Status Quo – Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon (1970)

frontcover1Status Quo rocker Rick Parfitt OBE has died suddenly on holiday, aged 68 – after suffering a severe infection ‘he caught in hospital’.

The musician passed away at the hospital he was admitted to in Spain on Thursday, his manager confirmed in a statement this afternoon.

It’s claimed the veteran musician was taken in after suffering complications from a previous shoulder injury – but picked up a severe infection while he was there.

He died at lunchtime today, his family added in the statement.

Parfitt joins a long list of celebrated musicians to have died in 2016 – including David Bowie, Prince, Pete Burns, Keith Emerson, Glenn Frey, Greg Lake, Sir George Martin and Leonard Cohen.

Ironically in what would become his final interview, Parfitt spoke of dying to Classic Rock magazine last month, saying: “It’ll take more than death to kill me”.

As well as starring in Status Quo, he is one of the few musicians to have performed on the Band Aid hit Do They Know It’s Christmas?

His heartbroken son, Rick Parfitt Jnr, has led tributes to the legendary rocker, writing on Twitter moments after the news broke: “I am too numb.

“I cannot describe the sadness I feel right now. To many he was a rockstar, to me he was simply ‘Dad’, and I loved him hugely. RIP Pappa.”

Queen guitarist Brian May tweeted – in reference to the band’s song Rockin’ All Over The World – he was “shocked and so sad to hear of the passing of Rick Parfitt. Hard to find words. You joyfully rocked our world. RIP dear buddy. (by mirror.co.uk)

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As a tribute here a great album by the early Quo:

Woe betide the psychedelic groover who picked up the third album by Status Quo, dreaming of further picturesque matchstick messages! A mere three hits in a long three years had completely exhausted the bandmembers’ patience with the whimsy of yore, and their ears had long since turned in other directions. It was the age, after all, of Canned Heat’s relentless boogie and Black Sabbath’s blistered blues, and when the Quo’s first new single of 1970, the lazy throb of “Down the Dustpipe,” proved that the record-buying public wasn’t averse to a bit more down-home rocking, their future course was set. Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon allies one of the most evocative titles in rock album history to one of the most familiar sights in a rock band’s iconography, the cheap roadside café — crusty ketchup, leafy tea, an overflowing ashtray, and Ma Kelly herself, cigarette clenched between unsmiling lips and a face that has seen it all and didn’t like any of it. Neither do the album’s contents disturb her glowering visage. From the opening trundle of “Spinning Wheel Blues” and onto the closing, lurching medley of “Is It Really Me”/”Gotta Go Home,” the most underrated disc in Status Quo’s entire early catalog eschewed the slightest nod in the direction of the band’s past — even “Dustpipe” didn’t make the cut. (It has since been quo1970_2incorporated among the four bonus tracks appending the album’s 1998 remastering as have “In My Chair”, “Gerdundula” and an alternate version of “Junior’s Wailing”) But six years on, when recording their live album, the Quo were still dipping back to “Junior’s Wailing,” the midpoint in the greasy spoon experience, and an expressively rocking archetype for all they would later accomplish. The dark shuffle of “Lazy Poker Blues,” too, unleashed specters that the band would be referencing in future days, including the boogie piano that made 1974’s “Break the Rules” seem such a blast from the past. Compared to the albums that would follow, Ma Kelly is revealed as little more than a tentative blueprint for the Quo’s new direction. At the time, however, it was a spellbinding shock, perhaps the last one that the Quo ever delivered. You should remember that when you play it.(by Dave Thompson)

Personal note: Quo´s song “Is It Really Me” was one of the first song I played in my  first band, called “Dying Sun” …. many decades ago …  *smile*

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Personnel:
John Coghlan (drums)
Alan Lancaster (bass, guitar, vocals)
Francis Rossi (guitar, vocals)
Rick Parfitt (guitar, vocals)
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Roy Lynes (organ)
Bob Young (harmonica)

