Whether it’s the serviceable-but-nothing-more material or the never-quite-as-groovy-as-it-tries-to-be accompaniment, this doesn’t satisfy like I expected. To be sure, Tate’s got a flawless falsetto and vocal control to spare, which makes the blues strain more nimble than Johnnie Taylor’s (especially with a drum sound this snappy). However, for all of Howard’s prowess, something’s missing—could be charisma, could be something more intangible.
There’s something to be said for proficiency in execution. Just not much.