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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Various Artists - Heavy Prog Fallout (1969-73 uk, extraordinary downer rock melted with prog blues and psych, 2011 comp)

A trailblazing compilation of rare, previously unreleased and live material recorded between 1969-73 by a number of obscure and unknown UK bands alongside some AA nuggets from our Prog-Rock catalogue. This collection spotlights ultra-rare material by Heavy Prog-Rock Blues outfits White Rabbit, Sweaty Betty and Spread Eagle with powerful additional material by Underground bands Khayyam, Cathedral and St James Infirmary. Other forgotten acts included are head-splitting Midlands rockers Stallion plus the Uriah Heep-esque Hot Air who few people know but will not forget when they hear this! A rare Necromandus demo is also included together with other blitzkrieg renditions by the likes of Argus and Chapel Farm plus a potent Slowbone studio recording of very high quality featuring some blistering guitar and exploding Hammond organ. 

A special live bonus track has been added showcasing legendary prog-rockers Fusion Orchestra weighing in at eight minutes. This contribution from the bands own archives is the only live and previously unreleased recording of this truly great band to be officially released and thus we are delighted to be able to round this CD off with their thunderbolt Winter Nights.

Artists - Tracks
1. Stallion - All Of The While - 4:40
2. Chapel Farm - Vacuum - 4:06  
3. White Rabbit - Mindworm - 5:38  
4. Sweaty Betty - Gunsights - 3:09  
5. St James Infirmary - Sunshine Help Me (Live) - 5:33  
6. Spread Eagle - Too Tired To See - 3:07  
7. Cathedral - Reflections In Black Glass - 4:41  
8. White Rabbit - It's A Fact - 5:09  
9. Khayyam - Collusion - 5:12  
10.Slowbone - The Last Goodbye - 4:31  
11.Hot Air - Goin' Away - 3:24  
12.Necromandus - Judy Green Rocket - 3:35  
13.White Rabbit - Still The Same - 4:22  
14.Cathedral - Passing Shadows - 5:58  
15.Argus - Road Of Life - 3:26  
16.Fusion Orchestra - Winter Nights (Live) - 8:10

Related Acts
1969  Levee Camp Moan ‎– Levee Camp Moan Plus Peacock Farm Free Concerts
1969  Rare Amber - Rare Amber  
1970-73  Various Artists - Downer Rock Genocide
1972-73  Three Headed Dog - Hound Of Hades
1973  Fantasy - Paint A Picture (with bonus tracks)
1973  Fusion Orchestra - Skeleton In Armour (2009 japan remaster)
1973/77  Argus - Argus

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Soft Shoe - For Those Alone (1978 uk, delicate folk rock with psych traces, 2007 issue)

"For Those Alone"  originally released in 1978, this incredibly rare privately pressed UK progressive folk album was the product of Ron Fellows and Paul Toplis, and features strong vocals and intriguing arrangements, superbly presented in 12" X 12" gatefold card sleeve with the disc mounted on a 12" card insert, housed in sticker-numbered PVC dust jacket!) Limited to 777 copies!

Elegant sensitive acoustic ballads, sometimes turns to electric, kneating with colored psychedelic reminiscences. There's one song with Italian lyrics, grafted with traditional local folk. 

1. Say I Love You To Me Please - 3:52
2. Out On The Plain - 3:36
3. Anna - 3:11
4. Let Me Be The One - 3:00
5. She Dosn't Care About You Anymore - 3:34
6. For Those Alone - 5:02
7. Girl In A Million - 3:45
8. The Sky Is Crying - 5:11
9. Final Curtain - 4:01
10.Trailer - 4:27
Music and Lyrics by Ron Fellows, Paul Toplis

The Soft Shoe
*Ron Fellows - Vocals, Rhythm, 12 String Guitars, Mandolin, Percussion
*Paul Toplis - Vocals, Lead, Rhythm Guitar, Bass, Organ, Synth

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Frantic - Conception (1970 us, exciting hard blues psych rock, 2007 digi pak issue)

Formed in 1965 and originally known as The Frantics (note the plural), this six piece bounced all over the country. Leaving Montana, the mid-1960s found them alternately calling Santa Fe, New Mexico, Colorado Springs, Colorado and Los Angeles, California their home.

