Idol this season, if it hasn’t already), and if it fails to lift a sour
mood for at least two-and-a-half minutes then one is certifiably one hardcore grump.
No surprise, then, that it’s that tune that serves as the
kick-off treat and centerpiece to this concert disc (it’s actually performed twice). But Reeves was no one-hit
wonder. Her act, Martha and the Vandellas, were one of Motown Records’ earliest
and most exciting girl groups — a more and edgy forceful alternative to the airy lift of
the Supremes. Their first hit was their second release, a beat ballad called “Come
Get These Memories” that represented Holland-Dozier-Holland’s first
collaboration as a songwriting team, hit #3 on the R&B charts in 1963.
Other smashes soon followed, including “Jimmy Mack,” “Heatwave” and, of course,
the finger-snapping “Nowhere to Run To,” another romp of a song.
All of these tunes get a workout in this 54-minute showcase,
recorded from a 2005 show at the Rock ’n’ Roll Palace in
arrangements thusly stretched out just a bit from the full-throttle pace of the
originals. Still, if her attempts at energetic reach-out don’t convey the
full-on catharsis one might want (sorry, but tambourines don’t fully convey the
will to move that “Dancing in the Street” instills), Reeves proves she still has
some power left in her pipes. Special guest Sam Moore also comes out to offer
up some of his hits (“Hold On, I’m Coming,” “Wrap It Up, I’ll Take It”) as
well, which leads to the nice conclusion of “Soul Man,” another energetic tune.
There aren’t any special features to speak of on this full-frame, region-free presentation,
but the audio is loud and clear, and as long as one supplies their own dance
moves, it’s a nice enough treat from Motown’s star-studded past. B (Concert) C+ (Disc)