CD Nothing's Impossible (CD 6300164),
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1. Oh What a Feeling
2. Everything About You
4. Nothing's Impossible
5. It Must Be Love
6. You Needed Me
7. Say You Love Me Too
8. You're Not Alone
9. New Company
10. When You're Not Here
11. Error of My Ways, The
12. I'm Leavin'
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 2086
Lawrence "Boo" Mitchell
Personnel: Barrie Cooper, Jessie Munson, Roy Brewer (violin); Beth Luscombe, Jennifer Puckett (viola); Jonathan Kirkscey (cello); Marc Franklin (trumpet); Jim Spake (baritone horn); Gary Topper, Lannie McMillan (tenor horn).
Audio Mixers: Wilie Mitchell; Lawrence "Boo" Mitchell.
Liner Note Author: Bil Carpenter.
Recording information: Willie Mitchell's Royal Studios, Memphis, TN.
It's all but impossible to make a bad record with Solomon Burke; as a vocalist, the man is simply a force of nature, and all you have to do is point him in front of a microphone and let him do his stuff and you'll have something worth hearing. But coming up with accompaniment that's worthy of Burke's talents isn't quite as simple, and for a man who cut his teeth working with the likes of Jerry Wexler and Bert Berns, finding the right producer in this day and age is no simple matter. Nothing's Impossible teams Burke with another legend of Southern soul, the great producer, arranger, and songwriter Willie Mitchell (best-known for his work with Al Green) who had been after Burke to make an album with him for years. One listen to Nothing's Impossible confirms that Mitchell's instincts were right on the money; this music has just the right heft and texture for Burke, rich, strong, and gospel-influenced R&B that's sturdy enough to support Burke's earth-shaking vocals while giving the star of the show enough room to move comfortably. Mitchell's subtle, expressive use of strings and horns is very much in evidence here, and the rhythm section cuts a deep, implacable groove. The church has always been one of Burke's strongest vocal influences, and on Nothing's Impossible, Mitchell and his studio crew allow Burke to raise up as much Sunday morning fervor as he needs; on longer numbers like "Dreams" and "It Must Be Love," Burke stretches out like a preacher hitting a groove in front of a congregation, and hearing the King of Rock and Soul get the spirit is a remarkable thing. Burke and Mitchell contributed to the songwriting on these sessions, with both men bringing their A game, and though the notion of Burke covering Anne Murray's hit "You Needed Me" might sound dire, once you hear him do it, it's hard not to be awestruck at the way he brings the old warhorse to life. The sad irony of Nothing's Impossible is that after decades of trying to lure Solomon Burke into his studio, Burke showed up in time for what proved to be Willie Mitchell's final production project, as Mitchell succumbed to heart failure a few months before the album was released. But if this record is Willie Mitchell's final musical offering, Solomon Burke made certain that the man closed out his career on a high note; this is old-school R&B that's smart, passionate, and powerful, and proves the King of Rock and Soul still rules his kingdom with a sure hand. ~ Mark Deming
Rolling Stone (p.70) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "NOTHING'S IMPOSSIBLE marks his debut with late Memphis producer Willie Mitchell....Mitchell's arrangements recall his best work with Al Green, all glowing strings, supple horns and understated guitar licks."
Down Beat (p.66) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "The strength of the 69-year-old's great vocal emanations on things romantic lies in the balance created by his soul-probing and what listeners feel for themselves."
Living Blues (p.44) - "[O]ne of the most authentic and satisfying sets of southern soul music to come along in a good while."
Billboard (p.32) - "With themes of love, loneliness and longing, Burke's raw emotional delivery and Mitchell's rich arrangements ensure that the music penetrates to the heart and soul."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.103) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[With] `Oh What A Feeling,' a tremendous meeting of church, country and soul with Burke both pleading and magisterial."
Uncut (magazine) (p.85) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Burke is the compelling presence throughout -- proud swagger, gentle intimacy, and authority all within his voice's effortless grasp."
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E1 Entertainment 2086
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