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Tracklist:
01. Spinning Wheel Blues (Young/Rossi) 3.21
02. Daughter (Lancaster) 3.01
03. Everything (Rossi/Parfitt) 2.39
04. Shy Fly (Young/Rossi) 3.50
05. (April) Spring, Summer And Wednesdays (Young/Rossi) 4.13
06. Junior’s Wailing (White/Pugh) 3.35
07. Lakky Lady (Rossi/Parfitt) 3.16
08. Need Your Love (Young/Rossi) 4.47
09.Lazy Poker Blues (Adams/Green) 3.35
10. Is It Really Me/Gotta Go Home (Lancaster) 9.32

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Richard John Parfitt
(12 October 1948 – 24 December 2016)
Thanks for the music !

Wishbone Ash – First Light (2007)

frontcover1First Light is the first album by rock band Wishbone Ash. The recording was made to get a record deal but as the band signed to MCA Records with the well-known help from Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore in early 1970, they decided to re-record most of them.

In 2006 a Wishbone Ash aficionado from America named Dr. John managed to purchase the acetate from a Christie’s auction and in 2007 the re-discovered recordings were released by Talking Elephant and so the Wishbone Ash fans finally got the opportunity to experience the very original versions of tracks from the debut-album as well as two never before heard songs “Roads Of Day To Day”, and “Joshua” and a vocalized version of “Alone” (which appeared as an instrumental on the second album Pilgrimage). The album as a whole represents the band in their first stages of their creation. During the sessions of recording, the band used homemade instruments – Martin Turner used a homemade bass guitar which he had bought for £5. (by wikipedia)

Back in late 1969 or early 1970, a very young Wishbone  Ash (Andy Powell,
Ted Turner, Martin Turner and Steve Upton) made an album of  songs in hopes of
securing a record deal with a major label. This album was  recorded in the dead
of night at AdVision Studios in the UK. Upon completion it  was then sent
over to Apple Corps LTD in London for mastering

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For over 35  years, these recordings have remained forgotten in the Apple
vaults gathering  dust. Recently, however, Christie’s Auctions put this acetate
of these  recordings up for purchase through their online auction house where
it was bid  on and won by collector extraordinaire, Dr. John. Dr. John then
contacted Andy  Powell about the find and offered them back to him to do with as
he pleased in  hopes that they would be released for all the fans of the band
to enjoy.

What makes these recordings so special is the energy and enthusiasm
displayed on every song played. “First Light” has a rawness and edge that the  first
official recording on MCA lacks. Plus it contains two songs never released
anywhere before.

This special artifact contains the first known  recordings of: Lady Whiskey,
Roads of Day to Day, Blind Eye, Joshua, Queen of  Torture, Alone, Handy, and
Errors of My Way. The recording of Handy on this disk  is worth the price of
admission alone. (by talkawhile.co.uk)

What a brilliant album !

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Personnel:
Andy Powell (guitar, vocals)
Martin Turner (bass, vocals)
Ted Turner (guitar, vocals)
Steve Upton (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Lady Whiskey 3.11
02. Roads Of Day To Day 5.51
03. Blind Eye 3.35
04. Joshua 2.13
05. Queen Of Torture 3.09
06. Alone (with vocals) 3.09
07. Handy 12.41
08. Errors Of My Way 6.24

All songs composed by Andy Powell, Martin Turner, Ted Turner, and Steve Upton

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Free – Fire And Water (1970)

frontcover1Fire and Water is the third studio album released by English rock group Free. The album became the band’s breakthrough hit, reaching #2 in the UK charts and #17 in the US, making it the most successful Free album.[citation needed] The album contained the hit single “All Right Now” which they later played to a crowd of over 600,000 people at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival, generating great popularity (by wikipedia).

