Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Live Adventures Of Mike Bloomfield And Al Kooper

One of the seminal live albums of the late '60s, Live Adventures of Al Kooper & 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 & 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.


Disc: 1
1. Opening Speech
2. The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)
3. I Wonder Who
4. Her Holy Modal Highness
5. The Weight
6. Mary Ann
7. Together 'Til The End Of Time
8. That's All Right
9. Green Onions

Disc: 2
1. Opening Speech
2. Sonny Boy Williamson
3. No More Lonely Nights
4. Dear Mr. Fantasy
5. Don't Throw Your Love On Me So Strong
6. Finale-Refugee


Please leave a comment


Ravenhead said...

Thank You very much for the Bloomfield/Kooper/Stills Albums -and for Fleetwood Mac´s "then play on".
"...nobody makes records like this any more." - there´s so much truth in this words and in fact, it´s just absolutely timeless musicianship and still a great pleasure to listen to (after so many years).
YOU´RE DOING A GREAT JOB WITH YOUR BLOG, and i also enjoy reading the reviews.
Thank you again, keep on - and have a nice day.

wonderboy said...

Super Session was the first album I've ever bought! This is a real treat.
thanx for the music!

Anonymous said...

You have time and time again posted some of the finest music available. Your blog is one that should not be ignored.

Rainbow Demon said...

Thanks, Bro...
My LP has been like a frisbee for a long time now...


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Kooper/Bloomfield albums. I haven't heard the super session one in years and it's a treat to realize it's as good as i remembered. Great blog!

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Genuinely appreciated! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this great album. I have had a problem extracting though with Disc 1 track 2 "59th street bridge song". Can you help me with this track?


Anonymous said...

Hello, Please ignore my previous comment, I found a solution to the broken track. Thanks again for this great album!!


Mud Eel said...

Thank you! I've been wanting for a while to re-hear this favorite from my youth.

Great blog; excellent commentaries.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, one of my absolute favourites!

Glenn said...

Thanks so much for "Live Adventures..." My original vinyl copy didn't survive a party and I've missed it very much.

62mel1946 said...

Great to finally have this package after losing the 2-lp set years ago.