As incredible as it seems, a lot of people still take Otis Clay for granted. He was seminal in the explosive development of Chicago soul music in the 1960s, contributing such hits as “A Flame in Your Heart” and “Got to Find a Way”; unfortunately, it’s become nearly impossible these days to achieve mainstream commercial success with Clay’s brand of adult-oriented, soulful R & B. Nonetheless, he’s one of our most vital links to the glorious deep-soul era, a major artist of undiminished capacities. Clay’s band tends to change a lot, but he always manages to find the tightest, most tasteful group of horn players around. Especially impressive is trumpeter Bridgett Lockett, whose instrument sports a Dizzy Gillespie-style elevated bell and who has developed into one of the band’s most distinctive and melodic solists. Those who’ve never seen Clay anywhere but the north side are in for a treat: he’s fresh off a southern tour, and he should be fired up and ready to reclaim his old turf. Saturday, Mr. G’s Supper Club, 1547 W. 87th; 445-2020.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Larry Kodani.