A mid-1960s single for the small Sunco label ("Route 66" b/w "La Do Da Da") vanished without a trace and by 1971 the band found themselves poised for the big time having signed to the newly formed Ampex-affiliated Lizard label. Produced by Stan Farber, "Conception" offered up a rather conventional set of guitar rock.

Among the highlights were their molasses  cover of 'Hey Joe', 'More of a Man' (reflecting a touch of psychedelic guitar) and the guitar-propelled 'Her and Her Mountain'.  Elsewhere the dayglo gatefold sleeve was certainly cool.

1. Baby (Mort Shuman, Cllve Westlake) - 3:13
2. Wicked Woman (Max Byfuglin, Kim Sherman) - 3:17
3. Scitnarf (Max Byfuglin) - 1:56
4. Hey Joe (William Moses "Billy" Roberts) - 5:15
5. More Of A Man (Fergus) - 3:49
6. Little Girl (Van Morrison) - 2:59
7. Shady Sam (Max Byfuglin) - 3:45
8. Her And Her Mountain (Kim Sherman, Dennis Devlin) - 2:37
9. Morning Dew (Bonnie Dobson) - 4:00
10.Midnight to Six Man (Dick Taylor, Phil May) - 4:05

The Frantic
*Kim Sherman - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Max Byfuglin - Lead Vocals
*Dennis Devlin - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Harmonica
*David Day - Bass Guitar, Vocals
*Jim Haas - Keyboards, Vocals I
*Phil (Gordo Head) - Drums

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Janis Joplin - Joplin In Concert (1968/70 us, individual classic live performances, 2007 japan blu spec hard paper sleeve two discs set remaster)

Overall an uneven album, In Concert's highest moments are sublime. The collection is culled from concerts with Big Brother and the Holding Company and Full Tilt Boogie. "All Is Loneliness," with Big Brother, was an improvisational vehicle for Joplin unlike any other, and no other performance of this tune, which conveys a terrifying loneliness, is even remotely similar. The version here was recorded at a 1970 reunion with Big Brother, and Joplin at one point--"There ain't no TV, no radio, no nothin', man"--simply rips your heart out. 

We're also treated to the impromptu 12-bar blues of "Ego Rock," wherein Nick Gravenites and Joplin toss blues lines back and forth in an affectionate but competitive repartee. Joplin was looped during the outdoor gigs with Full Tilt. A lot of tequila went down the hatch on the festival train that puffed its way across Canada in July of 1970. It was four months before Joplin died, and her Calgary performance of "Ball and Chain" is inspired, brilliant, drunk, uncanny, and frightening. It's like work from the other side. 
by Myra Friedman

About half of this two-record set features Janis Joplin with Big Brother & the Holding Company in 1968, performing songs like "Down on Me" and "Piece of My Heart." The rest, recorded in 1970, finds her with her backup group, Full Tilt Boogie, mostly performing songs from I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! Joplin puts herself out on-stage, both in terms of singing until her voice is raw and describing her life to her audiences. Parts of this album are moving, parts are heartbreaking, and the rest is just great rock & roll. 
by William Ruhlmann

Disc 1 - Janis Joplin With Big Brother And The Holding Company 1968
1. Down On Me (Arranged By Janis Joplin) - 3:05
2. Bye Bye Baby (Powell St. John) - 3:54
3. All Is Loneliness (Louis Hardin "Moondog") - 6:21
4. Piece Of My Heart (Bert Berns, Jerry Ragovoy) - 4:09
5. Road Block (Janis Joplin, Peter Albin) - 2:58
6. Flower In The Sun (Sam Andrew) - 3:04
7. Summertime (DuBose Heyward, George Gershwin) - 4:45
8. Ego Rock (Nick Gravenites, Janis Joplin) - 8:00
Tracks 1 and 4 Recorded March 2, 1968, at The Grande Ballroom, Detroit, MI
Track 2 Recorded April 12, 1968, at Winterland, San Francisco, CA
Tracks 3 and 8 Recorded April 4, 1970, Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA
Tracks 5-7 Recorded June 23, 1968, The Carousel Ballroom, San Francisco, CA
!Some distortions on track #8 may be from the source.