If Fleetwood Mac, Humble Pie, and Foghat were never formed, Free would be considered one of the greatest post-Beatles blues-rock bands to date, and Fire and Water shows why. Conceptually fresh, with a great, roots-oriented, Band-like feel, Free distinguished itself with the public like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple did (in terms of impact, only) in 1970. Free presented itself to the world as a complete band, in every sense of the word. From Paul Kossoff’s exquisite and tasteful guitar work, to Paul Rodgers’ soulful vocals, this was a group that was easily worthy of the mantle worn by Cream, Blind Faith, or Derek & the Dominos . ( by Matthew Greenwald)

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Free was nothing if not the proof that less is more; what distinguished them from their bloozerocking peers was the point that they didn’t need to shove themselves into overdrive to make their point. Minimalists in the best sense of the word, they set a legitimately funky rhythm section behind the strikingly simple but gripping guitar playing of the late Paul Kossoff and the thrusting vocals of Paul Rodgers and delivered as singular a hard bloozerock attack as could be found during their brief but bristling existence.
“Fire and Water” was their best selling album and still the album on which their reputation rests (though the predecessor, “Free,” was no less effective). The title track impressed Wilson Pickett enough to make a striking soul hit out of it. And “All Right Now” remains a masterpiece of pure rocking R and B fire; never mind Rodgers’s only too classic lyric of predatory obsession-compulsion (so he doesn’t get the girl in the sack, she’s too smart to fall for his jive, but you know damn well it isn’t going to stop him from hunting fresh prey and probably landing one less gullible), the chunky verse playing is relentless, and that classic midsection, piano and bass nudging Kossoff to his most memorably melodious solo (that’s saying something considering his consistency), is impossible to resist. The album cut has long since buried the hit single version (which contained a different rhythm guitar sound, shortened up that midsection a little bit, and eliminated the second verse coda entirely; it’s available on the new anthology of the band, and it’s worthy in its own right), and you probably know a few dozen “classic rock” bar bands who give it a whirl at least once a night and get a guaranteed round of applause with it after they’ve cranked out a little Bad Company to whet the appetite a bit. (by BluesDuke)

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Personnel:
Andy Fraser (bass, piano)
Simon Kirke (drums, percussion)
Paul Kossoff (guitar)
Paul Rodgers (vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Fire and Water (Fraser/Rodgers) 4.03
02. Oh I Wept (Rodgers/Kossoff) 4.29
03. Remember (Fraser/Rodgers) 4.29
04. Heavy Load (Fraser/Rodgers) 5:23
05. Mr. Big (Fraser/Rodgers/Kirke/Kossoff) 5.58
06. Don’t Say You Love Me (Fraser/Rodgers) 6.07
07. All Right Now (Fraser/Rodgers) 5:42
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08. Oh I Wept (alternate vocal take) (Rodgers/Kossoff) 4.25
09. Fire And Water (new stereo mix (Fraser/Rodgers) 4.27
08. Fire And Water (live BBC session) (Fraser/Rodgers) 3.12
09. All Right Now (live BBC Session) (Fraser/Rodgers) 5.33
10. All Right Now (Single version) (Fraser/Rodgers) 4.18
11. All Right Now (first version) (Fraser/Rodgers) 3.31

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I would like dedicate the song “Fire And Water” to a very special lady !

 

Humble Pie – Same (1970)

frontcover1Humble Pie is the third studio album released by English rock group Humble Pie in 1970, and their first with A&M Records.

Humble Pie was a transitional album and a harbinger of the band’s new, heavier direction. The material was darker than their previous two efforts, with striking contrasts in volume and style — Peter Frampton’s gentle “Earth and Water Song” is buttressed between two of the heaviest tracks on the record, the band composed  “One Eyed Trouser Snake Rumba,” and a cover of Willie Dixon’s “I’m Ready”. Drummer Jerry Shirley contributed a rare lead vocal on his song “Only a Roach,” a country-twinged ode to cannabis that also appeared as the B-side of the summer 1970 single “Big Black Dog”. This was their first release under the auspices of new American manager Dee Anthony — who’d pushed for a louder, tighter sound both live and in the studio — and for their new label, A&M Records. At the end of 1969, the Pie’s old label, Immediate, owned by Andrew Loog Oldham, went bankrupt — a saga chronicled by Marriott on the satirical ballad “Theme from Skint (See You Later Liquidator)”.

