A Mini Jazz-Rock Set

And it’s not totally “All Jazzy”, two songs are more “Bluesy” but then, again, Jazz is the Blues. The other five songs contain much Jazz and coordinate it just right with Rock n’ Roll. They are not heavy metal at all but were performed by rock bands from the 60′s. This 50 plus minute set will bring you memories if you are in your 50′s and 60′s but will help the younger listeners here, with a great insight and blend that has not been duplicated and/or matched, since then. I’m surprised that nobody followed the sound that was created and in which I feature in this set, which are from Blood, Sweat and Tears and Chicago. There’s a song from a great Rock Band, Traffic that I added also with a plenty of Jazz involved. The other songs have a minimal Jazz in it and are by the Allman Brothers and Janis Joplin. Here are the songs in this mini Jazz-Rock Set Podcast.

Note to all new readers of the Cubanology MediaBlog: All the podcasts are located in the beginning and end of the post. I suggest opening up the podcast by clicking on “Play in new window” so you can scroll through the post itself and visit the links and/or go on with your business and listen in the background. Thank you and enjoy!

 

Songs selected for this podcast:

1. “God Bless the Child” From the “Blood Sweat & Tears” CD Album

Blood, Sweat & Tears (also known as “BS&T“) is an American music group, originally formed in 1967 in New York City. Since its beginnings in 1967, the band has gone through numerous iterations with varying personnel and has encompassed a multitude of musical styles. What the band is most known for, from its start, is the fusing of rock, blues, pop music, horn arrangements and jazz improvisation into a hybrid that came to be known as “jazz-rock”. Unlike “jazz fusion” bands, which tend toward virtuostic displays of instrumental facility and some experimentation with electric instruments, the songs of Blood, Sweat & Tears merged the stylings of rock, pop and R&B/soul music with big band, while also adding elements of 20th Century Classical and small combo jazz traditions.

The Al Kooper era

Al Kooper, Jim Fielder, Fred Lipsius, Randy Brecker, Jerry Weiss, Dick Halligan, Steve Katz, and Bobby Colomby formed the original band. The creation of the group was inspired by the “brass-rock” ideas of The Buckinghams and its producer, James William Guercio, as well as the early 1960s Roulette-era Maynard Ferguson Orchestra (according to Kooper’s autobiography).

“Blood, Sweat & Tears” was the name chosen by Al Kooper, inspired after a late-night gig in which Kooper played with a bloody hand.[1] Kooper was the group’s initial bandleader, having insisted on that position based on his experiences with The Blues Project, his previous band with Steve Katz, which had been organized as an egalitarian collective. Jim Fielder was from Frank Zappa’s Mothers Of Invention and had played briefly with Buffalo Springfield. But undoubtedly, Kooper’s fame as a high-profile contributor to various historic sessions of Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and others was the catalyst for the prominent debut of Blood, Sweat & Tears in the musical counterculture of the mid-sixties.[citation needed]

Al, Bobby, Steve & Jim did a few shows as a quartet at the Cafe Au Go Go in New York City in September 1967 opening for Moby Grape . Fred Lipsius then joined the others two months later. A few more shows were played as a quintet, including one at the Fillmore East in New York. Lipsius then recruited the other three, who were New York jazz horn players he knew. The final lineup debuted late November ’67 at The Scene in NYC. The band was a hit with the audience, who liked the innovative fusion of jazz with acid rock and psychedelia. After signing to Columbia Records, the group released perhaps one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the late 1960s, Child Is Father to the Man, featuring the Harry Nilsson song, “Without Her”, and perhaps Kooper’s most memorable blues number, “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know”. The album cover was considered quite innovative showing the band members sitting and standing with child-sized versions of themselves. Characterized by Kooper’s penchant for studio gimmickry, the album slowly picked up in sales amidst growing artistic differences between the founding members. Colomby and Katz wanted to move Kooper exclusively to keyboard and composing duties, while hiring a stronger vocalist for the group.[1]

The music of Blood, Sweat & Tears slowly achieved commercial success alongside similarly configured ensembles such as Chicago and the Electric Flag. Kooper was forced out of the group and became a record producer for the Columbia label, but not before arranging some songs that would be on the next BS&T album. The group’s trumpeters, Randy Brecker and Jerry Weiss, also left after the album was released, and were replaced by Lew Soloff and Chuck Winfield. Brecker joined Horace Silver’s band with his brother Michael, and together they eventually formed their own horn-dominated musical outfits, Dreams and The Brecker Brothers. Jerry Weiss went on to start the similarly-styled group Ambergris.

