Thursday, July 7, 2016

Masahiko Satoh - 1975 - Belladonna

Masahiko Satoh 
1975
Belladonna




01. Andy Warhol 4:00
02. Belladonna 3:20
03. Valle Incantata 3:30
04. The Notice Is Notice 4:40
05. Belladonna 3:20
06. Mr. London 2:00
07. Little Flower 2:00
08. Funny Feeling 4:00
09. TBSF 3:00
10. Take It Easy 6:00

Composed By – Masahiko Sato
Lyrics By – Asei Kobayashi, Yu Aku
Vocals – Mayumi Tachibana



An unholy grail of near mythical status finally joins the Finders Keepers Records discography in the form of this first-ever reissue of Masahiko Sato’s elusive sensual psychedelic free jazz score to the stunning Japanese witchcraft animation Belladonna of Sadness (Kanashimi no Belladonna) directed by anime screenwriter Eiichi Yamamoto in 1973. An early feature-length example of a micro-genre in which Japanese anime producers collaborated with the “pink” film genre, Belladonna’s challenging occult, sexual and political subject matter was the cause of the film’s notoriety for many years, earning Yamamoto’s work a critical platform amongst some of the best counterculture animation films of the era such as La Planète Sauvage (René Laloux, France 1973), Marie Mathématique (Jean-Claude Forest,France 1967), Wizards (Ralph Bakshi, US 1977), Heavy Metal (Gerald Potterton, Canada 1980) and Time Masters (René Laloux/Moebius, France 1982). Drawing further stylistic similarities with Shuji Terayama/Tenjo Sajiki associated poster artist Aquirax Uno and the Hara-Kiri magazine cartoon strips Pravda/Jodelle by French artist Guy Peellaert, as well as the early flamboyant Klimtesque imagery of Jean Rollin collaborators Philippe Druillet and Nicolas Devil, Belladonna of Sadness brought a strong European flavour to its sophisticated and stylish Japanese application which accentuated the French origins of the plot loosely based on accounts taken from the 1862 book La Sorcière (The Witch) by French historian Jules Michelet.
Over the last decade Belladonna of Sadness has risen from the ashes and now shines brighter than ever. Now on the eve of its third or fourth global DVD release, fans no longer have to wait four months for third generation VHS telecine rubs from “that guy” in the States, or stuff their ambitious wish lists into the hands of any lucky friends visiting Tokyo in the summer. Belladonna has been used as nightclub projections by clued-up VJs and been restored by discerning feminist folk singers and improv bands while influencing illustrators, fashion designers and other creative types along the way.
Original copies of the soundtrack, however, are much less likely to rear their heads on a weekly basis, with prices literally doubling each time the original stock copies swap hands amongst the same Italian dealers at central European record fairs. Italian soundtracks are expensive anyway, but this one, has got extra credentials. Finders Keepers Records, in direct collaboration with Sato himself, agree that this record should finally be liberated amongst those who know the magic words. With our decision to keep this album “strictly Sato” we removed a track – the main orchestral love theme by Asei Kobayashi and Mayumi Tachibana, which in all honesty is very much detached from Sato’s psychedelic soundtrack. Kept intact, however, are the songs sung and penned by Sato’s then wife Chinatsu Nakayama, including the track entitled TBFS (answers on a postcard?) that only appears on the master tapes and never actually made it to the theatrical cut of the film (although the theme is briefly alluded to, in different instrumentation, in a cut-scene available on the German DVD). This reissue project also marks the beginning of a longer intended relationship between Finders Keepers and Masahiko Sato, exploring his recorded work in both film music, jazz and avant garde composition.





Graham Bond - 2015 - Live at the BBC and Other Stories

Graham Bond 
2015 
Live at the BBC and Other Stories





Graham Bond Quartet with Bobby Breen
BBC Jazz Club, 25th April, 1963
101. Bluesology
102. I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town
103. Hello Little Girl
104. Spanish Blues
105. Wade In The Water
106. Hallelujah I Love Her So
107. Every Day I Have The Blues

Graham Bond: vocals & Hammond organ
John McLaughlin: guitar
Jack Bruce: double bass
Ginger Baker: drums
Bobby Breen: vocals

Duffy Power with the Graham Bond Quartet, 1963
108. I Saw Her Standing There
109. I Got A Woman
110. Summertime
111. Hallelujah I Love Her So

