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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Graham Bond - Live At BBC And Other Stories (1962-72 uk, splendid bebop jazz rhythm 'n' blues prog rock, 2015 four discs box set remaster)



Many of the articles that have recently appeared around this four CD compilation of Graham Bond’s BBC sessions tend to assume that the reader will be aware of who Bond was. Unfortunately this is not the case. While talking to an acquaintance of similar vintage as myself a few weeks ago, I mentioned this latest box set from Repertoire. “Graham Bond, I don’t recall him…” resulted in disappointment more than surprise from my side. So, for those who were there but find that almost daily our memories are fading, but more importantly for those who weren’t around in the sixties here’s a few facts.

Graham Bond was an important (and imposing) figure in British music in the sixties and seventies. Bond was an innovator, on a par as those more celebrated British musicians such as Alexis Korner and John Mayall, who also served as a training ground for many musicians who are still rightly regarded highly half a century after they first took to a stage. Bond was initially known for playing alto saxophone while trying to scrape a living as a jazz musician on his chosen instrument. After a stint with Alexis Korner’s Blues Inc., Bond teamed up with fellow Korner members, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, and with guitarist John McLaughlin formed the Graham Bond Quartet before morphing into the Graham Bond Organization, dropping McLaughlin in favour of Dick-Heckstall-Smith on tenor sax while Bond played keyboards, heavily featuring the Hammond organ.

It was during this time that Bond, while never forsaking his jazz leanings, introduced the rhythm and blues stylings that were so popular in the mid-sixties into his music and in doing so built up a sizable following. But, even with two albums released in 1965, ‘The Sound Of ‘65’ and ‘There’s a Bond Between Us’, and a dedicated fan base that attended his live shows, although he gained the respect, he never achieved the glory that many of his fellow band-mates did. It’s felt that Bond was under-appreciated then and even though his albums have been available through the digital age he’s still not recognized as the innovator he truly was. Bond was, and still is, one of the most important figures in British R'n'B.

For Bond’s full and fascinating story there’s a book, ‘Graham Bond: The Mighty Shadow’ which was published in 1992 and is still available from the author, Harry Shapiro, which details the rise and fall of Bond’s life and music, and is simply one of the most compelling books about a musician ever written. It’s a must-have for any music fan.

Of course, Bond’s life was complicated and there was a darker side to him, not helped by his drug addiction and his obsession with the occult, but one thing is certain; his death, which many to believe to be suicide, at the age of thirty-six robbed the music scene of an immense talent.

Bond went through a succession of bands, all of which are covered in Shapiro’s book, and while his time on this earth was short he influenced and introduced the world to many fine musicians. Although some of his more popular albums have hardly been put of print, during the last few years Repertoire Records have finally given part of Bond’s body of work the respect it’s due.

In 2012 the label released ‘Wade In The Water’, a four CD box set lovingly put together by poet/lyricist Pete Brown, who is possibly best known for his work with Cream and another underrated artist who also provided the foreword for Shapiro’s book as well as actually working with and releasing music with Bond. That lovingly compiled box set covered all that was really required from Bond’s early years, remastered with his usual skill by Jon Astley. Now Repertoire have gone the extra mile and issued another four CD box set covering Bond’s live work at the BBC and a little more.

While not as elaborately presented as ‘Wade In The Water’ - the book-sized box has been abandoned for a couple of double standard CD jewel cases - the fact that this music is now available at all is a blessing. Pete Brown again supplies liner notes and Astley once again has remastered the set. There have been many negative comments about the quality of some of these sessions and it’s true that some tracks do suffer from imperfections, but rather that than never having the opportunity to hear or relive them. With Astley in charge of the sound, you can be certain that they’ll never be improved upon anyway.

‘Live at the BBC’ covers more ground than it’s (mainly) studio counterpart. There is a handful of tracks from the Bond and Brown period. Bond’s Initiation era is featured and, of course, both Bond’s Quartet and Organization work is covered. The earliest recordings are from 1962 and the latest from 1972. There are sessions from BBC’s Jazz Club with Bobby Breen, the Quartet backing Duffy Power, Bond backing the Brian Dee Trio and so much more.

It’s not just fascinating for Bond devotees; anyone who has an interest in or is discovering British R&B for the first time will find plenty to enjoy here. While some of the tracks do show their age and sound a little dated, there are those such as the Bond and Brown ‘Sounds of the Seventies’ sessions that still sound as fresh as the day they were recorded. It’s also good to hear Diane (Bond’s wife) singing on a couple of those songs. While for the most part it’s fascinating to hear the various DJs introducing the songs, Pete Drummond sounds like he’s just woken when presenting these particular cuts, but hearing John Peel, Steve Race and George Melly is a joy.