Disc 2 - Janis Joplin With Full Tilt Boogie 1970
1. Half Moon (Johanna Hall, John Joseph Hall) - 5:15
2. Kozmic Blues (Janis Joplin, Gabriel Mekler) - 5:45
3. Move Over (Janis Joplin) - 5:07
4. Try (Just A Little Bit Harder) (Chip Taylor, Jerry Ragovoy) - 9:26
5. Get It While You Can (Jerry Ragovoy, Mort Shuman) - 7:04
6. Ball And Chain (Willa Mae "Big Mama' Thornton ) - 8:02
Tracks 1-3 Recorded during the Canadian Festival Express Toronto, Ontario, on June 28, 1970.
Tracks 4-6 Recorded in Calgary, Alberta, on July 4, 1970.
With the Big Brother and The Holding Company
*Janis Joplin - vocals
*James Gurley - Guitar
*Sam Andrew - Guitar
*Peter Albin - Bass
*Dave Getz - Drums
*Nick Gravenites - Vocals (Track 8)

With the Full Tilt Boogie Band
*Janis Joplin - vocals
*John Till - Guitar
*Richard Bell - Piano
*Ken Pearson - Organ
*Brad Campbell - Bass
*Clark Pierson - Drums

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Essra Mohawk - Essra Mohawk (1974 us, elegant avant jazzy funk smooth rock, 2010 bonus tracks edition)

Philadelphian Essra Mohawk is best known as the answer to the trivia question: “Who was the first female Mother (of Invention)?” She joined Frank Zappa and the band in 1967. Her name was Sandy Hurvitz back then, although Zappa dubbed her “Uncle Meat” for obscure reasons.

But Mohawk had been in the music business for several years before her association with the Mothers at age 19. She recorded a single for Liberty when just 16 years old (“The Boy with the Way”, b-side “Memory of Your Voice”) and wrote songs recorded by the Shangri-Las and Vanilla Fudge. In 1969, Mohawk, nee Hurvitz, put out her first solo album, Sandy’s Album Is Here at Last!, on Zappa’s Bizarre record label. The record went basically unproduced (fellow Mother Ian Underwood is credited) and suffers from poor sound quality and other technical issues. Collectors’ Choice has recently reissued this album and Mohawk’s next two releases, Primordial Lovers (1970) and Essra Mohawk (1974).

Critics frequently compare Mohawk with other female singer songwriters from her era, especially Laura Nyro and Carole King, because all three write piano-based jazz rock that frequently concerns issues of Mother Earth spirituality and distaff loneliness. However, the three have distinct personalities and anyone with even a glancing familiarity of the musicians could easily discern their differences. Mohawk is the most, um, out there. What would one expect from the original woman Mother? Conventionality? Her songs meander all over the place and use serial repetitions rather than hooks to catch the audience. 

Mohawk’s self-titled third album may be her most conventional. She covers the George Gershwin “Summertime” in a bluesy way, and only one of the 11 original tracks clocks in at more than four minutes, and that one (“I Cannot Forget”) is only four minutes and 24 seconds long. The lyrics are more sedate as well, frequently about love between a man and a woman. Yet Mohawk still takes risks and sings the odd lyrics about life and death, nature and transcendence, faith and reason, etc. The Elektra album comes off as quirky (“My right hand has six fingers”) more than weird. 
by Steve Horowitz

Essra Mohawk has never recorded for the same record label more than once, but it's rarely affected the consistency of her songwriting. Here, she left behind the free-form, rambling qualities of her earlier work, and, working within slightly more conventional rock confines, rocked 'n' rasped her own inimitable way through ten finely crafted psych-pop gems, as well as one frenetic take on Gershwin's "Summertime." "New Skins for Old" starts as the album means to go on: "Can we doubt when we don an old animal skin/that it's really a previous state we were in"; birth, death, reincarnation and the universe are the album's recurrent themes. 