Graham Bond: Hammond organ
John McLaughlin: guitar
Jack Bruce: bass
Ginger Baker: drums
Duffy Power: vocals

Don Rendell Quintet with guest Dick Heckstall-Smith
‘Jazz Session’, 19th September, 1962
112. Things Are Getting Better
113. Elsie And Ena
114. Richmond Festival
115. Kelly Blue
116. Troika
117. Kazeef
118. Persian Party

Don Rendell: tenor & soprano saxophones
Graham Bond: alto saxophone
Dick Heckstall-Smith: tenor saxophone
Johnny Burch: piano
Tony Archer: bass
Ted Pope: drums

Graham Bond Organization
‘Jazz Beat’, 22nd January, 1966
201. Wade In The Water
202. Only 16
203. When Johnny Comes Marching Home

Graham Bond: Hammond organ & vocals
Dick Heckstall-Smith: saxophones
Mike Falana: trumpet
Ginger Baker: drums

Bond and Brown
BBC Radio Birmingham, 23rd March, 1972
204. Macumbe
205. Milk Is Turning Sour In My Shoes
206. Beak Suite

Graham Bond: vocals, Hammond & electric piano
Pete Brown: vocals & percussion
Diane Stewart: vocals & percussion
Delisle Harper: bass
Ed Spevock: drums

Graham Bond and Dick Heckstall-Smith, home tape, 1962
207. Improvisation

Graham Bond: alto saxophone
Dick Heckstall-Smith: tenor saxophone

Dick Heckstall-Smith Band, demo recording, 1972
208. Moses In The Bullrushhourses

Graham Bond: Hammond & vocals
Dick Heckstall-Smith: saxophones
Others unknown

Graham Bond Organization, live recording, 1966-67
209. What'd I Say?

Graham Bond: Hammond & vocals
Dick Heckstall-Smith: saxophones
Jon Hiseman: drums

Graham Bond Initiation, live recording, 1969-70
210. Wade In The Water

Graham Bond: Hammond organ, alto saxophone & vocals
Keith Bailey: drums

Graham Bond Initiation 
BBC ‘Top Gear’, Maida Vale, 31st January, 1970
301. Walkin' In The Park/ I Want You (Segue)
302. Wade In The Water
303. Love Is The Law

Graham Bond: Hammond organ & vocals
Diane Stewart: congas & vocals
Dave Usher: flute, tenor saxophone & guitar
Nigel Taylor: bass
Keith Bailey: drums

Graham Bond Initiation
BBC John Peel Sunday show, Paris Theatre, London, 22nd March, 1970
304. Love Is The Law
305. Magic Mojo Blues
306. The World Will Soon Be Free
307. Wade In The Water

Graham Bond: Hammond & vocals
Dave Usher: flute & tenor saxophone
Nigel Taylor: bass
Keith Bailey: drums
Kevin Stacey: guitar

Graham Bond Quartet, from the EP ‘Jazz with a Twist’, 1962
401. Things Are Getting Better

Graham Bond: alto saxophone
Brian Dee: piano
Malcolm Cecil: bass (possibly)
Tony Mann: drums (possibly)

Graham Bond, out-take from album ‘Love is the Law’, USA, 1967
402. Blew Through

Graham Bond: keyboards & saxophone
Hal Blaine: drums

Graham Bond with Ken Wray and the Joe Palin Trio, rehearsal/jam session,
Manchester Club 43, 1962
403. Sack O' Woe
404. Mack The Knife
405. Work Song
406. Oleo
407. Things Are Getting Better

Graham Bond: alto saxophone
Ken Wray: valve trombone
Joe Palin: piano
Bill Brown: bass
Dave Edwards: drums





Many of the articles that have recently appeared around this four CD compilation of Graham Bond’s BBC sessions tend to assume that the reader will be aware of who Bond was. Unfortunately this is not the case. While talking to an acquaintance of similar vintage as myself a few weeks ago, I mentioned this latest box set from Repertoire. “Graham Bond, I don’t recall him…” resulted in disappointment more than surprise from my side. So, for those who were there but find that almost daily our memories are fading, but more importantly for those who weren’t around in the sixties here’s a few facts.

