Iron Pot Cooker CD Review
by Troy Johnson

Iron Pot CookerThe Iron Pot Cooker
Click to Order via Amazon

by Camille Yarbrough

Audio CD (February 22, 2000)
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Vanguard Records
ASIN: B00002069L
Also Available in Vinyl & MP3 Download

Though The Iron Pot Cooker was originally released in 1971, the first time I heard it was was in 2000.  I dropped everything to write this review and to build the web page you are reading now — I felt compelled to get the word out about this CD.

The first track "But it Comes Out Mad" is a moving piece which expresses the depth of understanding that a black woman can feel for her man.  You can hear in Yarbrough’s voice that she understands.  The bassist, keyboardist and drummer understand as well.  They get down and take us on an emotional ride of despair, hope, and joy over the course of this 47 minute CD.

After listening to the second track it is obvious the currently popularity of Saul Williams, Jessica Care Moore, or Ursula Rucker in the 21st century is constructed on the foundation put down by Yarbrough and her peers including Gil-Scott Heron and Nikki Giovanni a couple of generations earlier. 

Often my wife and I play a game, while listening to the radio, where we vie to be the first to identify the original performer of whatever popular song is playing.  We reflect on the fact most young people are completely unaware of the original artist’s, typically better, versions of the sampled versions they enjoy today.  Young people might be surprised to learn that Fatboy Slim’s extremely popular "Praise You" track was taken (not merely sampled) from The Iron Pot Cooker’s 4th track "Take Yo’ Praise" — I certainly was.  You can take the lyrics and the music, but you can’t take the soul — and Cooker original version exudes soul!

People often ask "What is soul?".  After a single listening of The Iron Pot Cooker CD it is clear Yarbrough is soul incarnate.   Simply, this the one of the best CD’s I’ve heard in a long time.  Yarbrough’s lyrics are even more relevant today.

Sankofa CAMILLE YARBROUGH has had distinguished careers as community activist, writer, teacher, actress, composer, singer, dancer, radio talk show host, and lecturer.   She currently resides in Harlem, New York./p>

Track Titles (Total Time 47:06)

  1. But It Comes Out Mad
  2. Dream / Panic / Sonny Boy The Rip-Off Man / Little Sally The Super Sex Star / (Taking Care Of Business)
  3. Ain’t It A Lonely Feeling
  4. Take Yo’ Praise
  5. Can I Get A Witness
  6. All Hid?
  7. Take Yo’ Praise - (remix)
  8. Take Yo’ Praise - (club mix)