Wednesday, 6 April 2011
Random Review #41 Bloomfield Kooper and Stills - Super Session
Super Group, Super Session I'm not sure that this is either but let me explain the story behind the album and then we can draw up some conclusions.
This album was conceived as a platform for Mike Bloofield and Al Kooper, Bloomfiled was an accomplished blues musician and Kooper was Dylan's Keyboard player and both were very talented. The idea was to book 2 days in the studio with a cool house band jam for to days see what happens and then Kooper was to take the best bits and make them into an album. What happened is that this worked on the first day but due to Bloomfield's drug addiction he couldn't manage to get to studio on the second day, Stephen Stills fresh from the demise of Buffalo Springfield and prior to CSNY, was called to step in and therefore the album became Bloomfield, Kooper and Stills although all three don't play together on any of the tracks.
So it's hardly a Super Group in the purest sense and really listening to it, you could have called it the Sometimes Super Sessions as the music is somewhat patchy!
Originally released as a nine track album Bloomfield plays on 4 of the 9 and Stills the rest, you can tell the different just in the guitar playing as Bloomfield has a very pure blues style were as, Stills is a great guitarist but you can tell he is not used to playing blues guitar and come from a folk/rock background. This CD version adds another 4 tracks to the CD a couple of outtakes and 2 alternative takes of Albert's Shuffle and Season Of The Witch. Neither of the duplicates add anything different from originals and really are unnecessary. That said it has it's moments Albert's Shuffle is a great blues instrumental which shows Bloomfield fluid guitar off beautifully and this continues with Stop, and Stills is great on Season Of The Witch.
The tracks are a mix of straight blues instrumentals a couple of what you might call physcadelic blues and couple of covers (11 minute cover of Donovan's Season Of The Witch and Curtis Mayfields Man's Temptation). This album has its moments all three artists are real talents but there are better showcases for that talent elsewhere, (Stephen Stills - Manassas being a case in point)
Stephen Stills went on to household fame in Crosby Stills Nash and Young and many other ventures and I Kooper has continued to be keyboard player for hire, Bloomfield sadly died of a drug overdose in 1981 and looking back he was the one with the greatest talent but that's just my opinion.
I have enjoyed listening to this CD back can't imagine I'll be back soon to listen to it again, I have better examples of the music genre played here, Freddie King, Shuggie Otis, Ronnie Earl to name but three, but it's not going to the charity shop, it mapped a coming together of three great musicians and is worth keeping for that reason alone.