Reach LDN: SHUGGIE OTIS // Nov 20/21, Jazz Cafe
Tuesday 20th & Wednesday 21st November 2012
Tickets £27.50 in advance
When I was around 19 I worked on a record store, in the cold. Needless to say, most of my payment was in wax or CDs and it was here I discovered Shuggie. Inspiration Information remains possibly my favourite album, capturing a time when I was discovering the wider world of music out there (counting Terry Callier amongst those discoveries too). Shuggie’s soundscapes are otherworldly, pure captivation.
He’s playing his DEBUT show in London soon, and where else but the Jazz Cafe? Here’s some more blurb:
Time was, when they reserved the vision tag for the scant few artists who truly envisioned panoramic music -– Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone, John Coltrane. Today they hand out the “visionary” tags as freely as they dispense the gold records, like party favors out of a cardboard box. Shuggie Otis truly had the vision thing. Compared at the wispy age of 15 with Hendrix and the great Kings of blues guitar (B.B., Albert, Freddie), the young phenom went on to make two expansive, genre-defying, deeply curious albums, 1971’s “Freedom Flight” and 1974’s “Inspiration Information.” The records, essentially crafted as a one- man band, floored Sly Stone, gave the Brothers Johnson their most enduring hit (“Strawberry Letter 23”) and predated the stylistic synthesist Prince by half a decade.