backcovera“Humble Pie” is often referred to by fans as “The Beardsley Album,” because of the distinct cover artwork by artist Aubrey Beardsley, an influential English illustrator and author best known for his erotic illustrations. (by wikipedia)

Alternating hard-driving blues-rockers with country-folk numbers, Humble Pie neatly showcases the two sides of this band’s personality on their first release for a major American label and third album overall. All of the elements are in place for the sound that would reach its studio peak with the next release, Rock On, and culminate with the classic Live at the Fillmore album. “Earth and Water Song” provides a blueprint for the acoustic guitar-based sound Peter Frampton would ride to multi-platinum success as a solo artist later in the decade. “One Eyed Trouser-Snake Rumba” and “Red Light Mama, Red Hot!” show the hard-rocking direction in which Steve Marriott would move the band after Frampton’s departure the following year. (by Jim Newsom)

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Personnel:
Peter Frampton (guitar, keyboards, vocals)
Steve Marriott (guitar, keyboards, vocals)
Greg Ridley (bass, guitar, background vocals)
Jerry Shirley (drums, guitar, vocals on 2.)
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B.J. Cole (steel guitar)
John Wilson (drums on 02.)

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Tracklist:
01. Live With Me (Frampton/Marriott/Ridley/Shirley) 7.55
02. Only a Roach  (Shirley) 2.49
03. One Eyed Trouser Snake Rumba (Frampton/Marriott/Ridley/Shirley) 2.51
04. Earth And Water Song (Frampton) 6.18
05. I’m Ready (Dixon) 4.59
06. Theme From Skint (See You Later Liquidator)  (Marriott) 5.43
07. Red Light Mama, Red Hot! (Frampton/Marriott/Ridley/Shirley) 6.16
08. Sucking On The Sweet Vine (Ridley) 5.46

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Cat Stevens – Tea For The Tillerman (1970)

FrontCover1Tea for the Tillerman is the fourth studio album by the singer-songwriter Cat Stevens. This album, Stevens’ second during 1970, includes many of Stevens’ best-known songs including “Where Do the Children Play?”, “Hard Headed Woman”, “Wild World”, “Sad Lisa”, “Into White”, and “Father and Son”. Four of the tracks (“Where Do the Children Play?”, “On the Road to Find Out”, “Tea for the Tillerman”, and “Miles from Nowhere”) were featured in the Hal Ashby and Colin Higgins’ black comedy film Harold and Maude, in 1971. The track “But I Might Die Tonight” was featured in the film Deep End directed by Jerzy Skolimowski in 1970. Stevens, a former art student, created the artwork featured on the record’s cover. “Tea for the Tillerman” was also used over the end credits for the BBC TV show Extras. “Miles From Nowhere” also appeared in the A-Team episode, “Alive at Five” while Templeton Peck is running away.

With “Wild World” as an advance single, this was the album that brought Stevens worldwide fame.[citation needed] The album itself charted into the top 10 in the United States, where he had previously had few listeners.

In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, music critic Robert Christgau gave the album a “B–” and found the music monotonous and lacking the “dry delicacy” Stevens exhibited on Mona Bone Jakon (1970). Rolling Stone magazine’s Ben Gerson said that Stevens’ songs effortlessly resonate beyond their artfully simple lyrics and hooks, despite his occasional overuse of dynamics “for dramatic effect.”

On 18 November 2003, Rolling Stone included this album in its 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list at number 206.[5] In 2006, the album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[6] In 2007, the album was included in the list of “The Definitive 200 Albums of All Time”, released by The National Association of Recording Merchandisers and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.(by wikipedia)

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Cat Stevens, (centre, in long sleeve shirt), and his nine-man band at the Singapore airport, where he stopped over on the way to perform in Tokyo in 1972.

