Back in the day I had picked up the Montgomery Bros. "Groove Yard" album, and I really dug that whole record. It was some real inspired craftsmanship, and "Back to Back" was just one of the highlights in the whole bouquet. I probably hadn't played it in a couple of decades.
When I first heard the "Bock to Bock" cut from Soul Serenade, there was a stark moment of disequilibrium--I KNEW that somewhere in my listening past I had heard that piece--the title having been slightly tweaked, I was thrown off, lol.
But it was delightful to then realize that the band had, recognizing the jewel that tune is, hand-picked it out of the misty flats of time and breathed new life into it. Good call and wotta treatment, fellers!
Soul Serenade was the second album that I owned and listened to by The DTB (first one being Songlines). At first I was kind of indifferent about it, Oriental Folk Song being the only tune that immediately caught my attention. However, after several listens thereafter, all of the songs grew on me, especially Afro Blue and Sierra Leone (which I wish was about five minutes longer than it is here on this disc... it is only 2:15). This album is all instrumental, sans Drown In My Own Tears, which features Greg Allman on vocals... if I had to chose, my least favorite song on the album. This album explores some of the jazz depths that The DTB can showcase, which, for me, is very tasteful and nothing ever stale or in excess. Most of the songs have great structure and direction and after a few listens will have the listener humming along with the rhythyms. Great flute by Kofi, great rhythym by Smallie and Rico, and well... you know what else! Songlines is still my favorite, but Soul Serenade is a close second. In other words, this album is better than 99% of most records in most collections.