By James Calemine
Isaac Hayes proves a pivotal figure in Memphis music. Hayes, a multi-instrumentalist, played sax with The Mar-Keys and began his recording career with STAX. On several instances Hayes played keyboards on Otis Redding sessions that led to Hayes becoming employed as a member of the STAX house-band. Hayes’ career brought many hits, but his 1971 album, Black Moses, captured his talents at the height of his popularity.
This distinct CD packaging is a complete replication of the original package, an indelible fold-out, and this new CD was re-mastered from the original tapes. Black Moses reached #1 on Billboard’s soul album chart and #10 on the pop charts where it remained for 40 weeks. Hayes later admitted Black Moses contained a dark theme in the mix, “I was going through some emotional turmoil. You can tell by the tunes on the album I was going through a break-up of my marriage. It was the only way I could express myself.”
Hayes rendered the Jackson 5’s “Never Can Say Goodbye”, and his version surpasses the original. This tune played on the radio months before the album was completed. Black Moses finds Hayes covering other great songwriters songs, such as the Bacharach-David penned hit by the Carpenters “Close To You”, “Nothing Takes The Place of You”, Curtis Mayfield’s “Man’s Temptation” and “Need To Belong”, Johnny Taylor’s “Part Time Love” and Kris Kristofferson’s “For the Good Times” as well as an original composition called “Good Love”.
Black Moses stands as an R & B classic. A soulful resonance lingers on this classic album. Every song contains bits and pieces of crafty hooks and sonic landscapes that leads to another layer of sound discovered after each listen. Black Moses provides musical medicine for those wounded by love’s age-old riddle…