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Al Kooper & Mike Bloomfield - Fillmore East The Lost Concert Tapes 121368 (2003) Japanese Blue-sp...

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Al Kooper & Mike Bloomfield - Fillmore East: The Lost Concert Tapes 12/13/68 (2003)
Japanese Blue-spec CD 2, Remastered Reissue 2014

EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 350 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 138 Mb | Scans ~ 127 Mb
Blues-Rock, Electric Blues| Label: Sony Records Int'l ‎ | # SICP 30463 | Time: 01:00:01

The live attempts at recreating the seminal jam chemistry of Super Session were hit-and-miss affairs, and this one, previously unreleased, has its fair share of off-key and off-target tunes. The rhythm section is erratic, the repertoire-ranging from Simon & Garfunkel's "59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" to an Elvis-flavored "That's All Right Mama"-is a bit odd, and co-leader Al Kooper is competent but rarely inspired. Guitarist Michael Bloomfield, however, is uniformly brilliant and his graceful blues virtuosity is by itself well worth the price of admission. Bloomfield and the group are joined on B.B. King's "It's My Own Fault" by a then-unknown Johnny Winter and things get really interesting. For nearly 11 minutes Winter and Bloomfield dive deep into the blues with Winter astounding the audience with his vocals and lightning licks on a song that had long been a staple of his live shows in Texas. The remainder of the album lacks similar energy and excitement, but Bloomfield's guitar work keeps it listenable. Overall, The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield & Al Kooper, recorded several months earlier, provides a better look at the band's concert sound but it does so without Winter.

At first glance, you might mistake this for unused material from the same late-1968 concerts that supplied the material for The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield & Al Kooper. But no, this was recorded about two and a half months later at a different venue, and with a different backup band (Paul Harris on piano, Jerry Jemmott on bass, and John Cresci on drums). There's still some similarity to the repertoire, though, and a good deal of similarity to the music, which is blues-rock with a late-'60s improvisational heaviness. And to be honest, it hasn't dated well, the undisputed instrumental talents of Bloomfield and Kooper notwithstanding. Why? Well, little original material was offered, the only song falling into that category being Bloomfield's "(Please) Tell Me Partner," a routine and (at ten minutes) overlong blues. The soul-pop cover "Together Till the End of Time" comes off the best, in part because of its relative economy at four and a half minutes in length, and the cover of Sonny Boy Williamson's "One Way Out" isn't bad. But the band isn't too tight (particularly the rhythm section), the lead vocals aren't strong, and the interpretations (including a nine-minute "Season of the Witch," which Kooper and Stephen Stills had done on the popular Bloomfield-Kooper-Stills Super Session album) are too long and not terribly imaginative. This disc does preserve a historic moment of sorts, when Bloomfield introduces then-unknown guest guitarist Johnny Winter, who takes some of the guitar duties on "It's My Own Fault." This was the appearance that, according to Kooper's liner notes, alerted Columbia to Winter, after which the label quickly offered him a contract.



01. Introductions (1:28)
02. One Way Out (4:17)
03. Mike Bloomfield's Introduction of Johnny Winter (1:02)
04. It's My Own Fault (Feat Johnny Winter) (10:57)
05. 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) (6:16)
06. (Please) Tell Me Partner (10:10)
07. That's All Right Mama (3:40)
08. Together Till The End Of Time (4:30)
09. Don't Throw Your Love On Me So Strong (8:41)
10. Season Of The Witch (8:59)

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