Lee Moses: Hey Lee

Lee Moses: Time and Place (LP Version) + Hey Joe
From Time and Place (Maple, 1970s)

The Lee Moses LP on Maple was one of the first “holy grail” soul albums I learned about. I knew about the single, “Time and Place” already (thanks Positive K!) and I’m not exactly sure, but soon thereafter, heard about the LP it came off but understood that it was a tough LP to track down, especially if I didn’t feel like paying $100 for it (this was the days when I actually would have hesitated to spend that much).

As it was though, I actually held a copy of the LP for a few days, back in the late ’90s. I was visiting a friend in Brooklyn who asked if I’d be willing to bring a copy of the album back to a mutual acquaintance of ours in the Bay Area. Of course, it did cross my mind to claim that the LP got “lost” during the way but I didn’t think it’d be a very convincing story. I did, however, take the time to digitize the album before handing it over and it’s a good thing too: it’s taken years for it to finally make it to CD but I have to say: Sanctuary (the reissue label) did a bang up job with this CD. Not only does it include the original Maple album but it comes with practically another CD’s worth of bonus tracks, mostly singles by Moses that pre-date the album, including a raw, funky soul version of “Daytripper” and the 45 version of “Time and Place” that ended up gracing Soul Sides Vol. 1.

It can be confusing to place Moses – he sure sounds like a Southern artist yet Maple was a New Jersey imprint while Front Page (where “Time and Place,” the single, came from) was from New York. Moses himself hailed from Atlanta though, thus helping to explain the ragged gospel edge to his singing style. Check out In Dangerous Rhythm’s far more extensive biography of him.

The album version of “Time and Place” is very similar to the 45 version but I noticed some slight differences in the percussion (or maybe it’s just the mix) and thought, given some listener familiarity with the song (assuming you *cough cough* copped SSV1), it’d be worth posting so folks can listen for themselves.

“Hey Joe” is arguably reason alone to track down the LP. Moses pulls off a fantastic, gritty cover of this Billy Roberts’ classic and while it won’t necessarily make people forget what the Jimi Hendrix version is like, Moses’ take is compelling and passionate (not to mention a rock solid psych/funk/blues smash up).