Monday, January 14, 2013


A surprise best-seller when it was first released, this mostly improvised pairing of singer, keyboardist, and producer Al Kooper with two major guitar heroes of the day sounds fascinating all these years later precisely because of the distance of time -- nobody makes records like this any more. The material runs the gamut from folk pop (covers of Donovan and Dylan), to blues ("Albert's Shuffle," "You Don't Love Me"), to heady jams ("His Holy Modal Majesty"), to big-band jazz ("Harvey's Tune").

All the tunes make effective templates for the kind off-the-cuff music-making that in less capable hands might have resulted in simple noodling. In fact, although Bloomfield and Stills don't play together on any of the cuts (Bloomfield played on one side of the original LP, Stills on the other), all three principals get off lots of good licks and producer Kooper has some interesting tricks up his sleeve, as in the over-the-top phasing he lavishes on "You Don't Love Me." The only real disappointment here is that Stills, a far better singer than Kooper, never opens his mouth.

Those familiar with the Live Adventures album these two recorded at the Fillmore West know how brilliant they could be on stage, and here's another gem, recorded at the Fillmore East this time and featuring 'One Way Out,' 'It's My Own Fault' (with Bloomfield trading licks with Johnny Winter... Johnny was signed to Columbia after this gig!). Newly remastered & now with 4 bonus tracks, 'Albert's Shuffle' (2002 Remix w/o Horns), 'Season of the Witch. ' (2002 Remix w/o Horns), 'Blues For Nothing' (Studio Outtake) & 'Fat Grey Cloud' Previously Unreleased Live Track).

Features 12-page booklet with unpublished photos from the recording session, new liner notes by Al Kooper & the Rolling Stone Hall Of Fame review by David Fricke.60 scintillating minutes! 13 tracks. Colunbia/Legacy.2003. Includes liner notes by Al Kooper, Michael Thomas. Includes liner notes by Michael Thomas. Full performer name: Mike Bloomfield/Al Kooper/Steve Stills. Personnel: Mike Bloomfield (electric guitar); Al Kooper (vocals, 12-string & electric guitars, piano, organ, ondioline); Steve Stills (electric guitar); Barry Goldberg (electric piano); Harvey Brooks (bass); Eddie Hoh (drums). Personnel: Mike Bloomfield (electric guitar); Al Kooper (piano, organ, ondioline, vocals, 12-string & electric guitars); Steve Stills (electric guitar); Barry Goldberg (electric piano); Harvey Brooks (bass); Eddie Hoh (drums). Reissue producer: Bob Irwin. Rolling Stone (10/12/68, p. 28) - "... The Bloomfield side is particularly excellent.... There is a firmness, a real steady handedness, a determinedly sure feeling to what he puts out here..." Uncut (6/03, p. 133) - 3 stars out of 5 - "... These Dylan sidekicks cut the mustard... ". ~ CD Universe

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