Tuesday, March 15, 2011

shuggie's freedom flight

Jazz and blues guitar prodigy Shuggie Otis gave us a sweet taste of his psychedelic soul. He recorded his first album 'Here Comes Shuggie Otis' at the age of sixteen and followed it up with 'Freedom Flight' at the age of eighteen. His father Johnny Otis produced the album. Shuggie arranged all of the songs, sings, and plays electric, acoustic, and bottleneck guitars; in addition to bass, organ, piano, drums and percussion.

'Strawberry Letter 23' is his most famous song. It was written for his girlfriend who used strawberry scented paper in her letters to him. Orchestral bells and acoustic guitar start everything off before his electric guitar transforms it into a shimmering psychedelic dream. The song was a top five hit for the Brothers Johnson in 1977.

The funky rocker 'Ice Cold Daydream' starts things off with a smokin' guitar solo.

'Sweet Thang' is a sultry electric slide blues workout co-written by his father Johnny Otis.

'Me and My Woman' is a nod to B.B. King and is the only song on the album not composed (or co-composed) by Shuggie.

'Someone's Always Singing' is a sweet R&B style ballad co-written with K. Kahn.


'Purple' is an instrumental blues performance that demonstrates Shuggie's mastery of the form.

'Freedom Flight' closes the album in a transcendent free jazz exploration that swirls and lifts with electric guitar, electric piano, organ, flute, oboe, saxophone, and wind chimes.

full album:

All songs written by Shuggie Otis except where indicated

"Ice Cold Daydream" - 2:27
"Strawberry Letter 23" - 3:57
"Sweet Thang" (Johnny Otis, Shuggie Otis) - 4:05
"Me and My Woman" (Gene Barge) - 4:15
"Someone's Always Singing" (Kenny Kahn, Shuggie Otis) - 3:22
"Purple" - 7:05
"Freedom Flight" - 12:48

"One Room Country Shack"  3:35

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