the growing list of farewell albums by dying rockers, Leon Russell’s contribution
– recorded months before his November 2016 passing – may be the most
unflinching yet. “Sounds like a funeral for some person here/And I might
be the one,” he bemoans; elsewhere he dwells on loneliness and lost
lovers. Paradoxically, though, the soul-rock icon hasn’t sounded so alive in years.
From the swampy choogle of “Love This Way” to the supper-club
orchestration of “On the Waterfront” to the Cotton Club jazz of “Easy
to Love,” he poignantly circles his musical bases one last time.