Wardell Quezergue – Strung Out: The Malaco Sessions


Out of stock


Release Date:  2004

Label:  Grapevine Records


Track List

1 –C.P. Love I Found All These Things
2 –Joe Wilson You Need Me
3 –Bonnie & Sheila You’re Not The One For Me
4 –Jimmy Dobbins Teasin’ You
5 –Elliott Small Separation
6 –Peggy Scott & Jo Jo Benson Can’t Find Love
7 –King Floyd Handle With Care
8 –Chuck Brooks Loneliness (Is A Friend Of Mine)
9 –The Barons I Never Thought
10 –Jewel Bass All Good Things Must Come To An End
11 –Hank Sample Got To Find The Nerve
12 –Louis Hayward Getting Weaker By The Minute
13 –Joe Johnson  Perfect Love Affair
14 –Bonnie & Sheila You Keep Me Hanging On
15 –Reuben Bell Asking For The Truth
16 –Richard Caiton I’m Gonna Love You More
17 –Dorothy Moore For Old Time’s Sake
18 –The Enticers Do Or Don’t You Love Me
19 –Mighty Sam I’m Mr. Big Stuff
20 –The Magnificent Four You’ve Got Me



This oft-delayed collection of New Orleans songwriter, producer, and arranger Wardell Quezergue’s early-’70s productions from Malaco Studios in Jackson, MS, is well worth the wait. It features 20 (eight of them previously unreleased) magnificent ballads that are a fluid mix of New Orleans R&B and deep Southern soul, each track crafted to an atmospheric perfection by Quezergue’s sharp and detailed production. This skill in the studio led to Quezergue being dubbed “the Creole Beethoven” by Allen Toussaint, the New Orleans producer whose work runs most parallel to Quezergue’s, and the tracks presented here are all the evidence anyone might need to test the validity of Toussaint’s assessment. Quezergue has made classic recordings with the likes of Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, Dr. John, Aaron Neville, B.B. King, and the Staple Singers, but the tracks collected on Strung Out are generally by less well-known artists, although that doesn’t make them lesser recordings. There is so much to marvel at here. The elegant opening track, C.P. Love’s “I Found All These Things,” written by Joe Brussard and released on Chimneyville Records in 1971, features an amazingly lush string arrangement by Quezergue, and perhaps even more amazing is that the song wasn’t particularly successful on the charts. King Floyd’s “Handle with Care,” a hushed and powerful ballad with a marvelously blended string and horn section, originally released on Chimneyville in 1974, is another hidden gem, as is Hank Sample’s impressive “Got to Find the Nerve,” a Malaco 45. The bright and impeccably balanced “Perfect Love Affair” by Joe Johnson, a Malaco release that was licensed to GSF Records in 1973, also wasn’t a hit, although it darn well should have been. Then there’s the astounding “Asking for the Truth” by Reuben Bell, initially released on Alarm Records, which is arguably the most striking cut here. It wasn’t a hit either, although it practically defines the concept of deep soul. The quality of these tracks is striking, each one a carefully nuanced creation, and while it might be difficult to put into words exactly what Quezergue is doing, one begins to recognize a certain tone and feel to these productions. They fall together in a rich, hushed suite, as ballad after ballad unfolds like brilliantly arranged hits from a soulful alternate universe. Such quality shouldn’t have to wait 30-plus years to be appreciated.

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