Sam Cooke's reputation as a brilliant singer is sometimes maintained in spite of some of his records, not because of them. Hugo and luigi, his rca producers, often drowned cooke's stunning pipes in an ocean of inappropriate orchestras and choirs. But compare their single version of 'chain gang' to the stripped-down, gently swaying, and considerably more heartfelt live version on live at the Harlem square club; no doubt about it, Sam Cooke was a master, and if his producers had been a bit more sympathetic, his stature would be even higher now than it is. Recorded in Florida in 1963, just over a year before his murder, this 10-track set puts Sam Cooke in front of a small combo and just let's the man go. Every track is a small masterpiece of soul phrasing, and the band is more than up to cooke's vocal prowess. Listen and be amazed. Bruce Elder writes 'it's one of the greatest soul records ever cut by anybody, outshining James Brown's first live album from the Apollo theater and easily outclassing Jackie Wilson's live record from the Copa.' in 2003, the album was ranked number 443 on rolling stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.