Despite its muscled-up rock power, the set also captures Mohawk solo at the piano for "You're Finally Here" and "I Cannot Forget," two warm, candid love ballads. Porgy and Bess fans may balk at her unusual treatment of "Summertime," but approached without prejudice, it's a fine tribute. As usual, though, it is the romantic, spiritual and sensual imagery that never fails to impress. "Openin' My Love Doors" is a case in point -- Mohawk describes a post-coital moment of bliss ("We made love while the clouds cried/Now the birds sing as we lie side by side") and runs with it throughout the song. A great achievement from start to end, and Mohawk at her vivid and insightful best. 
by Charles Donovan

1. New Skins For Old - 2:30
2. Openin' My Love Doors (Essra Mohawk, Tom Sellers) - 2:24
3. Full Fledged Woman - 3:10
4. You're Finally Here - 2:56
5. Summertime (Ira Gershwin, George Gershwin, DuBose Heyward) - 2:28
6. Back In The Spirit - 2:40
7. You Make Me Come To Pieces (Kenny Jenkins, Essra Mohawk) - 3:09
8. I Cannot Forget - 4:47
9. Song To An Unborn Soul - 2:19
10.If I'm Gonna Go Crazy With Someone It Might As Well Be You (Essra Mohawk, Tom Sellers) - 3:32
11.Magic Pen - 2:25
12.I Cannot Forget (Alternate Version) - 5:01
13.I Stand Here Naked - 3:08
Words and Music by Essra Mohawk except where stated.
Bonus tracks 12-13

*Essra Mohawk - Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar
*Larry Carlton - Guitar
*Eric Errison - Congas
*Gene Estes - Percussion, Vibes
*Wilton Felder - Bass
*Ed Green - Drums
*Tony Hensley - Piano
*Keny Jenkins - Flute
*Dave Kempton - Piano
*Dennis Parker - Bass
*Dena Parks - Guitar
*Geno Pello - Drums
*Joe Sample - Piano
*Tom Sellers - Piano, Bass, Guitar
*Skip Switzer - Drums
*Bert Wilson - Sax
*Zitro - Drums, African Talking Drums

1969  Sandy Hurvitz - Sandy's Album Is Here At Last!  
1970  Essra Mohawk - Primordial Lovers

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Cold Blood - First Taste Of Sin (1972 us, spectacular funk soul brass rock)

Many of the greatest groups in rock and roll history have made their home in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area. While 'Frisco was at the forefront of the psychedelic music movement spinning around the intersection of Haight and Ashbury,  some ' serious funk was springing up as well. Free-form DJs like Tom Donahue, who coined the term ; "underground" radio  and Abe "Voco" Kesh interspersed hip soul and jazz in between the ^extended jams of the Dead and Quicksilver in their nightly shows.

Sylvester Stewart, aka Sly Stone, was also a noted Bay Area DJ and record producer and an influence on the scene. Latin music was always in the air as well, and bands like Santana, Tower of Power, and Malo vibed to the incantory force of the extended boogaloo.  Many of the greatest groups in rock and roll history have made their home in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area.While 'Frisco was at the forefront of the psychedelic music movement spinning around the intersection of Haight and Ashbury, some ' serious funk was springing up as well. 

Free-form DJs like Tom Donahue, who coined the term ; "underground" radio and Abe "Voco" Kesh interspersed hip soul and jazz in between the ^extended jams of the Dead and Quicksilver in their nightly shows.Sylvester Stewart, aka Sly Stone, was also a noted Bay Area DJ and record producer and an influence on the scene.Latin music was always in the air as well, and bands like Santana, 

Tower of Power, and Malo vibed to the incantory force of the extended boogaloo. One of the best bands in combining the punch of great rhythm and blues with the hippie aesthetic of brotherhood and freedom was Bay Area's legendary Cold Blood.With the backing of pioneer rock impresario Bill Graham, they won over area audiences almost immediately after their formation in 1968.

The Fillmore Auditorium was the epicenter of San Francisco rock, and no better place to see a band "let it all hang out," as many shows ran all night long.The band's first two albums on Bill Graham's San Francisco Records — Cold Blood, released in 1969 and produced by David Rubinson, and Sisyphus, a 1970 release produced by Santana engineer Fred Catero, are excellent representations of a powerhouse band that could really move an audience. 