Graham Bond was an important (and imposing) figure in British music in the sixties and seventies. Bond was an innovator, on a par as those more celebrated British musicians such as Alexis Korner and John Mayall, who also served as a training ground for many musicians who are still rightly regarded highly half a century after they first took to a stage. Bond was initially known for playing alto saxophone while trying to scrape a living as a jazz musician on his chosen instrument. After a stint with Alexis Korner’s Blues Inc., Bond teamed up with fellow Korner members, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, and with guitarist John McLaughlin formed the Graham Bond Quartet before morphing into the Graham Bond Organization, dropping McLaughlin in favour of Dick-Heckstall-Smith on tenor sax while Bond played keyboards, heavily featuring the Hammond organ.

It was during this time that Bond, while never forsaking his jazz leanings, introduced the rhythm and blues stylings that were so popular in the mid-sixties into his music and in doing so built up a sizable following. But, even with two albums released in 1965, ‘The Sound Of ‘65’ and ‘There’s a Bond Between Us’, and a dedicated fan base that attended his live shows, although he gained the respect, he never achieved the glory that many of his fellow band-mates did. It’s felt that Bond was under-appreciated then and even though his albums have been available through the digital age he’s still not recognized as the innovator he truly was. Bond was, and still is, one of the most important figures in British R'n'B.

For Bond’s full and fascinating story there’s a book, ‘Graham Bond: The Mighty Shadow’ which was published in 1992 and is still available from the author, Harry Shapiro, which details the rise and fall of Bond’s life and music, and is simply one of the most compelling books about a musician ever written. It’s a must-have for any music fan.

Of course, Bond’s life was complicated and there was a darker side to him, not helped by his drug addiction and his obsession with the occult, but one thing is certain; his death, which many to believe to be suicide, at the age of thirty-six robbed the music scene of an immense talent.

Bond went through a succession of bands, all of which are covered in Shapiro’s book, and while his time on this earth was short he influenced and introduced the world to many fine musicians. Although some of his more popular albums have hardly been put of print, during the last few years Repertoire Records have finally given part of Bond’s body of work the respect it’s due.

In 2012 the label released ‘Wade In The Water’, a four CD box set lovingly put together by poet/lyricist Pete Brown, who is possibly best known for his work with Cream and another underrated artist who also provided the foreword for Shapiro’s book as well as actually working with and releasing music with Bond. That lovingly compiled box set covered all that was really required from Bond’s early years, remastered with his usual skill by Jon Astley. Now Repertoire have gone the extra mile and issued another four CD box set covering Bond’s live work at the BBC and a little more.

While not as elaborately presented as ‘Wade In The Water’ - the book-sized box has been abandoned for a couple of double standard CD jewel cases - the fact that this music is now available at all is a blessing. Pete Brown again supplies liner notes and Astley once again has remastered the set. There have been many negative comments about the quality of some of these sessions and it’s true that some tracks do suffer from imperfections, but rather that than never having the opportunity to hear or relive them. With Astley in charge of the sound, you can be certain that they’ll never be improved upon anyway.

‘Live at the BBC’ covers more ground than it’s (mainly) studio counterpart. There is a handful of tracks from the Bond and Brown period. Bond’s Initiation era is featured and, of course, both Bond’s Quartet and Organization work is covered. The earliest recordings are from 1962 and the latest from 1972. There are sessions from BBC’s Jazz Club with Bobby Breen, the Quartet backing Duffy Power, Bond backing the Brian Dee Trio and so much more.

It’s not just fascinating for Bond devotees; anyone who has an interest in or is discovering British R&B for the first time will find plenty to enjoy here. While some of the tracks do show their age and sound a little dated, there are those such as the Bond and Brown ‘Sounds of the Seventies’ sessions that still sound as fresh as the day they were recorded. It’s also good to hear Diane (Bond’s wife) singing on a couple of those songs. While for the most part it’s fascinating to hear the various DJs introducing the songs, Pete Drummond sounds like he’s just woken when presenting these particular cuts, but hearing John Peel, Steve Race and George Melly is a joy.

While the quality of the four songs taken from a bootleg of the BBC ‘Pop Goes the Beatles’ recorded at Aeolian Hall, London in 1963 is one of the sections that has been singled out for criticism due to the audio imperfections, for some it will be a highlight. With Duffy Power on vocals, McLaughlin on guitar, Jack Bruce playing the double bass, Ginger Baker on drums and Bond’s Hammond driving the songs along, it’s not only a collector's dream come true but a piece of history many thought was lost forever.

