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The Iceman Cometh

In 1960, Jerry Butler left the Impressions. He probably figured he was making the best move. After all, the group he led had been unable to duplicate the massive success it had in 1958 with the Butler-sung ¨For Your Precious Love.¨ Although Butler´s departure inadvertently did wonders for the Impressions by pushing Curtis Mayfield to the fore, it didn´t do much for Butler´s career. It wasn´t until 1968 -- with the release of his stellar The Iceman Cometh LP -- that he made a substantial impact. Even then, it was tough for him to repeat. Now, nearly 50 years after it was a hit, ¨For Your Precious Love¨ is the hallmark of ¨The Iceman¨´s infrequent performances, crashing waves of nostalgia over crowds of soulful AARP members. It´s something of a shame, actually. Butler´s sonorous voice is far more substantial than the late Mayfield´s ever was, and the thought of him singing gripping numbers like ¨It´s All Right¨ and ¨People Get Ready¨ under Curtis´ musical direction is simply criminal in its unrealized potential. Knowing this, Butler frequently dips into the hits the Impressions had after his tenure with the group, along with other soul standards and his small handful of late-´60s and early-´70s hits. To hear him sing those, and of course, ¨For Your Precious Love,¨ is to hear a true soul master at work.


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