Monday, April 1, 2013

The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper

On the photo on the right, in the lower right hand corner - it says Norman Rockwell.  Not sure if I believe that...and this record was not previously on the List of All Known Double Live Albums that I am the keeper of.  But let's see what available sources call tell us about this record.

   "The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper is a double album recorded at the Fillmore West venue, the album is a successor to the studio album called Super Session (also owned by this blogger) which included both Bloomfield and Kooper in addition to Stephen Stills, and had achieved commercial and critical success earlier in 1968.  The performances, recordings and production cannot be described as flawless; in his sleeve notes, Kooper describes the difficulties of finding rehearsal space, Bloomfield's insomnia, and the failure of a vocal microphone during "Dear Mr Fantasy"; the track "I Wonder Who" is faded during a Bloomfield solo for no apparent reason.  Nevertheless, the album remains an important, if raw, document of a live blues-rock performance of the period and apart from its intrinsic qualities is notable for not only one of the earliest live recordings by Carlos Santana, but also Bloomfield's debut as a vocalist. Whilst he is not historically noted in this role, in "Don't Throw Your Love On Me So Strong", according to Kooper, "he displays consummate homage to the traditional guitar-voice trade-offs; a lesson in phrasing and understanding."  Live Adventures has since been re-released on CD but without any additional material beyond its initial release; the concerts took place over three nights, and according to Kooper, for two sets a night; this should have yielded in the region of twelve hours of recordings, of which the album provides just short of ninety minutes.  Bloomfield died in 1981 but this album is one of the major reasons for his reputation as a blues guitarist; Kooper now teaches songwriting and production, and still plays live concerts."

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