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Live At Klooks Kleek

Graham Bond Organisation

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Album Review

This nine-track concert gig has appeared in various guises and through various labels (most notoriously Springboard International in the U.S. in the late '70s), and it has a dubious reputation on vinyl. In 1988, however, it appeared on CD under this title, and it finally seemed to justify the trouble it took to record. The Graham Bond Organization's studio recordings were admirable, sometimes impressive, but never essential parts of the British blues boom, leading one to wonder precisely what — apart from the presence of two future members of Cream — the group's reputation was based on. The answer is on these sides, recorded by Giorgio Gomelsky "under extreme difficulty." Listening to the band rumble and surge through standards like "Wade in the Water," "Big Boss Man," "Stormy Monday," and "Early In the Morning," it's easy to understand how they got signed and what the record companies were looking for, and also why they didn't get it — this is gritty stuff, loud R&B with some jazz elements, Dick Heckstall-Smith blowing up a storm on sax, and more than a little stretching out (especially by Baker, whose solos here (check out "Early In the Morning") are more enjoyable than most of what he did with Cream), all of it pretty intense and none of it easy to capture in the studio. The audience and the urgency of concert work were both essential to the group's functioning. On the technical side, there's some distortion, even some overload, and Jack Bruce's bass isn't captured in its more resonant form (and what electric bass on any live recording before about 1968 ever was?), but the electricity is here, along with the immediacy, and this CD may be the way to best appreciate this band.

Customer Reviews

best live graham bond ever

they were all at the top of their game(well until cream for jack and ginger and dick dissapeared and graham killed himself) very good music great stormy monday and train time. you can see how it evolved with later bands. COOL.

Live At Klooks Kleek, Graham Bond Organisation
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