary Clark, Jr. on guitar, and the set closer, "Father Son Blues," which features Ted Jones on guitar. There's nothing wrong with trying to get a more contemporary sound and feel (the album was co-produced by Jones and brothers Bobby Ross and Issiah "IZ" Avila), of course, but when you're Booker T. Jones, maybe you shouldn't worry about that. After all, the funky soul groove template that Jones helped create in Memphis some 40-plus years ago never really goes out of style. One wishes there were more of that here.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/25/2013
Label: Fantasy
UPC: 0888072341210
catalogNumber: 34121
Rank: 101728

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Booker T. Jones   Primary Artist,Bass,Piano,Electric Piano,Vocals,Hammond B3
Bobby Ross Avila   Bass,Guitar,Piano,Celeste,Background Vocals,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer
Sheila E.   Bongos,Timbales
Poncho Sanchez   Conga,Guiro
Raphael Saadiq   Guitar
Anthony Hamilton   Vocals
Sam Salter   Background Vocals
Iz   Bass,Guitar,Percussion,scratching,Drums,Horn,Upright Bass,Brushes
Gordon Campbell   Drums
Rashawn Ross   Horn
Rick Barrio Dill   Bass
Nalle Colt   Guitar
Ben Franklin   Background Vocals
Gary Clark   Guitar
Carla Carter   Background Vocals
Kori Withers   Vocals
Mayer Hawthorne   Vocals
Ted Jones   Guitar
Devin Vasquez   Background Vocals
Jay James   Vocals,Background Vocals
Nate Watts   Bass
Kevin Williams   Horn
Leon Silva   Horn
Luke James   Vocals
Jaymes Felix   Background Vocals
Wesley Smith   Horn
Richard Danielson   Drums
Adan Castillo   Background Vocals
Hugo Johnson   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Bobby Ross Avila   Composer
John Burk   Executive Producer
Jimmy Jam   Producer
Booker T. Jones   Composer,Producer
Terry Lewis   Composer,Producer
Skip Saylor   Engineer
Raphael Saadiq   Composer
Anthony Hamilton   Composer
Sam Salter   Vocal Producer
Ty Taylor   Composer
Matt Marrin   Engineer
Seth Presant   Engineer
Jared Gosselin   Producer
Avila Brothers   Producer,Executive Producer
Rick Barrio Dill   Composer
Issiah "IZ" Avila   Composer
Nalle Colt   Composer
Olivia Jones   Executive Producer
Richard Danielson   Composer
Ben Lakey   Composer

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