Mona Bone Jakon only began Cat Stevens’ comeback. Seven months later, he returned with Tea for the Tillerman, an album in the same chamber-group style, employing the same musicians and producer, but with a far more confident tone. Mona Bone Jakon had been full of references to death, but Tea for the Tillerman was not about dying; it was about living in the modern world while rejecting it in favor of spiritual fulfillment. It began with a statement of purpose, “Where Do the Children Play?,” in which Stevens questioned the value of technology and progress. “Wild World” found the singer being dumped by a girl, but making the novel suggestion that she should stay with him because she was incapable of handling things without him. “Sad Lisa” might have been about the same girl after she tried and failed to make her way; now, she seemed depressed to the point of psychosis. The rest of the album veered between two themes: the conflict between the young and the old, and religion as an answer to life’s questions. Tea for the Tillerman was the story of a young man’s search for spiritual meaning in a soulless class society he found abhorrent. He hadn’t yet reached his destination, but he was confident he was going in the right direction, traveling at his own, unhurried pace. The album’s rejection of contemporary life and its yearning for something more struck a chord with listeners in an era in which traditional verities had been shaken. It didn’t hurt, of course, that Stevens had lost none of his ability to craft a catchy pop melody; the album may have been full of angst, but it wasn’t hard to sing along to. As a result, Tea for the Tillerman became a big seller and, for the second time in four years, its creator became a pop star.(by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Harvey Burns (drums)
Alun Davies (guitar, background vocals)
John Rostein (violin)
John Ryan (bass)
Cat Stevens (guitar, keyboards, vocals

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Tracklist:
01. Where Do The Children Play? 3.51
02. Hard Headed Woman 3.47
03. Wild World 3.18
04. Sad Lisa 3.40
05. Miles From Nowhere 3.32
06. But I Might Die Tonight 1.52
07. Longer Boats 3.11
08. Into White 3.24
09. On The Road To Find Out 5.07
10. Father And Son 3.38
11. Tea For The Tillerman 1.00

All songs written by Cat Stevens

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John Renbourn – The Lady And The Unicorn (1970)

FrontCover1The Lady and the Unicorn is the 1970 solo album by British folk musician John Renbourn. On this release, Renbourn ventures into folk rock and medieval music territory. The first four tracks are arranged from the Add MS 29987 manuscript. The cover was taken from The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry. (by wikipedia)

Renbourn’s last solo album for the next six years overlaps with his Pentangle work, featuring Terry Cox playing hand drums and glockenspiel, with future John Renbourn band member Tony Roberts and violinist Dave Swarbrick. The repertory consists of medieval and early classical pieces, interspersed with the expected folk material — keyboard works from the Fitzwilliam virginal book (transcribed for guitar) stand alongside traditional tunes such as “Scarborough Fair,” which turns up as part of an 11-minute track that also incorporates “My Johnny Was a Shoemaker,” with Swarbrick at the top of his form on violin. The album is entirely instrumental, but as with other Renbourn releases, one hardly misses the vocals. (by Bruce Eder)

John Renbourn

Taken from the original liner-notes:

This record contains a variety of instrumental pieces including medieval music, folk tunes and early classical music. The oldest are probably the English dance tune ‘Trotto’ and the Italian ‘Saltarello’, to which I have added a drone accompaniment, tuning the guitar to DGDGCD. ‘Lamento di Tristan’ and ‘La Rotta’ are fourteenth century Italian pieces played originally on vielle. They too are without harmony but have the tune doubled either on sitar or glockenspiel.
The three part conductus ‘Veri Floris’, composed during the Notre Dame period, is a setting for the words ‘Under the figure of the true flower which the pure root produced, the loving devotion of our clergy has made a mystical flower constructing an allegorical meaning beyond ordinary useage from the nature of a flower”.
This is followed by the triple ballade ‘Sancuer-Armordolens-Dameparvous’ of Guillaume de Machaut.
‘Bransle Gay’ and ‘Bransle de Bourgogne’ are from the danceries of Claude Gervaise, composed in about 1550. The first is played on solo guitar but the second uses flute, fiddle and has a second guitar line added. The anonymous ‘Alman’ is taken from the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book and is followed by ‘Melancholy Galliard’ by the English lutanist John Dowland. The sequence concludes with the ‘Sarabande’ in B Minor by J. S. Bach.
The album ends with two short guitar pieces, ‘The Lady And The Unicorn’ and an arrangement of the sixteenth century song ‘Westron Wynde’, and arrangements for flute, viola and guitar of two folk songs: ‘My Johnny Was A Shoemaker’ and ‘Scarborough Fair’.
I have not presumed to reproduce early music as it would originally have been played, but hope nevertheless that the qualities of the music can be enjoyed, though interpreted on more recent instruments. (John Rebourn)

Such a beautiful album … a timeless classic recording !