The David Clayton-Thomas era

Colomby and Katz then started looking for singers, considering Stephen Stills and Laura Nyro before deciding upon David Clayton-Thomas, a Canadian singer, born in Surrey, England. Reportedly, folk singer Judy Collins had seen him perform at a New York City club and was so taken and moved by his performance that she told her friends Bobby Colomby and Steve Katz about him (knowing that they were looking for a new lead singer to front the band).[1] With her prodding, they came to see him perform and were so impressed with him that Clayton-Thomas was offered the role of lead singer in a re-constituted Blood Sweat & Tears. Halligan took up the organ chores and Jerry Hyman joined on trombone. New trumpeters Lew Soloff and Chuck Winfield brought the band up to nine total members……Learn More

 

2. “Summertime” (Live) Janis Joplin You can find the song (Not Live) here also. Here’s the video of this song:

Biography of Janis Joplin:

Janis Lyn Joplin (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970) was an American blues-influenced rock singer and occasional songwriter with a distinctive voice. Joplin released four albums as the front woman for several bands from 1967 to a posthumous release in 1971.

Joplin was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in Port Arthur, Texas. The daughter of Seth Joplin, a worker of Texaco, she had two younger siblings, Michael and Laura. She grew up listening to blues musicians such as Bessie Smith, Odetta, and Big Mama Thornton and singing in the local choir. Joplin graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Port Arthur in 1960 and went to college at the University of Texas in Austin, though she never completed a degree. While at Thomas Jefferson High School, she was mostly shunned, but found a group of boys who allowed her to tag along. One of those boys, a football player named Grant Lyons, played her the blues for the first time, an old Leadbelly record. Primarily a painter, it was in high school that she first began singing blues and folk music with friends.

Cultivating a rebellious manner that could be viewed as “liberated” – the women’s liberation movement was still in its infancy at this time – Joplin styled herself in part after her female blues heroines, and in part after the beat poets. She left Texas for San Francisco in 1963….Learn More

 

3. “Introduction” 4. “Does anybody know what time it is”  5. “Question 67 and 68″ From the “Chicago Transit Authority” Album.

More on Chicago:

The band was formed when a group of DePaul University music students who had been playing local late-night clubs recruited a couple of other students from the university and decided to meet in saxophonist Walter Parazaider’s apartment. The five musicians consisted of Parazaider, guitarist Terry Kath, drummer Danny Seraphine, trombonist James Pankow, trumpet player Lee Loughnane. The last to arrive was keyboardist Robert Lamm, a music major from Chicago’s Roosevelt University. The group of six called themselves The Big Thing, and continued playing top-40 hits, but realized that they were missing a tenor voice (Lamm and Kath both sang in the baritone range); the voice they were missing belonged to local bassist Peter Cetera.[7]

While gaining some success as a cover band, the group began working on original songs. In June 1968, they moved to Los Angeles, California under the guidance of their friend and manager James William Guercio, and signed with Columbia Records. After signing with Guercio, The Big Thing changed their name to Chicago Transit Authority.[2]

Their first record (released in April 1969), the eponymous The Chicago Transit Authority (sometimes informally referred to simply as CTA), was a double album, very rare for a first release, featuring jazzy instrumentals, extended jams featuring Latin percussion, and experimental, feedback-laden guitar abstraction. It sold over one million copies by 1970, and was awarded a platinum disc.[8] The album began to receive heavy airplay on the newly popular FM radio band; it included a number of pop-rock songs — “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”, “Beginnings”, and “Questions 67 and 68″ — which would later be edited to an AM radio-friendly length, released as singles, and eventually become rock radio staples…..Learn More and visit their Official Website.

