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Fillmore East: The Lost Concert Tapes 12/13/68

Al Kooper & Mike Bloomfield

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Album Review

At first glance, you might mistake this for unused material from the same late-1968 concerts that supplied the material for The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield & Al Kooper. But no, this was recorded about two and a half months later at a different venue, and with a different backup band (Paul Harris on piano, Jerry Jemmott on bass, and John Cresci on drums). There's still some similarity to the repertoire, though, and a good deal of similarity to the music, which is blues-rock with a late-'60s improvisational bent. Little original material was offered, the only song falling into that category being Bloomfield's "(Please) Tell Me Partner," a routine ten-minute blues. The soul-pop cover "Together Till the End of Time" comes off the best, in part because of its relative economy at four and a half minutes in length, and the cover of Sonny Boy Williamson's "One Way Out" isn't bad. But the interpretations (including a nine-minute "Season of the Witch," which Kooper and Stephen Stills had done on the popular Bloomfield-Kooper-Stills Super Session album) run long and sometimes lack imagination. This preserves a historic moment of sorts, when Bloomfield introduces then-unknown guest guitarist Johnny Winter, who takes some of the guitar duties on "It's My Own Fault." This was the appearance that, according to Kooper's liner notes, alerted Columbia to Winter, after which the label quickly offered him a contract.

Biography

Born: 05 February 1944 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Al Kooper, by rights, should be regarded as one of the giants of '60s rock, not far behind the likes of Bob Dylan and Paul Simon in importance. In addition to co-writing one classic mid-'60s pop-rock song, "This Diamond Ring" (though it was written as an R&B number), he was a very audible sessionman on some of the most important records of mid-decade, including Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone." Kooper also joined and led, and then lost two major groups, the Blues Project and Blood, Sweat &...
Full bio
Fillmore East: The Lost Concert Tapes 12/13/68, Al Kooper
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