Thursday, October 20, 2016

Bobby Keys - 1972 - Bobby Keys

Bobby Keys 
Bobby Keys

01. Steal From A King
02. Smokefoot
03. Bootleg
04. Altar Rock
05. Key West
06. Command Performance
07. Crispy Duck
08. Sand & Foam

Bobby Keys - Tenor Saxophone
Jack Bruce - Bass
Charlie Freeman - Guitar
Jim Gordon - Drums
George Harrison - Guitar
Nicky Hopkins - Keyboards
Bobby Keys - Saxophone
Corky Laing - Drums
Dave Mason - Guitar
Felix Pappalardi - Bass
Jim Price - Horn, Keyboards
Carl Radle - Bass
Ringo Starr - Drums
Klaus Voorman - Bass
Leslie West - Guitar
John Uribe - Guitar
Eric Clapton - Guitar

Bobby Keys' self-titled debut is a bit of an odd beast. He's got one of the most amazing résumés in rock music as a sideman, so it's no surprise that there's quite a lineup on this album. Appearing are George Harrison, Jack Bruce, Ringo Starr, and possibly Eric Clapton, amongst many other famous players (proper credits would have been nice). Horn charts were by Keys' cohort Jim Price (who also played trumpet and keyboards) and the album was produced by Keys, Jim Gordon, and Andy Johns. It sounds great on paper, but the sound is more like backing tracks in search of a song, and only slightly more than a jam session with nice horn charts. It's not bad, it's just a bit disappointing. The liner notes indicate that the album took almost a year and suggest that Keys was not entirely into it. He only played live on one track ("Altar Rock") and it opens and closes as a bit of a proto-smooth jazz snoozer. Keys was also quick to note that the album was not the beginning of a solo career and kind of knocks his own playing. Of course, some people are better sidemen than bandleaders, but this was also a time of notorious partying (recording began after Keys, Price, and Nicky Hopkins wrapped up the Exile on Main St. tour). That said, the album isn't bad, just a bit on the slight side. The horn charts are great and there are some nice solos, particularly on guitar on what was once side two of the album. If you like the sound of the "Apple Jam" LP from All Things Must Pass (which also featured many of the players here), you'll probably like Bobby Keys.



  2. " the sound is more like backing tracks in search of a song"

    Based on the clip you provided, I agree.Lots of riffs and not much else. And it seems that the soloists were mixed at the same level as the supporting crew, resulting in a pretty muddy sound (to my ears at least)-- much like the sax break on "Brown Sugar."

  3. GREAT!
    Super post... so much talent on this LP!
    Thank You.