Mono Mondays: King Curtis, That Lovin’ Feelin’
This week’s Mono Monday release comes courtesy of one of the great sax men of the ‘50s, ‘60s, and – all too briefly – the ‘70s: King Curtis, who can be heard blowing on songs by, among others, the Coasters (“Yakety Yak”), Buddy Holly (“Reminiscing”), John Lennon (“It’s So Hard”), and The Shirelles (“Boys”). Beyond his gigs as a sideman, however, Curtis was regularly recording his own albums, including this effort from 1966.
Whether it’s the best King Curtis album or not is a statement best made by others, but we’ll at least say that That Lovin’ Feeling can certainly serve as an easy gateway into the saxophonist’s solo catalog, given that it features numerous songs that’ll be familiar to just about any music fan, including his takes on the Beatles’ “And I Love Her” and “Michelle,” Tony Bennett’s signature tune, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” ‘60s pop classics like “Spanish Harlem,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” and “On Broadway,” and even Buck Owens’ “Cryin’ Time.” And if that’s not enough to intrigue you, consider that the arrangements for the album were done by the legendary Arif Mardin, who certainly knew his way around an orchestra, not to mention just about anything and everything else connected to music.
That Lovin’ Feelin’ might not have been Curtis’s biggest hit – the only single that charted was “Spanish Harlem,” and even that only made it to #89 on the Billboard Hot 100 – and it probably wouldn’t be most people’s pick for the one must-own album in his catalog (if pressed, we’d likely go with Instant Groove), but it’s still got a lot of fans, and if you’ve never heard it, here’s an opportunity to remedy that.