While the quality of the four songs taken from a bootleg of the BBC ‘Pop Goes the Beatles’ recorded at Aeolian Hall, London in 1963 is one of the sections that has been singled out for criticism due to the audio imperfections, for some it will be a highlight. With Duffy Power on vocals, McLaughlin on guitar, Jack Bruce playing the double bass, Ginger Baker on drums and Bond’s Hammond driving the songs along, it’s not only a collector's dream come true but a piece of history many thought was lost forever.

All those connected with this set, especially Repertoire Records, should be commended for making this music available and at a reasonable price. The amount of love, care and passion that has gone into both of Repertoire’s Bond box sets is a lesson as to how it should be done to much bigger labels. Now all we need is some young, hip artist to check out Bond’s not inconsiderable body of work and maybe he’ll finally receive the acclaim he so rightly deserves. 
by Malcolm Carter


Tracks
Disc 1
1. Bluesology (Milt Jackson) - 4:13
2. I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town (Casey Bill Weldon, Roy Jacobs) - 3:56
3. Hello Little Girl (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 2:18
4. Spanish Blues (Graham Bond) - 4:13
5. Wade In The Water (Traditional Arr. Graham Bond) - 5:28
6. Hallelujah I Love Her So (Ray Charles) - 4:12
7. Every Day I Have The Blues (Pinetop Sparks, Milton Sparks) - 3:40
8. I Saw Her Standing There (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 2:26
9. I Got A Woman (Ray Charles, Renald Richard) - 4:32
10.Summertime (George Gershwin) - 3:59
11.Hallelujah I Love Her So (Ray Charles) - 2:06
12.Things Are Getting Better (Julian "Cannonball" Adderley) - 5:40
13.Elsie And Ena aka 'Bring Back The Burch' (Graham Bond) - 3:36
14.Richmond Festival (Don Rendell) - 6:15
15.Kelly Blue (Wynton Kelly) - 4:07
16.Troika (Burch) - 3:34
17.Kazeef (Burch) - 3:08
18.Persian Party (Don Rendell) - 4:05
Tracks 1-7 Graham Bond Quartet with Bobby Breen, BBC Jazz Club, at the Paris Cinema, 25th April, 1963
Tracks 8-11 Duffy Power with the Graham Bond Quartet, BBC 1963
Tracks 12-18 Don Rendell Quintet with guest Dick Heckstall-Smith, ‘Jazz Session’, at the Paris Cinema, 19th September, 1962

Musicians
Tracks 1-7
*Graham Bond - Vocals, Hammond Organ
*John Mclaughlin - Guitar
*Jack Bruce - Double Bass
*Ginger Baker - Drums
*Bobby Breen - Vocals
Tracks 8-11
*Graham Bond - Hammond Organ
*John Mclaughlin - Guitar
*Jack Bruce - Bass
*Ginger Baker - Drums
*Duffy Power - Vocals
Tracks 12-18 
*Don Rendell - Tenor, Soprano Saxophones
*Graham Bond - Alto Saxophone
*Dick Heckstall-Smith - Tenor Saxophone
*Johnny Burch - Piano
*Tony Archer - Bass
*Ted Pope - Drums


Disc 2
1. Wade In The Water (Traditional Arr. Graham Bond) - 4:43
2. Only Sixteen (Graham Bond) - 4:05
3. When Johnny Comes Marching Home (Traditional Arr. Graham Bond) - 4:50
4. Macumbe (DeLisle Harper) - 5:17
5. Milk Is Turning Sour In My Shoes (Pete Brown, Phil Ryan, Taff Williams) - 7:15
6. Beak Suite (Graham Bond) - 9:58
7. Improvisation - 2:42
8. Moses In The Bullrushourses (Pete Brown, Dick Heckstall-Smith) - 4:02
9. What’d I Say? (Ray Charles) - 9:40
10.Wade In the Water (Traditional Arr. Graham Bond) - 5:23
11.I Got A Woman (Ray Charles, Renald Richard) - 2:42
12.Cabbage Greens (Champion Jack Dupree) - 2:33
13.I Saw Her Standing There (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 2:27
14.Spanish Blues (Graham Bond) - 2:59
Tracks 1- 3 Graham Bond Organization, ‘Jazz Beat’, 22nd January, 1966
Tracks 4-6 Bond and Brown, BBC Radio Birmingham, 23rd March, 1972
Track 7 Graham Bond and Dick Heckstall-Smith, home tape, 1962
Track 8 Dick Heckstall-Smith Band, demo recording, 1972
Track 9 Graham Bond Organization, live recording, 1966-67
Track 10 Graham Bond Initiation, live recording, 1969-70
Tracks 11-14 The Graham Bond Quartet From A Bootleg of BBC “Pop Goes The Beatles” Recorded At Aeolian Hall London Broadcast 16th July 1963 

