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Kathleen Loves Music

Archive for April, 2006

Al Kooper’s Blood, Sweat & Tears.

April 30th, 2006


[No, this is not about the group who did “Spinning Wheel.”]

Unless you’re a 50-something muso there’s no way, or no reason really, to explain how much a difference Al Kooper made to us. He’s dined out way too long on the story about being an songwriter/amateur organist/hustler who convinced Dylan to let him play on Like A Rolling Stone, but something about his hustle, his fandom, and the limited talent he had made a generation of musicians believe they had a chance to go all the way. The fact he started to believe he was the prime talent on his records, rather than the catalyst, tanked his career and ambitions. (It wasn’t until he got back to producing the first three Lynyrd Skynyrd records that he made it clear what he was good at.)

With his original Blood, Sweat & Tears Kooper was the sparkplug for the marriage of jazz sensibility with post-rock pop. These [Read more…]

Miles Davis.

April 1st, 2006


This record is perfect. Really. And it’s the most perfect Miles record of his first perfect band.

Usually jazz records are just too hard in too many ways. This one, everyone I know who loves the record can sing every solo as if it were the melody. It might be the only track like that I know.

Oh, the perfect band? Miles Davis, trumpet; Cannonball Adderley, alto saxophone; Paul Chambers, bass; John Coltrane, tenor saxophone; Red Garland,piano; Philly Joe Jones, drums. You can get the album as a single, or as part of the box set with all Miles’ recordings with Coltrane. And, not to put too fine a point on the perfect thing, but the recording itself is a fantastic example of early (1958) stereo sound, done at the legendary Columbia Records 30th Street (former church) Studio.