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Kooper Session: Al Kooper Introduces Shuggie Otis

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Album Review

In 1969, producer/multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Al Kooper added "talent scout" to his already lengthy résumé on the follow-up to the highly successful Super Session disc, which had been issued the previous year. One major difference between the two, however, is the relatively unknown cast featured on Al Kooper Introduces Shuggie Otis. Both albums again converge with the presentation of top-shelf musicianship and inspired performances. At only 15 years of age, Otis (guitar) is equally potent a performer as the seasoned Kooper (keyboards/guitars). The duo is able to manifest an aggregate of material whose success leans as much on Kooper's experience as it does on Otis' sheer inspired youthful energy. The LP is divided between a side of shorter works (aka "songs") and a few extended instrumentals (aka "blues"). Kooper and Otis steer their house band, which includes Stu Woods (bass), Wells Kelly (drums), and Mark Klingman (piano). The tight arrangements aptly reveal Kooper's uncanny ability as a musical conduit. "Bury My Body" — a variation on "In My Time of Dyin'" — has been reworked into a gospel rave-up and features Kooper on one of the album's only vocals. Conversely, "Double or Nothing" is a spot-on re-creation of a Booker T. & the MG's track, which not only retains every Memphis-inspired intonation, but also shows off Otis' ability to cop Steve Cropper's guitar solo note for note. The blues instrumental jams are documented live and presented on this album the way that they originally went down at the recording sessions. The descriptively titled "Shuggie’s Old Time Dee-Di-Lee-Di-Leet-Deet Slide Boogie" is endowed with a nostalgic piano/bottleneck slide duet and even features the added production value of manufactured surface noise. Both "12:15 Slow Goonbash Blues" and "Shuggie's Shuffle" are certainly no less traditional, allowing both Otis and Kooper the chance to stretch out and interact in real time.

Customer Reviews

This is hello to shuffie and uncle Al kicking butt

I personally burned through 3 lp's and 8 tracks on this one. If you like super session there are 3 songs that will kill you dead. As Al does, a couple are a little horn heavy and are an acquired taste if you don't like Al's production style. SHUGGIE!-this is the source for determining the first Shuggie- So you love Shuggie- you get this. If you are a guitar player and you want original source material here it is- even on the the funkier songs- brilliance. This isn't alice ccoper for your girl friend, it's great ,classic blues & rock for purists. including the queens gems and warts. Al is a genius so just buy it. Shuggie was taylor swifts age as he cut he ground. Disco happened after this so I really don't know why he wasn't the next SRV. I think he was a BB king before 21. Buy it for Shuggie and stay for Al. The b3 is enough, The blues deserve a spot on any ipod- nuff said-

damn good blues

a must have for all blues aficionado's. the al kooper influence reminds me of the kooper/bloomfield sessions. this is serious early blues. it'll take you back man, oh yeah.


Born: February 5, 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 & Tears....
Full Bio
Kooper Session: Al Kooper Introduces Shuggie Otis, Al Kooper
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  • $5.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Blues
  • Released: 1969

Customer Ratings