Night Beat

Night Beat

Sam Cooke challenged R&B’s focus on singles with this carefully crafted exploration of bluesy, midnight moods. Juke-joint grit turns elegant on “Laughin’ and Clownin’” and “You Gotta Move,” while Cooke recasts the blues standard “Fool’s Paradise” as a ribbon of silken vocal maneuvers. There is no filler. There are no wasted notes. With each exquisite and plaintive measure, Cooke invests simple works like “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” with newfound richness, and lures listeners into the magnetic sparseness of “Lost and Lookin’.”

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