Musicians
Tracks 1-3
*Graham Bond - Hammond Organ, Vocals
*Dick Heckstall-Smith - Saxophones
*Mike Falana - Trumpet
*Ginger Baker - Drums
Tracks 4-6
*Graham Bond - Vocals, Hammond, Electric Piano
*Pete Brown - Vocals, Percussion
*Diane Stewart - Vocals, Percussion
*Delisle Harper - Bass
*Ed Spevock - Drums
Track 7
*Graham Bond - Alto Saxophone
*Dick Heckstall-Smith - Tenor Saxophone
Track 8
*Graham Bond - Hammond, Vocals
*Dick Heckstall-Smith - Saxophones
*Others Unknown
Track 9
*Graham Bond - Hammond, Vocals
*Dick Heckstall-Smith - Saxophones
*John Hiseman - Drums
Track 10
*Graham Bond - Hammond Organ, Alto Saxophone, Vocals
*Keith Bailey - Drums


Disc 3
1. Walkin’ In The Park-I Want You (Segue) (Graham Bond) - 7:17
2. Wade In The Water (Traditional Arr. Graham Bond) - 13:44
3. Love Is The Law (Graham Bond) - 8:16
4. Love Is The Law (Graham Bond) - 10:21
5. Magic Mojo (Graham Bond) - 9:52
6. The World Will Still Be Free (Graham Bond) - 8:23
7. Wade In The Water (Traditional Arr. Graham Bond) - 12:51
Tracks 1-3 Graham Bond Initiation BBC ‘Top Gear’, Maida Vale, 31st January, 1970
Tracks 4-7 Graham Bond Initiation, BBC John Peel Sunday show, Paris Theatre, London, 22nd March, 1970

Musicians
Tracks 1-3
*Graham Bond - Hammond Organ, Vocals
*Diane Stewart - Congas, Vocals
*Dave Usher - Flute, Tenor Saxophone, Guitar
*Nigel Taylor - Bass
*Keith Bailey - Drums
Tracks 4-7
*Graham Bond - Hammond, Vocals
*Dave Usher - Flute, Tenor Saxophone
*Nigel Taylor - Bass
*Keith Bailey - Drums
*Kevin Stacey - Guitar


Disc 4
1. Things Are Getting Better (Julian "Cannonball" Adderley) - 4:12
2. Blew Through (Philamore Lincoln) - 5:19
3. Sack O'Woe (Julian "Cannonball" Adderley) - 8:34
4. Mack The Knige (Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht) - 5:48
5. Work Song (Nat Adderley) - 13:30
6. Oleo (Sonny Rollins) - 15:14
7. Things Are Getting Better (Julian "Cannonball" Adderley) - 18:10
Track 1 Brian Dee Trio, From The EP “Jazz And Twist” Vaux VA 8, 1962
Track 2 Philamore Lincoln,  From The Album “The North Wind Blew South” Epic BN26497 1970
Tracks 3-7 With Ken Wray and The Joe Palin Trio Rehearsal / Jam Session Manchester, Club 43, 1962

Musicians
Track 1
*Graham Bond - Alto Saxophone
*Brian Dee - Piano
*Malcolm Cecil - Double Bass
*Tony Mann - Drums
Track 2
*Graham Bond - Keyboards, Saxophone
*Hal Blaine - Drums
Tracks 3-7
*Graham Bond - Alto Saxophone
*Ken Wray - Valve Trombone
*Joe Palin - Piano
*Bill Brown - Bass
*Dave Edwards - Drums

Related Acts
1965  The Graham Bond Organisation - The Sound Of '65 / There's A Bond Between Us
1970  Graham Bond - Holy Magick (Vinyl issue)
1972  Bond And Brown - Two Heads Are Better Than One (2009 remaster)
1969  Colosseum - Those Who Are About To Die Salute You
1969  Colosseum - Valentyne Suite
1970  Colosseum - Daughter Of Time
1972  Dick Heckstall Smith - A Story Ended (2006 Japan remaster)  
1970  Philamore Lincoln - The North Wind Blew South (2010 remastered edition)

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6 comments:

jimmy said...


wonder. I'm looking for "Bond in America" 1971, I think is a live lp.
anyone knows?

Alexandr Markevich said...

Thanks Marios.

Woody said...

Fantastic box. Thankx a lot.

Senorshoes said...

Much much thanks for the Graham Bond. Any chance of 'Wade in the Water' box set appearing?

Psyclist said...

I've been hoping this would be shared somewhere. Actually I've been hoping it would even exist, as I didn't know. Especially the early Graham Bond is absolutely magnificent. I can't thank you enough for this share.

I do pick up things from this blog and although I seldom share my thanks I would like to do this in one BIG GO. THANKS Marios for all the great stuff!

Unknown said...

Thanks — I've been eager to hear this ever since I first heard it was in the works.