Album review | R&B

Booker T. Jones, ‘Sound the Alarm’

The latest from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame organist Booker T. Jones could not be more timely: “Sound the Alarm” is the sound of summer.

You can practically hear the sidewalk sizzling as the hydrant gushes onto the hot pavement during the festive block party jam “66 Impala,” featuring percussion flourishes from Sheila E. and Poncho Sanchez. The ebullient ode to celebrating life “Can’t Wait,” featuring Estelle, is a fresh breeze. Mayer Hawthorne fronts the funky, strutting title track, which calls to mind Jones’s classic ’60s sides. And “Fun” could not be more aptly named, as bursting horns and handclaps make it feel like you’re joining a grand party as its reaches its ecstatically noisy peak.


The Grammy-winning vet, famous for his work on tracks from John Fogerty’s “Born on the Bayou” to Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay,” as well as his own hits with the MGs such as “Green Onions,’’ also shows a lovely singing voice on the smoky “Watch You Sleeping.”

That Jones has returned to longtime home Stax Records is just icing on a supremely soulful cake. (Out Tuesday) SARAH RODMAN


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