All those connected with this set, especially Repertoire Records, should be commended for making this music available and at a reasonable price. The amount of love, care and passion that has gone into both of Repertoire’s Bond box sets is a lesson as to how it should be done to much bigger labels. Now all we need is some young, hip artist to check out Bond’s not inconsiderable body of work and maybe he’ll finally receive the acclaim he so rightly deserves.
by Malcolm Carter


Graham Bond - 2012 - Wade In The Water

Graham Bond 
2012 
Wade In The Water




101. Graham Bond Roll 'Em Pete
102. Graham Bond Cabbage Greens (Version 1)
103. Graham Bond Baby What You Want Me To Do
104. Duffy Power With The Graham Bond Quartet I Saw Her Standing There (Version 1  Take)
105. Duffy Power With The Graham Bond Quartet Shake, Rattle And Roll
106. Duffy Power With The Graham Bond Quartet What'd I Say (Version 1)
107. Duffy Power With The Graham Bond Quartet I Got A Woman
108. Duffy Power With The Graham Bond Quartet I Saw Her Standing There (Version 2 - Master)
109. Duffy Power With The Graham Bond Quartet Farewell Baby (Version 1 - Alternative Take)
110. Duffy Power With The Graham Bond Quartet Farewell Baby (Version 2 - Master Take)
111. Graham Bond Quartet Slippin' & Slidin'
112. Graham Bond Quartet Spanish (aka Spanish Blues) (Version 1)
113. Graham Bond Quartet Untitled Abbey Road Blues Instrumental
114. Graham Bond Quartet It's Happening
115. Graham Bond Quartet Wade In The Water (Version 1)
116. Ernest Ranglin And The 'G.Bs' Swing-A-Ling (Part I)
117. Ernest Ranglin And The 'G.Bs' Swing-A-Ling (Part 2)
118. Ernest Ranglin And The 'G.Bs' Just A Little Walk (Part I)
119. Ernest Ranglin And The 'G.Bs' Just A Little Walk (Part 2)
120. Ernest Ranglin And The 'G.Bs' SO-HO
121. Ernest Ranglin And The 'G.Bs' Say When (Part I)
122. Ernest Ranglin And The 'G.Bs' Say When (Part 2)
123. Graham Bond Organization Cabbage Greens (Version 2)
124. Graham Bond Organization Long Legged Baby (Version 1)
125. Graham Bond Organization Hoochie Coochie Man (Version 1)
126. Graham Bond Organization Wade In The Water (Version 2)

201. Graham Bond Organization Green Onions (Version 1)
202. Graham Bond Organization High Heeled Sneakers (Version 1)
203. Graham Bond Organization Honey Bee
204. Graham Bond Organization Long Tall Shorty (Version 1)
205. Graham Bond Organization Long Legged Baby (Version 2)
206. Graham Bond Organization Hoochie Coochie Man (Version 2)
207. Graham Bond Organization Strut Around
208. Graham Bond Organization High Heeled Sneakers (Version 2)
209. Graham Bond Organization Little Girl (Version 1)
210. Graham Bond Organization Wade In The Water (Version 3)
211. Graham Bond Organization Harmonica
212. Graham Bond Organization Half A Man (Stereo Remix)
213. Graham Bond Organization Keep A-Drivin' (Stereo Remix)
214. Graham Bond Organization What Am I Living For? (Stereo Remix)
215. Graham Bond Organization Neighbour Neighbour (Stereo Remix)
216. Graham Bond Organization Spanish Blues (Version 2 - Master Take - Stereo Remix)
217. Graham Bond Organization Spanish Blues (Version 3 - Alternate Take - Stereo Remix)
218. Graham Bond Organization Tammy (Stereo Remix)
219. Graham Bond Organization I Want You (Stereo Remix)
220. Graham Bond Organization Wade In The Water ((Version 4 - Stereo Remix)
221. Graham Bond Organization Early In The Morning (Stereo Remix)
222. Graham Bond Organization Baby Make Love To Me (Stereo Remix)
223. Graham Bond Organization Baby Be Good To Me (Stereo Remix)
224. Graham Bond Organization Got My Mojo Working (Stereo Remix)
225. Graham Bond Organization Train Time (Stereo Remix)
226. Graham Bond Organization Little Girl (Version 2 - Stereo Remix)
227. Graham Bond Organization Oh Baby (Stereo Remix)
228. Graham Bond Organization Hoochie Coochie Man ((Version 3 - Stereo Remix)

