This pairing of Willie Mitchell
's two 1968 album releases is a kind of no-brainer. Soul Serenade
is a masterful funk record, Memphis instrumental R&B par excellence and featuring some of the most sophisticated interactions yet heard by the various members of Mitchell
's band. Willie Mitchell Live
, despite its questionable credentials as a live recording, features lots of single-take tracks by an augmented version of Mitchell
's band (extra guitar and brass). The remastering is excellent, so crisp that the trumpet solo on "Sonny" sounds like you're about one foot from the instrument's bell, and the work of the boosted personnel on the "live" album is all beautifully delineated.