After leaving the Impressions and scoring a hit with "Lost," Jerry Butler recorded his debut LP, Jerry Butler, Esq., for the Abner label. And just as he's pictured on the cover (looking rather elegant with a cane in his hand), Butler's strong voice and impassioned delivery is more '50s supper-club pop than juke-joint soul, in a similar vein to Ben E. King and the Drifters. The material fits as well, with versions of "September Song" and "Come Back My Love" complementing "Lost," plus a reworking of his recent Impressions hit, "For Your Precious Love." Though the accompanying strings and vocal chorus pour it on just a bit too much, Butler has little trouble swinging effortlessly over the top. ~ John Bush
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- Thelma & Jerry/Two to One [Expanded Edition] (Houston, Thelma)