Personnel: Sam Cooke (vocals); Rene Hall, Barney Kessel, Clifton M. White (guitar); Raymond Johnson (piano); Billy Preston (organ); Clifford Hils (bass); Hal Blaine, Edward J. Hall (drums).
Producers: Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore.
Reissue producers: Jody Hart Klein, Gregg Geller, Lenne Allik.
Recorded at RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood, California on February 22-23 and 25, 1963. Includes liner notes by Robert Palmer.
Personnel: Sam Cooke (vocals); Rene Hall (conductor); Clif White, Barney Kessell (guitar); Raymond Johnson (piano); Billy Preston (organ); Edward Hall
(bass, drums); Clifford Hills (bass); Hal Blaine (drums).
Producers: Hugo & Luigi.
Reissue producer: Paul Williams.
Recorded in February 1963. Includes liner notes by Michael Hill.
Digitally remastered by Bill Lacey (Digital Sound & Picture, New York, New York).
By 1963 Cooke was a big enough star to call his own shots in the studio, and NIGHT BEAT is the result of his desire to make an intimate, artistic album that abandoned pop arrangements in favor of intimate soul-jazz settings. Accompanied by a small band that includes drum legend Hal Blaine and a very young Billy Preston on organ, he tackles a batch of tunes that were close to his heart. From the mournful, set-'em-up-Joe feel of "Lost And Lookin'" to the randy blues of Willie Dixon's "Little Red Rooster," Cooke pours out his heart. Freed from pop strictures, Cooke allows himself to stretch out vocally, his singing at its most unfettered and emotional throughout NIGHT BEAT.
Vibe (10/95, p.140) - "...Cooke was sometimes called `the black Sinatra,' and NIGHT BEAT shows exactly why. With spare, jazz-inflected backing, he offers the sort of loosely swinging, nuanced delivery that few besides Frank could ever match..."