Shotgun

by: Junior Walker & the All-Stars

Junior Walker's debut remains highly explosive decades after it first detonated. The seductive "Cleo's Mood" and the syncopated "Cleo's Back" reveal a musical, funky fascination with a fickle chick name Cleo. On "Shotgun" an opening gun blast grabs your attention. Junior's gritty vocal alternates leads with his torrid tenor sax play. He kicks it up another notch on "Shake and Fingerpop." The screeching sax and the opening lyrics are hookers: put on your wig, woman; we're going out to shake and fingerpop. The swaying "Do the Boomerang" finds Walker relaxed and shadowed by All Star Willie Woods on vocals. The biggest surprise: Holland-Dozier-Holland's "I'm a Road Runner"; on paper, the collaboration seems ridiculous, but in the studio the combo created industrial-strength soul. An uncredited baritone sax player plays soulful low riffs countering Junior's sharper, more emphatic sax squeals. With so much going on, "Shoot Your Shot" got overlooked by many, and that's too bad; it's a dancer, with instructions, featuring Walker's tenor blowing on top an organ flavored rhythm bed. Only his greatest-hits compilations and Road Runner reign supreme over this scorcher. ~ Andrew Hamilton

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