They were a winning combination of good songs, excellent covers and the powerful, expressive voice of Lydia Pense, their extraordinarily beautiful lead singer. A change in management and a move to Reprise Records in 1972 would see the release of their third album First Taste Of Sin.The twenty-something members of Cold Blood had quite a few years of touring and recording under their belts by now, and while their records did not have the massive commercial success of some of their peers, they still had many fans around the country. 

There were some personnel changes in the group at this time most notably the departure of founding member guitarist, Larry Field.Lydia Pense, their lead singer was still fronting the band. While she had the burden of being compared to Janis Joplin, the preeminent female white soul singer of her day, Lydia's individual style and beauty was continuing to blossom.Another evidence of maturation in the abilities of the group was their choice of budding soul genius Donny Hathaway as producer for First Taste Of Sin.Despite his relative youth, this Chicago-born singer and a songwriter had already received kudos for his work with Curtis Mayfield, Jerry Butler and The Impressions. 

His reputation in the industry as the next generation's leading soul music auteur was spreading throughout the music industry.Warner Bros, and its sister label Reprise were a stronghold in the Seventies for the production of records of high artistic integrity, that were also a gas to listen to. The combo of Hathaway and Cold Blood produced a sophisticated blend of R & B and rock that appealed to both soul and progressive crowds.Hathaway contributed two excellent songs to the album, the slow blues You Had To Know, a showcase for singer Lydia, and Valdez In The Country, as well as his gospelinfluenced piano and jazzy organ playing.  

The presence also of Bay Area session veterans Coke and Pete Escovedo on congas, timbales,and percussion generated fire in the rhythm section with their Third World poly-rhythms. Also beefing up the horn section is noted jazz tenor saxophonist Pete Christieb.A longtime member of Doc Severensen's Tonight Show Band, he was an in-demand session player.A rare cover version of fellow Warner-  Reprise artist James Taylor's Low And Behold is an adventurous choice of song, and Cold Blood adapts the tune to their rough and ready rockin' soul style.Cold Blood recorded three more albums in their life span before disbanding in 1976. Thriller was released in 1973 and Lydia in 1974, both also for Warner-Reprise. 

Their swansong was Lydia Pense and Cold Blood, produced by Stax Records stalwart and respected guitarist/songwriter Steve Cropper for ABC Records.There have been continued rumblings of activity in the Cold Blood camps , so the book may not yet be closed on the contributions of this relatively unheralded group to rock's legacy.  Here then is one of Cold Blood's finest endeavors ‘First Taste Of Sin’.
by Al Fichera

1. Visions (Donny Baldwin, Boroquez) - 3:23
2. Lo And Behold (James Taylor) - 4:12
3. Down To The Bone (Danny Hull, Cecil Stoltie) - 5:45
4. You Had To Know (Donny Hathaway) - 5:50
5. My Lady Woman (Danny Hull, Cecil Stoltie) - 4:04
6. No Way Home (Danny Hull, Cecil Stoltie) - 3:25
7. Inside Your Soul (Max Haskett) - 3:28
8. All My Honey (Danny Hull, Cecil Stoltie) - 3:31
9. Valdez In The Country (Donny Hathaway) - 3:44

The Cold Blood
*Lydia Pense - Vocals
*Michael Sasaki - Guitar
*Danny Hull - Tenor Saxophone
*Bill Atwood - Trumpet
*Raul Matute - Hammond Organ, Piano,
*Mel Martin - Baritone, Tenor Saxophone, Flute
*Max Haskett - Trumpet, Vocals
*Rod Ellicott - Bass
*Sandy McKee - Drums, Vocals
Additional Musicians
*Donny Hatthaway - Piano, Organ
*Coke Escovedo - Timbales, Percussions
*Pete Escovedo - Congas
*Pat O'Hara - Trombone
*Gordon Messick - Trombone
*Bill Baker - Alto, Baritone Sax
*Peter Christlieb - Tenor Sax
*Ernest Diridoni - Tuba
*Paul Beaver - Moog

1969-70  Cold Blood - Cold Blood / Sisyphus

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Sunday, May 8, 2016

Cold Blood - Cold Blood / Sisyphus (1969-70 us, exceptional funk soul rhythm and blues brass rock)

In the heady days of the '60s pop music explosion in the San Francisco Bay area numerous bands formed, played a few dates and then their members dispersed to more successful groups. One example of that was the New Invaders, who had success in the Bay Area. But a re-formed group, Cold Blood, scored a national hit single and six of their albums made the Billboard charts.

