For some 40 years, Tower of Power's wickedly tight horns have been churning out classic R&B and soul, both on the group's own albums and backing up a virtual who's-who of A-list artists stretched over those decades, from Elton John and Bonnie Raitt to Aerosmith and Michelle Shocked. Founding saxophonists Emilio Castillo and Doc Kupka still head up a 10-piece outfit that also includes long-time members Francis Rocco Prestia on bass and drummer David Garibaldi, as well as the latest in a succession of singers, Larry Braggs, who can more than hold his own in comparison to '60s- and '70s-era classic soul voices. That was the then-Oakland-based TOP's most productive hit-making period, when a series of accomplished albums yielded such enduring nuggets as "You're Still a Young Man," "So Very Hard to Go," and "What Is Hip?" TOP's new, self-released Great American Soulbook tackles covers for the first time: a dozen soul classics from the likes of Stevie Wonder, Sam & Dave, James Brown, and Wilson Pickett, done up with the horns bristling and vocal guest shots from Sam Moore, Tom Jones, Joss Stone, and Huey Lewis. With Stephanie Devine. All ages.
Tue., June 16, 7:30 p.m., 2009