ARTIST: Isaac Hayes
TITLE: Presenting Isaac Hayes
YEAR RELEASED: 1968
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Precious, Precious
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: The songs are all standards or well-known R&B songs
LINEUP: Issac Hayes, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Al Jackson Jr
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Long time Stax songwriter and producer makes his own album, and his solo performing act is not quite fully formed yet, mainly because this was off the cuff.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The studio was booked (at the last minute), Duck Dunn and Al Jackson were on bass and drums, and Hayes was on piano and vocals. Thus, an album was made.
The trio winged it – basically cutting songs they knew by heart and following Hayes’ changes on the piano. Hayes combines “I Just Want to Make Love to You” and “Rock Me Baby” in a medley and does the same with “I’m Going to Chicago” and “Misty”. He also does his own song “You Don’t Know Like I Know”. All of these songs feature Hayes’ growly deep voice, sounding a bit rough and ragged.
While this would be great to see in a live setting, and the immediacy of the performances makes it sound loose and fresh (Dunn and Jackson cook and the engineering is great – you can really hear them do their thang), it’s rather inconsequential in the end.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Hayes made this album to please a VP at Stax who knew Hayes’ talent and wanted him to start performing. After a company party, Hayes, Dunn and Jackson went to the studio and improvised everything. Yeah, they had some drinks, too.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: The full 19 minute version of “Precious, Precious” is added as a b-side.
GRADE: C+: We’re eavesdropping on a jam session, it seems. It’s entertaining to hear once, but a bit ragged and not something I’d go back to, really. Hayes’ career would start in earnest the next year, again at the prompting of the VP, but for a different reason.