It’s almost unbearable. Otis Redding’s immortal recording of “Try a Little Tenderness??? sustains a nearly paralyzing groove tension, helping make it perhaps the quintessential record by the soul legend and a perennial entry on “greatest songs of all time??? lists. The track also perfectly encapsulates Al Jackson Jr.’s profound gifts of musical intuition and masterly restraint, anchored by an astonishingly deep time feel that can be felt on hundreds of classic tracks. In a 1977 interview with Valerie Wilmer for the U.K. magazine Black Music, guitarist session mate Steve Cropper said Jackson “could always pocket it.???

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