Listening to this CD is like being back in contact with an old friend.

Listening to this CD is like being back in contact with an old friend. Before his untimely passing in 2000, veteran R&B singer Johnnie Taylor ("Who's Making Love," "Disco Lady") still reigned over a loyal fan base. This 16-song set draws from previously unreleased tracks he recorded during his 16 years with Malaco. Not every song is great, but that doesn't matter. Whether gettin' down with the blues, soul or some funk, Taylor's grits-and-honey vocals underscore what's sorely missing in most contemporary black music. One listen to "If You Take Your Love Away" and you'll hear why Taylor ranks alongside such revered soul singers as Sam Cooke and Al Green.—GM