Live At Montreux 1977

Average White Band

Scotsmen playing American soul in Switzerland in 1977 is what Average White Band's Live At Montreux 1977 is all about. This eight-song CD sees the popular hit-makers blistering through a groove-heavy set like only AWB ever could.

Opening with ““Pick Up The Pieces,” as spot-on a live version as you’re ever going to hear, the band simply fills in all the pieces before rolling through a sweet harmony vocal version of the Isley Brothers’ “Work To Do” that works the Swiss crowd into a deep, infectious groove. The band throws in a song that had yet to be performed or recorded when this show took place — the instrumental, horn-dragging “Sweet and Sour,” an obvious attempt to score another hit denied.

Fortunately, they have no problem channeling the Stylistics in “A Love Of Your Own.” The slow horns and Alan Gorrie’s bass kicks this one into overdrive. The fantastic funk of the wah-wah guitar, coupled with the congas backing, makes “Person to Person” makes it the best song here. That same guitar layback graces “Got The Love,” for a nice double whammy of funk, while showcasing the guitar mastery of both Onnie McIntyre and the incomparable Hamish Stuart.

Malcolm “Molly” Duncan’s tenor sax and Roger Ball’s alto sax pretty much lead the way here, but with the just recently added Steve Ferrone on drums and percussion, you really have a dangerous white soul mix on each and every song. What can you say about a band this versatile talented and funky except—they are the Average White Band, Live At Montreux 1977.

~ Ralph Greco, Jr.

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