The band was an artful blend of rock elements with soulful horns and a powerful vocalist, a bit like Tower Of Power, another successful Frisco band. Cold Blood sported the singing prowess of Lydia Pense, whose strong stage presence and bluesy voice generated comparisons to Janis Joplin. 

Pense even held her own on a version of "Piece Of My Heart," one of Joplin's signature songs. Pense was accompanied in the band by original members Raul Matute (piano and organ), Rod Ellicott (bass) and Danny Hull (sax). A number of other players came and went,  including Jerry (also cited as "Larry" in some sources) Jonutz (trumpet or sax), David Padron (trumpet), Larry Field (guitar) and Gaylord Birch (drums).

The band often played the Fillmore, a hugely popular and influential San Francisco theater owned by Bill Graham. In the fall of 1968, Graham opened his own Millard booking agency.  In early '69, he established a holding company, the Fillmore Corp., which included divisions dealing with management, lighting and soundtracks.  He also started Fillmore and San Francisco Records. Cold Blood signed to San Francisco, which issued their debut self-titled album in late 1969. 

It was produced by David Rubinson, who worked with most of the artists in the Graham fold.  He also oversaw albums by everybody from the Chambers Brothers and LaBelle  to Moby Grape and the Pointer Sisters as well as numerous Santana releases. "Cold Blood" was a mix of originals and covers, including a take of "You Got Me Hummin' ", a 1966 soul smash for Sam & Dave written by Memphis stars Isaac Hayes and David Porter. Issued as a single in late 1969, it charted in early 70. 

The success of "Hummin"' and substantial airplay for a follow-up, "I'm A Good Woman," placed the album into the Billboard Top 30, where it enjoyed a 29-week run. Their next album - which is also included in this collection - was issued in early 1971. "Sisyphus" was produced by Fred Catero and the band.  Catero had been the engineer on their first release and would go on to work with Santana and other Frisco artists.

There were other local artists who played on "Sisyphus," including the Pointer Sisters, who sang on "Your Good Thing," and Jose "Chepito" Areas, a member of Santana's band  who played congas and timbales on "Funky On My Back" and "Shop Talk." "Sisyphus" was another success, moving onto the Billboard chart for more than three months. 

A single, "Too Many People," also generated a lot of airplay. Then came problems with Graham's business ventures and, in 1971,  he announced plans to close the labels and the Fillmore in San Francisco along with the Fillmore East in New York City. Always a colorful and creative businessman, Graham documented the years of the Fillmore with the three-album "Fillmore: The Last Days," drawn from a series of live concerts at the San Francisco venue. 

One of the featured bands on the best-selling set was Cold Blood, which tore through the blues standard "I Just Want To Make Love To You," one of the highlights of their first album.

While Rubinson moved on to open a state-of-theart studio in San Francisco and Graham continued to produce concerts and tours by acts such as the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan,  Cold Blood wasn't about to give up because their label had called it quits. Signing with the Reprise division of Warner Bros., they issued the "First Taste Of Sin" album in the spring of 1972. 

It sold well and was followed a year later by "Thriller!," also on Reprise. In 1974, the band moved to Warner Bros, for "Lydia," which acknowledged the focus on their lead singer.  In 1976, signed to ABC Records, they worked with Memphis producer Steve Cropper (guitarist for Booker T. and the M.G.s) on "Lydia Pense & Cold Blood?'

By the late 70s, Pense and the members of Cold Blood disbanded. She spent time raising a family while the rest of the members turned to other projects. One, drummer Gaylord Birch, worked with Santana on the album "Festival" and joined the guitarist on "The Healer," his 1989 project with John Lee Hooker. 