 

6. “The low spark of high heeled boys” From the Traffic CD Album “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys

History:

Traffic’s singer, keyboardist and occasional guitarist Steve Winwood had success as a musician prior to joining Traffic, becoming the frontman of the Spencer Davis Group at age 15 in 1963. The Spencer Davis Group released four Top Ten singles and three Top Ten albums in the United Kingdom, as well as two Top Ten singles in the United States.[2]

Winwood met drummer Jim Capaldi, guitarist Dave Mason, and multi-instrumentalist Chris Wood when they jammed together at The Elbow Room, a club in Aston, Birmingham.[3] After Winwood left the Spencer Davis Group in April 1967, the quartet formed Traffic.[2] Soon thereafter, they rented a cottage near the rural village of Aston Tirrold, Berkshire to write and rehearse new music.[3] The use of this cottage would prove to be important in the development of the band.[4]

Traffic signed to Chris Blackwell‘s Island Records label (where Winwood’s elder brother Muff, also a member of the Spencer Davis Group, later became a record producer and executive), and their debut single “Paper Sun” became a UK hit in mid-1967.[2] Their second single, Mason’s psych-pop classic “Hole in My Shoe“, was an even bigger hit, and it became one of their best-known tracks, but it set the stage for increasing friction between Winwood and Mason, the group’s principal songwriters. The band’s third single, “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush“, was made for the soundtrack of the 1967 British feature film of the same name.[2] Their debut album was Mr. Fantasy, produced by Jimmy Miller, and like the singles, was a hit in the UK but not as big in the US or elsewhere, although it did reach #88 and stayed on the charts for 22 weeks in the US…..Learn More

 

7.”Stormy Monday” From the Allman Brothers CD Album “The Allman Brothers Live at the Filmore East

Band Biography:

The story of the Allman Brothers Band is one of triumph, tragedy, redemption, dissolution, and a new redemption. Over nearly 30 years, they’ve gone from being America’s single most influential band to a has-been group trading on past glories, to reach the 21st century as one of the most respected rock acts of their era.

For the first half of the 1970s, the Allman Brothers Band was the most influential rock group in America, redefining rock music and its boundaries. The band’s mix of blues, country, jazz, and even classical influences, and their powerful, extended on-stage jamming altered the standards of concert performance — other groups were known for their on-stage jamming, but when the Allman Brothers stretched a song out for 30 or 40 minutes, at their best they were exciting, never self-indulgent. They gave it all a distinctly Southern voice and, in the process, opened the way for a wave of ’70s rock acts from south of the Mason-Dixon Line, including the Marshall Tucker Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Blackfoot, whose music, at least initially, celebrated their roots. And for a time, almost single-handedly, they also made Capricorn Records into a major independent label.

The group was founded in 1969 by Duane Allman (b. Nov. 20, 1946-d. Oct. 29, 1971) on guitar; Gregg Allman (b. Dec. 8, 1947) on vocals and organ; Forrest Richard (“Dickey”) Betts (b. Dec. 12, 1943) on guitar; Berry Oakley (b. Apr. 4, 1948-d. Nov. 12, 1972) on bass; and Claude Hudson (“Butch”) Trucks (b. May 11, 1947) and Jaimoe (Johnny Lee Johnson) Johanson (b. July 8, 1944) on drums. Duane and Gregg Allman loved soul and R&B, although they listened to their share of rock & roll, especially as it sounded coming out of England in the mid-’60s. Their first group was a local Daytona Beach garage band called the Escorts, who sounded a lot like the early Beatles and Rolling Stones; they later became the Allman Joys and plunged into Cream-style British blues, and then the Hour Glass, a more soul-oriented outfit…….Read More and Official Allman Brothers Website

Here’s the Podcast:

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