Terry Callier – 1972 – What Color Is Love

Terry Callier’s What Color Is Love is an essential Soul Jazz album that should belong in anyone’s record collection.

Produced by Charles Stepney, whose work with Cadet / Chess records, Rotary Connection and Earth, Wind & Fire earned him popular acclaim. Filled with Funk, Rock, Folk, Jazz, and even Classical influences, vocalist Callier can be heard on this album to the most intriguing heights.

Dancing Girl” opens the album with Stepney’s majestic orchestration. Songs like “What Color Is Love” and “Ho Tsing Mee“, an elegant antiwar prayer of confusion, somehow avoid clichés or take them to another level. You Goin’ Miss Your Candyman” was featured in the French movie, Intouchables.

Callier’s passionate voice captures the sweeping drama of the human condition. A lost romantic amid “concrete frond yards,” this album is a must-have for any music connoisseur.

Tracks
A1 Dancing Girl 8:58
A2 What Color Is Love 4:04
A3 You Goin’ Miss Your Candyman 7:20
B1 Just As Long As We’re in Love 3:40
B2 Ho Tsing Mee (A Song of the Sun) 4:20
B3 I’d Rather Be With You 6:38
B4 You Don’t Care 5:28

By Mark Barry

At about 1:58 into the astonishing “Dancing Girl” (the opening nine-minute track of “What Color Is Love”) it gets very quiet and the acoustic guitar holds the speakers alone – then Don Myrick‘s tasteful sax work floats in followed by keyboard flourishes and some wickedly arranged strings by Charles Stepney… The effect is absolutely magical…

And after you’ve put your jaw back into place, you’re left standing there with a genuine incomprehension… how has something this lovely and genuinely soulful been forgotten? Why isn’t this huge??

What Color Is Love” was released on LP in March 1973 in the USA on Cadet CA 50019 and is the second of three albums Callier made for the Chess offshoot label Cadet in the Seventies – the first was “Occasional Rain” in 1972 and the third was “I Just Can’t Help Myself” in 1975.

As well as the wonderful breath of “Dancing Girl” – highlights include the huge build up on Side One’s closer “You Goin’ To Miss Your Candyman” (co-written with Phyllis Braxton), the “I-must-hit-the-road but I wanna…” soft-soul of “I’d Rather Be With You” (co-written with Larry Wade and Jerry Butler) and the so 5th Dimension girly vocals of Kitty Haywood, Shirley Wahls and Vivian Harrell on “You Don’t Care” – a song so up with hippy-love-and-harmony that it may have some of you going to work in a sunny disposition on the drizzliest of Monday mornings…

Phil Upchurch features on Guitar throughout, while another soul-hero associated with the album is Charles Stepney who arranged, conducted and produced the project to such sweet effect (also played keyboards). He was involved in The Rotary Connection with Minnie Riperton, produced four albums with The Dells and even twiddled the knobs on the iconic and now much-vaulted psych-blues-fusion album “Electric Mud” by Muddy Waters. I’d personally scour down anything he had a hand in – a genius…

Like Marvin Gaye‘s “What’s Going On”, Donny Hathaway‘s “Extension Of A Man”, Stevie Wonder‘s “Innervisions” and Callier’s predecessor to this “Occasional Rain” – this is a proper soul album – a gem all the way through and still beautiful and inspiring to this day – some 40 years after the event.

Why isn’t the LP artwork of this masterpiece on someone’s t-shirt somewhere as the ultimate street-cool – who knows? But you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Of late Terry Callier has morphed (like Richie Havens) into a sort of elder statesman of soul still spreading his gospel of love and understanding – check out “Timepeace” from 1998 – unbelievably good and relevant to the now and not just past glories.

I’ve warbled on a bit I know, but this album and its predecessor “Occasional Rain” both deserve it.

Buy it, cherish it, enjoy it – and I envy you the journey…

Buy the Album

Download the Album

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23 Comments
  • Angelo Phillips Jr
    Posted at 12:07h, 11 June 2017 Reply

    Love it. I remember my father playing this LP back in the day, and I’m 49 now. :)

  • Diana
    Posted at 12:13h, 11 June 2017 Reply

    I miss this kind of music…Terry and Charles…what a winner compination. Brilliant.

  • Tony
    Posted at 16:28h, 11 June 2017 Reply

    Stunning. Thanks for posting this gem.

  • Fisher M.
    Posted at 18:34h, 11 June 2017 Reply

    chicago soul, folk, jazz…whatever you call it …it’s a killer…

  • Zoe
    Posted at 18:45h, 11 June 2017 Reply

    Truly astounding music ♥ ♥ ♥

  • Philipp
    Posted at 09:29h, 12 June 2017 Reply

    RIP Terry Callier …. the candy man ..my favorite song from Terry Callier’s best album

  • Tim
    Posted at 10:23h, 12 June 2017 Reply

    I agree that this album is his best, Candyman & Dancing girl are top tunes.
    The basslines are amazing, it stills sounds so good.

  • westeros
    Posted at 19:40h, 12 June 2017 Reply

    These songs still gives me the chills. Beautiful!!

  • Ron Mcgrath
    Posted at 19:58h, 12 June 2017 Reply

    Terry Callier’s voice and lyrics, Charles Stepney’s ethereal arrangements equal GOLD.
    Timeless indeed. One of my prized albums.

  • Alamo
    Posted at 19:43h, 13 June 2017 Reply

    This site is one of the best resorces on the net for 60’s and 70’s Soul, Funk, R&B.
    Thanks for everything.

  • JAmALA
    Posted at 20:17h, 13 June 2017 Reply

    AWESOME Record! Definitely one of the best Ive heard on here!

  • o.valencia
    Posted at 00:40h, 15 June 2017 Reply

    Amazing music! Thank you so much!

  • Bertram
    Posted at 00:48h, 15 June 2017 Reply

    such a hot piece of art….

  • jay stephenson
    Posted at 09:03h, 15 June 2017 Reply

    a masterpiece
    btw do you know if there are any hi res copys of this album around? i have a re issue on vinyl but would like to get really good digital version.
    many thanks

    jay

  • Jana
    Posted at 18:42h, 15 June 2017 Reply

    maravilhoso ❤❤

  • Calvin
    Posted at 13:33h, 16 June 2017 Reply

    Nice! I’ve always loved Terry Callier.

  • Verata
    Posted at 12:02h, 17 June 2017 Reply

    What a beautiful soulful bluesey voice.

  • Leo
    Posted at 12:07h, 17 June 2017 Reply

    I just discovered Terry and he might be one of the greatest thing I’ve ever heard!

  • Angel
    Posted at 20:41h, 17 June 2017 Reply

    Just perfect

  • Leroy
    Posted at 23:37h, 18 June 2017 Reply

    damn, I can’t get enough of this music

  • santi
    Posted at 02:43h, 19 June 2017 Reply

    i guess you dont like zippyshare

  • Bob
    Posted at 19:25h, 19 June 2017 Reply

    Where have all the good sounds gone?
    Faboulous.

  • Earl B
    Posted at 09:12h, 20 June 2017 Reply

    great times back in the day

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