's Chess album is an above-average mid-'60s soul LP, particularly for an artist that never had a big pop hit. Collier
's voice is deeper and more gospel-inflected than that of most woman soul singers of the period. She favors slower material than most soul vocalists did as well, as on her most famous recording, "I Had a Talk with My Man Last Night" (included here); Ray Charles
stands out as an influence, as three of his songs are covered. She proves capable on swinging medium-tempo belters too, as on the imaginatively arranged version of "My Babe," which sounds here more like gospel-soul than the electric blues tune as popularized by Little Walter
. It's quality, varied soul, not simply collector marginalia despite Collier
's obscurity. The top-flight Chess soul production--frequent tasteful brass and strings, yet also some earthy numbers with tough bluesy licks--sometimes recalls the sound of Etta James
' recordings from the same era. The 1998 British CD reissue expands the program considerably to 22 tracks, although there's an inexcusable absence of annotation explaining the origins of the cuts.