Lee Moses - Time & Place LP

(Maple Records, 1971 - Future Days Recordings, 2016)


“Although many Deep Soul groove enthusiasts have been long hipped to the goodness of singer and multi-instrumentalist Lee Moses, the Atlanta native continues to be somewhat overlooked today. This makes the fresh reissue of his sole LP a very welcome occurrence; shorn of an earlier release’s addendum of Moses’ numerous singles, the trim package is fueled by Southern verve, a noteworthy range of influence and crack musicianship throughout, and its reputation as a cult classic is secure.

Had the breaks fallen his way, Lee Moses could’ve easily been a big commercial deal; listening to this LP and the handful of 45s that surrounded it reveal a major talent. By Time and Place’s 1971 release on the Maple imprint his artistic personality was well-acquainted with distinctiveness, and given time for further development he might’ve flourished.

A fair percentage of retroactive discoveries and repackaged obscurities spotlight musicians who either expanded upon or downright copied the success of their immediate predecessors, and evidence of borrowing is easily found on Time and Place; the difference is in what Moses additionally brought to the turntable.

For starters, in a milieu dominated by singers and backing bands he was a highly adept vocalist-guitarist. According to Sarah Sweeney’s liner notes for this release, Gladys Knight wanted him as the guitarist for the Pips, an offer Moses declined as he desired greater prominence.

“Time and Place” should easily satisfy fans of Stax and Hi, but the use of hand percussion helps transcend mere imitative status. It’s followed by “Got That Will,” a self-affirmation number which in namechecking a bunch of soul-infused musicians as models for personal success roughly follows the template laid down by Arthur Conley’s smash “Sweet Soul Music.” But Moses has a broader rollcall; mingled with Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, and Hendrix are B.B. King, Sly & the Family Stone, the Allman Brothers, and uh, Blood Sweat & Tears.” - Joseph Neff for The Vinyl District