301. Graham Bond Organization Tell Me (I'm Gonna Love Again)
302. Graham Bond Organization Love Comes Shining Through
303. Winston G. Please Don't Say
304. Winston G. Like A Baby
305. Graham Bond Organization Walking In The Park (Stereo Remix)
306. Graham Bond Organization Don't Let Go (Remix)
307. Graham Bond Organization My Heart's In Little Pieces (Stereo Remix)
308. Graham Bond Organization The Night Time Is The Right Time (Stereo Remix)
309. Graham Bond Organization What'd I Say (Version 2 - Remix)
310. Graham Bond Organization Have You Ever Loved A Woman (Remix)
311. Graham Bond Organization Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf (Stereo Remix)
312. Graham Bond Organization Hear Me Calling Your Name (Stereo Remix)
313. Graham Bond Organization Last Night (Stereo Remix)
314. Graham Bond Organization Baby Can It Be True (Stereo Remix)
315. Graham Bond Organization Dick's Instrumental (Stereo Remix)
316. Graham Bond Organization Camels And Elephants (Stereo Remix)
317. Graham Bond Organization Lease On Love (Stereo Remix)
318. Graham Bond Organization Cold Rain (Stereo Remix)
319. Graham Bond Organization Positive Aka HHCK Blues (Version 1 - Master Take - Remix)
320. Graham Bond Organization Positive Aka HHCK Blues (Version 2 - AlternateTake)
321. Graham Bond Organization When Johnny Comes Marching Home (Stereo Remix)
322. Graham Bond Organization Good Good Loving (Stereo Remix)
323. Graham Bond Organization Only Sixteen (Stereo Remix)
324. Graham Bond Organization St. James Infirmary

401. Graham Bond Organization Soul Tango
402. Graham Bond Organization Wade In The Water (Version 5)
403. Graham Bond Organization Down In The Valley
404. The Who Orchestra Waltz For A Pig
405. Graham Bond Organization Wade In The Water (Version 6)
406. Graham Bond Organization You've Gotta Have Love Babe (Version 1)
407. Graham Bond Organization You've Gotta Have Love Babe (Version 2)
408. Graham Bond Organization I Love You
409. Graham Bond Trio Wade In The Water (Version 7 - Live)
410. Graham Bond Organization Long Tall Shorty (Version 2 - Live)
411. Graham Bond Organization Queen Of Hearts (Live)
412. Graham Bond Organization Alcoholic Blues (Live)
413. Graham Bond Organization Green Onions (Version 2 - Live)
414. Graham Bond Organization High Heeled Sneakers (Version 3 - Live)
415. Graham Bond Organization The First Time I Met The Blues (Live)
416. Graham Bond Organization Little Girl (Version 3 - Live)
417. Graham Bond Organization Stormy Monday (Live)

Alto Saxophone – Graham Bond (tracks: 2-12 to 2-28, 3-5 to 3-20, 4-10 to 4-18)
Backing Vocals – The Velvelettes (tracks: 1-1 to 1-3)
Bass Guitar – Jack Bruce (tracks: 1-16 to 3-2, 3-5 to 3-20, 4-10 to 4-18)
Double Bass – Jack Bruce (tracks: 1-1 to 1-15, 3-5 to 3-20, 4-9)
Drums – Ginger Baker (tracks: 1-1 to 2-28, 3-3 to 4-4, 4-9 to 4-18), Jon Hiseman (tracks: 4-5 to 4-8)
Guitar – Alexis Korner (tracks: 1-1 to 1-3), Big Jim Sullivan (tracks: 1-8 to 1-10), Ernest Ranglin (tracks: 1-16 to 1-22), John McLaughlin (tracks: 1-4 to 1-7, 1-11 to 1-15)
Harmonica – Jack Bruce (tracks: 1-23 to 2-11, 3-5 to 3-20, 4-15)
Mellotron – Graham Bond (tracks: 3-5 to 3-20)
Organ – Graham Bond
Piano – Graham Bond (tracks: 3-3, 3-4)
Saxophone – Dick Heckstall-Smith (tracks: 4-6 to 4-8)
Soprano Saxophone – Dick Heckstall-Smith (tracks: 3-23)
Tenor Saxophone – Dick Heckstall-Smith (tracks: 1-1 to 1-3, 1-23 to 3-2, 3-5 to 3-23, 4-1 to 4-5, 4-10 to 4-18)
Trumpet – Ian Hamer (tracks: 2-18, 2-19), John Hockridge (tracks: 2-18, 2-19), Mike Falana (tracks: 3-21 to 4-5)
Vocals – Duffy Power (tracks: 1-4 to 1-10), Ginger Baker (tracks: 3-1, 3-2, 3-5 to 3-20), Graham Bond (tracks: 1-1 to 1-3, 1-23 to 1-26, 3-5 to 4-3, 4-6 to 4-8, 4-10 to 4-18), Jack Bruce (tracks: 2-12 to 3-2, 3-5 to 3-20), Winston G. (tracks: 3-3, 3-4)