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Personnel:
Don Harper (violin)
Lea Nicholson (concertina)
John Renbourn (guitar)
Tony Roberts (flute)
Dave Swarbrick (violin)
Ray Warleigh (flute)

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Tracklist:
01.1. Trotto (Anonymous) 0.40
01.2. Saltarrello (Anonymous) 1.53
02.1.Lamento di Tristan (Anonymous) 1.58
02.2.La Rotta (Anonymous) 0.55
03.1.Veri Floris (Anonymous) 0.44
03.2. Triple Ballade (Sanscuer-Amordolens-Dameparvous) (de Machaut) 2.00
04.1.Bransle Gay (Gervaise) 1.13
04.2.Bransle de Bourgogne (Johnson) 1.34
05.1.Alman (Anonymous)1.25
05.2.Melancholy Galliard (Dowland) 2.47
06.Sarabande (Bach) 2.41
07.The Lady And The Unicorn (Renbourn) 3.21
08.1.My Johnny Was A Shoemaker (Traditional) 4.16
08.2.Westron Wynde (Traditional) 1.25
08.3.Scarborough Fair (Traditional) 7.22

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Jack Bruce & Friends – Fillmore West (1970)

FrontCover1Apart from The Jimi Hendrix Experience, drummer Mitch Mitchell, who passed away on November 12, 2008 at the age of 61, had a varied professional career. According to the wikipedia, “another noteworthy musical collaboration in the late ’60s was with the Jack Bruce And Friends band featuring Mitchell along with ex-Cream bassist Jack Bruce, keyboardist Mike Mandel and jazz-fusion guitar legend and future The Eleventh House frontman Larry Coryell.”

A third-generation (?) cassette recording of this spirited show had been circulating among fans and now there is a very nice-sounding (but not pristine) upgrade, thanks to Olvator, who shared the tracks on the internet.

Olvator notes: “This is the best and most complete version of this show. I uploaded another version of this concert a few years ago. Same source, but from my 3rd (?) gen cassette. I have received these files some time ago and they are straight from the master. Sound is much better! This is a raw transfer.”

While Jack Bruce’s vocals are fairly dominant, it is Larry Coryell’s guitar work and, to a slightly lesser extent, Mike Mandell’s organ that take centrestage, so to speak. Coryell might have been going through a rock-guitar phase so this is not wholly the jazz-fusion playing that fans tend to associate with the guitarist.

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But it is on the Smiles & Grins jam that indicate the direction both Coryell and Mitch Mitchell would take in the subsequent years. After all, as the wikipedia notes, “Mitchell pioneered a style of drumming which would later become known as fusion.”

Still, in memory of Mitchell, he gets the spotlight in the opening of The Clearout where he does a thundering solo. And to remind fans of their earlier days, the band drags out Sunshine Of Your Love which, not surprisingly, gets the loudest applause.

Recorded live at the Fillmore East, New York, January 31, 1970 (late show)
Very good audience recording.

 

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Personnel:
Jack Bruce (vocals, bass)
Larry Coryell (guitar)
Mike Mandell (organ)
Mitch Mitchell (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Politician (Bruce/Brown) 7.32
02. Weird of Hermiston/Tickets To Waterfalls/Theme For An Imaginary Western (Bruce/Brown) 9.30
03. HCKHH (Hayseed Country Kicking Ho Ho) Blues (Bruce) 9.02
04. We’re Going Wrong (Bruce) 8.17
05. The Clearout (Bruce/Brown) 7.02
06. Sunshine Of Your Love (Bruce/Brown/Clapton) 15.57
07. Smiles & Grins jam (Bruce/Brown) 4.32

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