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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Blues Project - Live At Town Hall (1967 us, substantial wide influenced psych blues rock, 2013 japan SHM remaster)

The Blues Project came together in NYC's Greenwich Village in 1965. The original quintet was guitarists Danny Kalb and Steve Katz, bass and flautist Andy Kulberg, drummer Roy Blumenfeld and vocalist Tommy Flanders. Session musician Al Kooper joined after the band failed a COLUMBIA audition. Although his keyboard skills were limited, Kooper contributed respectable vocals and good original songs.

In 1966, they recorded “Live At Cafe Au Go Go” and “Projections” for the Verve Forecast label. By early '67 when work began on “The Blues Project Live At Town Hall” (FT/FTS 3025), Kooper had left the group (Katz followed him later in the year).

There's only one cut here actually recorded at Town Hall. The balance is other "live" a performances at  Stony Brook College, plus studio tracks with added applause. Kooper's "No Time Like the Right Time," the group's only charting single, is a studio take augmented with applause that's reminiscent of the Animals. "Mean Old Southern" rolls as fast as an express train at full throttle. The extended "Flute Thing" opens with organ and flute playing in unison.

"I Can't Keep From Crying" is a fairly standard rocker. "Love Will Endure" features Katz's baritone vocal. It's another simulated "live" recording. "Where There's Smoke" is a decent Kooper leftover. The album closing "Wake Me, Shake Me" nicely illustrates how Blues Project sounded in-concert: tight, intense and improvisational.
by Annie Van Auken

1. Introduction / Electric Flute Thing (Al Kooper) - 11:19
2. I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes (B.W. Johnson, Arr. by Al Kooper) - 6:00
3. Mean Old Southern (Unknown) - 2:50
4. No Time Like The Right Time (Al Kooper) - 3:06
5. Love Will Endure (Patrick Lynch, Patrick Sky) - 2:37
6. Where There's Smoke, There's Fire (A. Kooper, I. Levine, B. Brass) - 2:45
7. Whake Me Shake Me (Arr. by Al Kooper) - 9:19
8. Electric Flute Thing (Al Kooper) - 10:28
9. Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes (B.W. Johnson, Arr. by Al Kooper) - 5:34
10.Mean Old Southern (Unknown) - 2:39
11.No Time Like The Right Time (Al Kooper) - 2:50
12.Love Will Endure (Patrick Lynch, Patrick Sky) - 2:24
13.Where There's Smoke, There's Fire (A. Kooper, I. Levine, B. Brass) - 2:31
14.Whake Me Shake Me (Arr. by Al Kooper) - 8:36
15.Lost In The Shuffle (John McDuffy, Joel I'Brien) - 2:55
16.Gentle Dreams (Steve Katz, Andy Kulberg) - 2:39
Tracks 8-16 Mono versions

The Blues Project
*Danny Kalb - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Al Kooper - Organ, Vocals
*Steve Katz - Rhythm Guitar
*Roy Blumenfeld - Drums
*Andy Kulberg - Bass

Other Blues Projects
1966  Live At The Cafe Au Go Go
1966  Projections
1968  Planned Obsolescence
1973  Reunion in Central Park

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Zoot Money - Transition (1968 uk, organ drivin' sunny psychedelic soulful jazz rock, 2009 Righteous Psalm reissue)

Bournemouth isnt particularly well known for its music. A renowned retirement zone where Tolkein used to holiday and eventually, er, retired to, it's cavernous NIC venue plays host to major tours but the sleepy coastal town has more in common with bath chairs and bowls than wild psychedelia and mod grooves. 

However, back in the '60s, it was 'swinging' and at the centre of the local scene was Zoot Money's Big Roll Band, a jazz, R&B and blues-inspired combo powered by the eccentric behaviour and tuneful keyboards of Zoot Money who'd, by 1964, drafted in future Police guitarist Andy Summers. Zoot, was a local scenester whose move to London became legendary through his tight trousers which occasionally split in a pre-PJ Proby moment. 

Zoot Money was already an enigma. Later, through the '70s, Money would go on to play with The Majik Mijits featuring Ronnie Lane and Steve Marriot, The Electric Blues Company, various incarnations of The Animals, Grimms, jazz rock fusionists Centipede as well as alongside Geno Washington, Spencer Davis, one time Stones' guitarist Mick Taylor, Kevin Ayers and a host of others. But In the mid-'6Os the whole world was turning upside down and Zoot was similarly rotating. The early Big Roll Band albums had provided some groovy blue-eyed soul and a few Ray Charles-like sounds before, in 1966, Zoot embarked on a solo project which would become “Transition”. 

Featuring the same players who were in the  Big Roll Band, he began recording this unique set which touched on soulful ballads, uptempo mod material and included a track called 'Soma' which was written by Andy Summers and featured him on sitar. An exciting mix of sounds, “Transition” route to the record shoo was truncated to say the least. 'Soma' had inspired Summers and Money to new tangents of music. It pushed the boundaries and encouraged Hie band to wig out further and, in a state of psyche-pop bliss, they decided they were so far uut of the Big Roll Band sound that they should change their name to Dantalian's Chariot and don the patchouli oil of the day. 

They would eventually play shows with the likes of Pink Floyd and their sole album 'Chariot Rising' featured a couple of the tracks from Transition in stranger incarnations and became a cult classic in the process, as it failed to ignite and turned their existing mod following off. After the Dantalion hiatus, 'Transition' was finally released on the Direction label and, by that time, the mods had embraced the psychedelic bug and the album slipped into obscurity and indeed became one of those buried treasures that is  talked of but seldom actually even seen. Finally, this lost gem has belatedly made K to CD. 

Remastered from the original quarter inch tapes, with all of Its glorious sweeping sounds, aching vocals and  groovy upbeat tunes intact, it's the epitome of cool. A year after its initial vinyl release, Zoot's 'Welcome To My Head' proved to be another out there experience that again gained cult status for its inventiveness but failed to garner sales – the right music at the wrong time again. Zoot Money is one of the great heroes of long lost eccentric English music. 'Transition'- from the bizarre sleeve down - is one of his finest moments
by Dave Henderson

1. Let the Music Make You Happy (G. Money, Andy Summers) - 2:37
2. River's Invitation (P. Mayfield) - 3:55
3. Soma (Andy Summers) - 6:23
4. What Cha Gonna Do? Bout It (Doris Payne, Gregory Carrroll, Rex Garvin) - 3:35
5. Stop the Wedding (G. Money, Andy Summers) - 3:57
6. Deadline (P. Mayfield) - 3:15
7. Recapture the Thrill of Yesterday (Tony Colton, Raymond Smith) - 3:53
8. Problem Child (T. Wine, C. Bayer) - 2:23
9. Just a Passing Phase (Tony Colton, Raymond Smith) - 3:00
10.Coffee Song (Raymond Smith, Tony Colton) - 2:49

*Zoot Money - Organ, Vocals
*Andy Summers - Guitar
*Paul Williams - Bass Guitar
*Nick Newell - Saxophone
*Johnny Almond - Saxophone
*Colin Allen - Drums

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