Leon Russell, 'The Best of Leon Russell' (Capitol/EMI)

The Best of Leon Russell
Critical Mass
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Label: Capitol/EMI

by Andrew Hultkrans

Russell was the original oddball arranger-producer-sideman-songwriter, as important for the records he shepherded for others as for his own. Already gigging in his native Tulsa, Oklahoma, as a teen, Russell moved to L.A. and played keyboards for Phil Spector's Wrecking Crew, then graduated to sessions for Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, Elton John, and many others. His best '70s solo work, most of which is included here, brought an eccentric glamminess to Southern roots music.

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