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Plain and Fancy

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mike Bloomfield And Al Kooper - The Live Adventures Of Mike Bloomfield And Al Kooper (1969 us, outstanding psych blues rock, double disc release)



One of the seminal live albums of the late '60s, Live Adventures of Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield was a natural, organic offshoot of the hugely successful Super Session album from 1968, which contained performances by both of these groundbreaking musicians, as well as Stephen Stills. 

The idea of musical spontaneity both in live performance and in the recording studio had reached a certain apex in 1968, and spontaneous excursions by musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Steve Winwood, and the Southern California musical covenant that eventually became Crosby, Stills, Nash 'n' Young, as well as a host of others, were indeed a sign of the times. But it was the union of Bloomfield and Kooper that can truly claim an origination of the phenomenon, and this album takes it to another level entirely. 

Utilizing a fine and tight rhythm section of John Kahn and Skip Prokop, the two musicians duel and embrace each other on such cuts as the accurately named "Her Holy Modal Highness" and a great, revamped rock/soul re-working of Paul Simon's "Feelin' Groovy," which is buttressed by a guest studio vocal overdub by the author himself. The album's high point may be Bloomfield's rendering of Albert King's epic "Don't Throw Your Love on Me So Strong," which may indeed also be one of his finest career recordings. 

Like the Super Session album, history repeated itself, as Bloomfield's chronic insomnia caught up with him by the morning of the second night of the two-night gig, rendering him unavailable. Kooper enlisted the help of Steve Miller and a practically unknown Carlos Santana (himself a Bloomfield devotee) for several tracks, particularly a loose and free version of "Dear Mr. Fantasy," which sort of embodies the whole affair and era. Undoubtedly a necessity from the period, the record has been remastered for CD, and the results are truly glorious, and do this legendary album justice. 
by Matthew Greenwald


Tracks
Disc One
1. Opening Speech (Mike Bloomfield) - 1:30
2. The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) (Paul Simon) - 5:38
3. I Wonder Who (Ray Charles) - 6:04
4. Her Holy Modal Highness  (Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield) - 9:08
5. The Weight  (Robbie Robertson) - 4:00
6. Mary Ann (Ray Charles) - 5:19
7. Together 'Til The End Of Time  (Frank Wilson) - 4:15
8. That's All Right  (Arthur Crudup) - 3:28
9. Green Onions  (Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Al Jackson, Jr., Lewie Steinberg) - 5:26


Disc Two
1. Opening Speech  (Al Kooper) - 1:28
2. Sonny Boy Williamson  (Jack Bruce, Paul Jones) - 6:04
3. No More Lonely Nights   (Sonny Boy Williamson) - 12:27
4. Dear Mr. Fantasy  (Jim Capaldi, Stevie Winwood, Chris Wood) - 8:04
5. Don't Throw Your Love On Me So Strong  (Albert King) - 10:56
6. Finale-Refugee  (Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield) - 2:04

Musicians
*Al Kooper - Organ, Piano, Vocals
*Mike Bloomfield - Guitar, Vocals
*John Kahn - Bass Guitar
*Skip Prokop - Drums
*Carlos Santana - Guitar
*Elvin Bishop - Guitar
Steve Miller and Dave Brown had also volunteered  their services but if they performed, their contributions do not appear (at least credited) on the album

Mike Bloomfield
1966-68  Strawberry Jam (with Paul Butterfield's Blues Band)
1969  Live At Bill Graham's Fillmore West
1976  Live at the Old Waldorf
1976  KGB 

Al Kooper 
1970  Easy Does It 
1973  Naked Songs
with Blues Project
1966  Live At The Cafe Au Go Go
1966  Projections
1967   Live At Town Hall
1973  Reunion In Central Park
with Blood, Sweat And Tears
1968  Child Is Father To The Man
with Shuggie Otis
1969  The Kooper Sessions

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