In 1998 Cold Blood briefly re-formed for some dates and there was even talk of a new album, but nothing was out by the end of the decade. Meanwhile, fans of the band can enjoy the best of their output from the San Francisco Records days with these two albums
by Mark Marymont

1.I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free (Billy Taylor, Dick Dallas) - 5:58
2.If You Will  (Raul Matute) - 5:32
3.You Got Me Hummin' (Isaac Hayes, David Porter) - 5:45
4.I Just Want to Make Love to You (Willie Dixon) - 5:12
5.I'm a Good Woman (Barbara Lynn) - 3:01
6.Let Me Down Easy (James McDougal, Wrecia Holloway) - (5:27
7.Watch Your Step  (Bobby Parker) - 5:26
8.Shop Talk (Cold Blood) - 7:16
9.Funky on My Back (Cold Blood) - 6:54
10.Your Good Thing (Is About to End) (Isaac Hayes, David Porter) - 5:17
11.Understanding (Cold Blood) - 6:33
12.I Can't Stay (Cold Blood) - 4:24
13.Too Many People (Cold Blood) - 4:05

The Cold Blood
*Lydia Pense - Vocals
*Larry Field - Lead Guitar
*Danny Hull - Tenor Saxophone
*Larry Jonutz - Trumpet
*Raul Matute - Hammond Organ, Piano
*Jerry Jonutz - Baritone, Alto, Tenor Saxophone
*David Padron - Trumpet
*Rod Ellicott - Bass
*Frank Davis - Drums

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Satisfaction - Three Ages Of Man (1971-72 uk, extraordinary hard prog jazz brass rock, 2014 remaster)

Lucas and the Mike Cotton Sound were a British R'n'B band who never broke through as recording artists but enjoyed a successful run playing clubs and college dates. However, in the late '60s they decided it was time to move on to something more creatively ambitious, and the group evolved into Satisfaction, who divided their energies between original material and idiosyncratic arrangements of popular rock tunes. A six-piece band with a three-man horn section, Satisfaction walked a fine line between jazz fusion, progressive rock, folk-rock, blues rock, and the brassy stylings of Chicago and Blood, Sweat & Tears, and all of these elements dance around one another on Three Ages of Man, the group's long-lost second album, recorded in 1971 and 1972 but not released until it was discovered by Richard Searle of Acid Jazz Records in 2014. 

The opening track, "My Fixation," sounds like an arty variation on Cream with the addition of a horn chart, the closing reprise is a nearly nine-minute epic with plenty of guitar heroics from Derek Griffiths, and their instrumental take on "House of the Rising Sun" is dominated by Nick Newall's flute, including a coda that finds him riffing largely unaccompanied for over three-and-a-half minutes. However, while chops-intensive daring-do dominates Three Ages of Man, for the sake of contrast the album does feature a few more subdued guitar-and-vocal features with thoughtful lyrics, most notably "One Man Band" and the title track, and the band kicks the more complicated stuff to the side for the hard rock bombast of "Liar Liar."

Three Ages of Man often seems a bit too pretentious and overdone for its own good, but there's no arguing the instrumental virtuosity of this band, and the scope and ambition of this music is a vivid evocation of the time and place in which it was created. Hike up your bell bottoms, grow out your moustache, and play this good and loud. 
by Mark Deming

1. My Fixation (Derek Griffiths) - 7:52
2. Don't Turn Away (Derek Griffiths, Traditional) - 1:47
3. House of the Rising Sun (Traditional) - 9:03
4. Three Ages of Man (Derek Griffiths) - 1:59
5. Don't Rag the Lady (John Beecham, Lem Lubin) - 5:10
6. One Man Band (Lem Lubin) - 1:59
7. Liar Liar (Lem Lubin) - 5:58
8. Hotel (John Beecham, Lem Lubin) - 2:25
9. My Fixation (Reprise) (Derek Griffiths) - 8:45

The Satisfaction
*John Beecham - Horn Arrangements, Trombone, Tuba
*Mike Cotton - Flugelhorn, Horn Arrangements, Trumpet
*Derek Griffiths - Guitar, Vocals
*Bernie Higginson - Bongos, Drums, Percussion
*Lem Lubin - Bass, Vocals
*Nick Newall - Flute, Horn Arrangements, Tenor Sax
*Jim Toomey - Drums

1971  Satisfaction - Satisfaction (bonus tracks remaster)

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