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Album Review

Zoot Money's aptly titled third album found him indeed making a transition, if a little awkwardly, from the jazzy R&B with which he'd started to something a bit more sophisticated and ambitious. While hardly a psychedelic LP, it did reflect the changing times of the mid- to late '60s in British pop, especially in what was by far the most unusual track, the Andy Summers-penned instrumental "Soma," with its druggy drift and sitar. For the most part, however, the set was more in the jazz-soul-pop bag, Summers also making his presence known as co-writer of a couple of other tunes ("Let the Music Make You Happy" and "Stop the Wedding") with Money. No doubt Money got tired of the comparison through the years, but nonetheless it's an easy one: the material and arrangements do recall those of a more well-known singer mining similar territory in the 1960s, Georgie Fame. To be uncharitable, Money's efforts compare unfavorably to Fame, especially in the vocal department, Zoot's gravelly tone being no match for Georgie's (or indeed numerous other blue-eyed British soulsters). Not to get down on this rare LP too much, it's a fairly enjoyable record if you keep your expectations modest. As songwriters, Tony Colton and Raymond Smith contribute a few numbers that are rather good, if on the poppier side of what Money offers here, especially "Recapture the Thrill of Yesterday" — which is about as poppy as Money got, with the addition of backup harmonies betraying a slight Beatles/Beach Boys influence — and the moody "Coffee Song." Other tracks are in a straighter R&B-jazz-soul mold that Money does capably, but not brilliantly, with the uncharacteristically bossa nova-like "Just a Passing Phase" added for good measure.


Born: 17 July 1942 in Bournemouth, Dorset, England

Genre: Rock

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

Zoot Money was one of British rock & roll's homebound heroes -- admired, respected, and sought after by his colleagues, and able to fill halls in England nightly, he never managed to sell lots of records, even in England. Born in Bournemouth in 1942 with the name George Bruno Money, he grew up in an Italian-immigrant (but, on his father's side, English-descended) family. He was musically inclined from an early age and his first instrument, taken up at school, was the French horn -- he also sang in...
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Transition, Zoot Money
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