H, 1951: An intimate, entrancing, expansive, masterful recording. Runs the gamut from traditional, soulful entreaties to a potential lover, to straight dance numbers, to modern, dismissive, boastful let’s-have-sex rhythm workouts, to sharp social commentary. A great collection of collaborators. Wonderfully consistent sound layering, with drums and bass on the bottom, smooth soulful vocals on top, with graceful, expressive horns often lurking in the background. By the end of the album you’ll feel like you’ve been hanging out with the bass player and drummer for years. “Devil’s Pie” is essential listening: “Watch us all, stand in line / For a slice of the devil’s pie / Drugs and thugs, women wine / Three or four, at a time.” But the hauntingly beautiful “Africa” is also essential.