Thursday, July 7, 2016

Grahame Bond - 1969 - Mighty Grahame Bond

Grahame Bond
Mighty Grahame Bond

01. Water, Water 3:47
02. Oh Shining One 2:52
03. Pictures In The Fire 2:04
04. Baroque 3:06
05. Sisters And Brothers 5:44
06. Stiffnecked Chicken 3:21
07. Freaky Beak 4:56
08. Walk Onto Me 3:10
09. Magic Mojo 3:27
10. Brothers And Sisters 3:57

Bonus Tracks:
11. You've Gotta Have Love Babe 2:32
12. I Love You 2:54
13. Blew Through 5:18
14. Water Water 5:26

Grahamme Bond: Keyboards , Vocals
Harvey Mandel: Guitar
Frank Mayes: Sax
Harvey Brooks: Bass
Dranchen THeaker: Drums
Eddie Hoh: Drums

At last! This is the album I had always hoped Graham Bond had made but, until now, had almost given up hope. A guy who had a reputation for being a great Hammond player seemed to make a lot of albums that failed to feature the Hammond organ to any great extent. I have heard quite a few of his albums now and many feature more sax and horns than his keyboards, something of a puzzle, considering he was the band leader.

Anyone coming to this album blind might well be fooled into thinking there would be some semblance of psychedelia within. With track names such as "Freaky Beak" and "Magic Mojo", the inclusion of a Mellotron, together with Bond appearing on the cover wearing one of the signature hippy items of clothing, namely the Kaftan, one could easily be seduced into the idea that Bond had "got with the times", as many of his contemporary jazzmen certainly did, and plunged headlong into patchouli fuelled hippydom. The track names are just names and as for the Kaftan, it's probably the only item of clothing he could buy that fitted his now, larger than life frame. After all, there was no such thing back then as the now ubiquitous Oversize shop!

No psychedelia then, but it is, as one might expect, jazz tinged blues but where this differs from all the other Graham Bond albums I have heard, this is full of the great man's Hammond. It's no shrinking violet but all over every track bar one - "Walk Onto Me", where the Mellotron shares centre stage with the |Hammond. For the purist, there are loads of Leslie effects and the organ sounds just great! It's worth noting also, that the Jazz is turned right down for this release, making it, for me, his most accessible and palatable album. So, no avant-garde Jazz moments, just lots of blues, with that typical sixties slant. Good stuff all round!

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