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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music - An­thony O ’ Grady

Mer­ritt ’ s ES­SEN­TIAL? Max first two Aus­tralian al­bums were recorded for RCA

’ Slip­pin Away . But, five years be­fore his hit new to CD, this pack­age has rar­ity value and the first disc show­cases a reper­toire that

Aus­tralia ’ s made Mer­ritt No 1 soul brother in the mid to late 1960s. He sang soul in a voice pulped to a husk. He could shout, but he al­ways sounded dul­cet. The Me­te­ors were the cream mu­si­cians of their time. Amer­i­can troops on R & R from the Viet­nam War were de­lighted to hear sweet soul mu­sic

Max so far from home. The first album, Mer­ritt and The Me­te­ors , is a deft mix of stan­dards and orig­i­nals. The band shows its jazz licks on You Touch Me and Turk­ish Bath . Mer­ritt gets sweaty on West­ern Union Man and sub­lime on Home Is Where the Heart Is . A live swag­ger through Re­spect is the bonus track. Hav­ing de­liv­ered the goods so con­vinc­ingly in 1969, the cabaret na­ture of the sec­ond disc, Stray Cats , i s a puz­zle­ment, with wrought ren­di­tions of Hey Jude , Proud Mary and that old RSL standby, a Jimmy Webb med­ley.

The Es­sen­tial Max Mer­ritt and the Me­te­ors 1969- 70 Max Mer­ritt and the Me­te­ors SonyBMG

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