King Curtis: Instant Groove
R&B tenor sax giant King Curtis was a main source of inspiration for the Hawks and the Band throughout their career, especially influencing Robbie Robertson's style of guitar playing. King Curtis began recording for Atlantic/Atco in 1958, appearing both in his own with several R&B hits, and on albums by The Coasters and other soul and R&B acts. He later became the leader of Aretha Franklin's backing unit, the Kingpins, and compiled several albums of singles during the '60s and the beginning of the '70s. King Curtis was still active as a producer, live artist, and studio musician when he was murdered in 1971.
Instant Groove is a collection of King Curtis recordings from the late '50s up to 1969. Curtis' friend Duane Allman accompanied him on the album, playing funky electric sitar for the instrumental cover versions of "The Weight" and "Games People Play," which won a Grammy that year for best R&B instrumental. Curtis' wonderful, improvisational "The Weight" can also be heard on the compilations Instant Soul: The Legendary King Curtis (King Curtis, 1994, Razor & Tie Music) and Anthology, Vol. 2 (Duane Alleman, 1974, Capricorn 0139).