ANY NOTION that Arthur Prysock may have lost something as a singer over the years vanishes the moment he settles into "Rainy Night in Georgia," the opening track from his latest album "This Guy's In Love With You." As resonant as ever, his baritone is as deep as Sinatra's pockets.
Too bad the songs aren't always worthy of it. The more contemporary tunes, especially the Bacharach-David title song and the ubiquitous "Everything Must Change" are severely overtaxed these days. Even strong duet performances of these songs, which feature Prysock and the soulful Betty Joplin, fail to give them new life. You need only hear Prysock reprise something as moving or as intimate as his old hits "At Last" or "I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone" to understand just how persuasive he can be when the song is right.
Happily, the majority of songs are right, and so is the accompaniment provided by brother Red Prysock and his band. Red plays a saxophone the way Arthur sings -- with plenty of poise and feeling. His sinuous phrases and obvious affection for the blues consistently enhance the ballads, and he even gets a chance to honk a little on a robust and jubilant version of "Good Rockin' Tonight."
ARTHUR & RED PRYSOCK --
"This Guy's In Love With You" (Milestone M-9146). Appearing through Sunday at Woodie's Hilltop Pub.