B.B. King

Sample this concert
  1. 1Introduction Jam02:24
  2. 2Fool (Incomplete)02:33
  3. 3Instrumental05:14
  4. 4Hummingbird04:44
  5. 5Just Can't Leave You Alone09:17
  6. 6Never Make Your Move Too Soon06:47
  7. 7I've Got Some Outside Help I Don't Really Need04:43
  8. 8The Thrill Is Gone06:17
  9. 9Got My Mojo Working04:02
Liner Notes

B.B. King - guitar, vocals; Milton Hopkins - rhythm guitar; Walter King - tenor sax; Eddie Rowe - trumpet; Cato Walker - alto sax; Calep Emphrey - drums; "Big" Joe Turner - bass; James Toney - piano, organ

The show begins with a slow, brief riff on Thelonious Monk's "Blue Monk" before B.B. King is introduced to great fanfare. King riffs on the song briefly before it is faded out. Things really start cooking on the "Instrumental," which features the rhythm section with bass and drum solos.

King's vocals tremble, with an exaggerated vibrato, and they're not always in the pocket—some higher notes are strained and yelled for, but not quite captured—but they are very colorful. He sounds particularly pained on "Hummingbird," which was originally released in 1970 as the closing track on Indianola Mississippi Seeds. The vocal highlight is on "I've Got Some Outside Help I Don't Really Need," on which King takes aim at the possible suitors that are stealing his girl away from him. The dynamics swing greatly between soft, nearly spoken-word verses that are accented by the horn section, and heavy, hard-blues choruses.

King had just recorded an album with The Crusaders that was co-written with Crusaders keyboardist Joe Sample. "Just Can't Leave You Alone" and "Never Make a Move too Soon" are both from that 1978 release, Midnight Beliver. "Just Can't Leave You Alone" is a catchy, Dixie-colored song that King here stretches out for nine minutes, in part to talk about love lost, at length.

One of King's trademark songs "Thrill Is Gone" is the show's veritable climax. A lot of solicited applause for the band and the audience follows before King ends the show with a brief take on "Got My Mojo Working." The audience is left chanting and clapping, yet King does not return.