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Friday, April 21, 2023

Buddy Miles - Them Changes (1970 us, best qualities of funk and blues rock, 2003 digipak remaster)

Born in September 1947, Buddy Miles is most renowned for his role as drummer in Jimi Hendrix's Band Of Gypsys. His playing career began in his father's jazz band, but by the mid 60s he was playing in the backing bands of soul vocal groups such as Ruby and the Romantics. In 1966 he joined the band of Wilson Pickett, and it was here that Mike Bloomfield spotted him and asked Buddy to join the band that he was forming after leaving the Butterfield Blues Band. This band became the Electric Flag , who were planning to create an eclectic blend of blues, psychedelia, rock and jazz. The debut album cooked, but the band disintegrated after that - with Miles remaining for a second album without Butterfield.

After this, with the help of the Electric Flag horn section he formed his own outfit The Buddy Miles Express. The debut album was produced by Jimi Hendrix and was called 'Expressway To Your Skull'. Released on Mercury this was the first of a number of collaborations with the legendary guitar man. Hendrix also produced the 2nd Buddy Miles Express album 'Electric Church' and appeared on Hendrix's 'Electric Ladyland' LRWhen the guitarist disbanded his original group the Experience, Miles along with Buddy Cox were recruited to his new outfit The Band of Gypsy's'.This funkier rock group did not last long releasing only one live album before Miles was replaced.

The drummer's next move was to record this album Them Changes' which remained on the chart for over a year making the drummer a star. On the back of this Miles hit the road with Carlos Santana and the pair recorded the top 10 live album 'Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles! Live!' for CBS. After this Miles continued to record for CBS and even took part in a 1974 Electric Flag re-union. He then switched labels to Casablanca for two albums. However after this he kept a reasonably low profile for the next decade, releasing only one album for Atlantic in 1981.

He suddenly found himself on the charts once more in 1986 when he voiced a version of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” for a dried raisin commercial, that when released as by the California Raisins became a worldwide hit. The last few years have seen Miles in demand with a reformed Buddy Miles Express. Them Changes' the album was Buddy Miles signature tune, and the album was his most successful. It contained both the funky and the sublime. There are two fantastic cover versions of Neil Young's 'Down By The River' and Greg AlIman's "Dreams". But the music conveyed within the tracks swings with the power of rock and the nuance of soul. Them Changes' the track is furiously funky and this and other originals show a more than capable songwriter. What's more to fans of Miles work with Hendrix and the Electric Flag it is a pleasure to hear his voice.  A classic slice of funky rock.
by Dean Rudland

1. Them Changes (Buddy Miles) - 3:22
2. I Still Love You Anyway (Charlie Karp) - 4:15
3. Heart's Delight (Buddy Miles) - 4:09
4. Dreams (Gregg Allman) - 4:53
5. Down By The River (Neil Young) - 6:22
6. Memphis Train (Bonny Rice, Rufus Thomas, Willie Sparks) - 2:57
7. Paul B. Allen Omaha Nebraska (André Lewis, Buddy Miles) - 5:34
8. Your Feeling Is Mine (Otis Redding) - 2:14

*Buddy Miles - Bass, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals 
*Fred Allen - Vocals 
*Lee Allen - Saxophone, Trumpet, Vocals 
*Teddy Blandin - Trumpet
*Peter Carter - Trumpet
*Billy Cox - Bass, Fuzz Bass
*Tom Hall - Trumpet
*Tom T. Hall - Trumpet
*Marlo Henderson - Electric Guitar, Vocals 
*Duane Hitchings - Organ
*Bob Hogins - Keyboards, Organ, Electric Piano, Soloist, Trombone, Vocals 
*David Hull - Bass, Vocals 
*Dwayne Hutchings - Organ
*Charlie Karp - Acoustic, Electric Guitars, Soloist, Vocals 
*Andre Lewis - Clavinet, Organ, Electric Piano, Soloist, Vocal Harmony, Vocals 
*Robin McBride - Electric Harpsichord, Keyboards, Piano, Vocals 
*Jim McCarty - Guitar
*Bob Parkins - Organ
*Robert Pittman - Alto, Tenor, Saxophone
*Roland Robinson - Bass
*Wally Rossunolo - Lead, Rhythm Guitars 
*James Tatum - Tenor Saxophone
*Mark Williams - Tenor Saxophone, Vocals, Wind
*Phil Wood - Flugelhorn, Piano, Vocals 
*Philip Woods - Horn
*Toby Wynn - Baritone Saxophone

Related Acts
1967  Electric Flag - The Trip (2011 remaster)
1968-69  Electric Flag - An American Music Band / A Long Time Comin
1968-74  The Electric Flag - Live