Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

King Curtis and Champion Jack Dupree: Blues at Montreux [Atlantic, 1973]
Because great stylists aren't always great improvisers, and because great accompanists are only occasionally great leaders, even the music Curtis intended for LP release was marred by a certain marginal-differentiation monotony (his posthumous concert albums are even worse). And though Dupree, as one of Europe's resident Real Blues Singers, makes it into all kinds of collectors' series, his recent recordings have been forgettable. This LP cancels out the dross--just when Dupree's call gets redundant, Curtis responds with his saxophone. Like most live dates it lacks compression, and Dupree is old enough for his voice to be changing again, but this is a pleasant surprise. B+