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Music Reviews


One of the most memorable moments of all the concerts Iíve seen occurred when I saw the James Cotton Big Band open for B.B. King at the Palace Theater in New Haven, CT in 1986. On that night James Cotton ended his set with a version of "Goodbye My Lady" that was absolutely one of the best performances of any single song that Iíve ever seen. He and his band left the stage with a standing ovation, but it didnít end there. As the crowd filed out for intermission many people could still be heard humming "Goodbye My Lady". The performance was so moving that people were still humming along when they returned from the intermission. That memory never left me and I was disappointed that that particular song wasnít performed at future James Cotton shows that I attended. I was also disappointed that no CD release contained that track.

I was thrilled when I heard that One Way Records had licensed James Cottonís "Live & On The Move" album and would be releasing it on CD, finally. Yes, this one includes "Goodbye My Lady" along with other Cotton standards such as "Flip, Flop, & Fly", "Rockett 88", "Good Morning Lilí School Girl", and "Blow Wind Blow." The disc includes 18 tracks in all, and while not the only live James Cotton recording on the market, it is the best one.

James Cotton is one of the great blues harmonica players but never really seemed to reach the coveted "superstar" status. He continues to record and perform as of this writing (12/97) and Iíd urge you to catch one of his live shows if you ever get the chance. In the meantime "Live & On The Move" can serve as a great addition to your blues collection.

This release is widely available but if you have trouble finding it you can contact One Way Records at 1 Prospect Avenue, Albany, NY 12206-0429.