"The GBO was one of the three or four greatest British bands ever. In terms of influence, the GBO was to musicians what the Beatles were to the public." Pete Brown.

"...I also enjoyed Graham Bond, although at the time I didn't realize how profound Bond's music was. But looking back now, I can see it was just as important as the Stones or The Beatles." Ian Anderson (JETHRO TULL), 1970.

I don't think, this far removed from that era, that any of us can truly appreciate the musical power of THE GRAHAM BOND ORGANISATION (sic). This band was a powerhouse on stage-capable of playing jazz or blues/soul, and then exploding into some exciting jazz-rock sounds. A good example is a previously unreleased, jazzy live track (see Disc Four) from 1963, "Wade In The Water", with Bond, Bruce (on double bass), and Baker. Pretty heady, cool sounds for that period. But their two proper albums went nowhere commercially. If you're reading this, chances are you've already heard the GBO albums, know of ALEXIS KORNER'S BLUES INCORPORATED, and COLOSSEUM. This set is aimed more for the fan who's already familiar with the band's albums, and wants to go a bit deeper into their sound. Fans will recognize many tunes (included are 7 versions of "Wade In The Water") from the band's two proper albums. But this set isn't full of castoffs-far from it. Many of these sides are as good as anything the group released way back when. But the flip side of that for instance (from 1966) is the (admittedly a) demo of "You've Gotta Have Love Babe"-Bond's vocals-ouch! But the 'A'-side Single (Version 2 from 1967) is also included-thankfully a bit better. The last incarnation of the group, with both Dick Heckstall-Smith and Jon Hiseman, couldn't be included (except for 4 tracks) in this set-which is too bad. Hopefully at a later date, all that music will become available too.

First, the packaging. The discs are snapped inside the front and back covers of the hard cover "book". The 43 page booklet is attached inside, and has a nice essay by Pete Brown-poet, lyricist (notably for CREAM), and a recording artist in his own right (PETE BROWN'S BATTERED ORNAMENTS). The booklet is filled with great period photos, news articles, and other items from the period. There's a track by track listing of each tune with pertinent information for each. Many songs are in mono, and some are remastered for stereo. And speaking of sound-overall it's very good. There's no compression to ruin the sound, and there seems to be a bit of warmth to the sound that only helps the music. The only downside is how the discs are packaged, two in the inside front cover, two in the back, using those plastic clips that seem to break if you look at them too long. This seems to be the new way of packaging discs-it's now used by many labels. Too bad. The hardcover "book" slips inside an equally thick slipcase, which has all the tracks listed on the back. All in all, a very classy package.

This collection begins in 1963, with three tracks with Bond, Baker, Bruce, Alexis Korner-guitar, and THE VELVETTES-backing vocals. Also included are several familiar tunes (check the list on the Amazon page), some are Singles, some are from the album "Leapers and Sleepers", with a few tracks previously unreleased. A number of these tunes feature guitarists John McLaughlin and (the late) Big Jim Sullivan. Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin is also here (playing some great jazz guitar that will surprise many fans) on a few tunes, along with the first appearance of Dick Heckstall-Smith.

Disc Two features the best known incarnation of the band-Bond, Bruce, Baker, and Heckstall-Smith. These tracks continue from 1964 into 1965. These tunes, from auditions, Singles, compilation albums ("Rhythm and Blues" and "Blues Now"), a number of previously unreleased tracks, a soundtrack tune from the LP ("Gonks Go Beat"), and many from "The Sound of '65" album. All have been remixed in stereo for this set or are in mono sound.

Disc Three features, from 1965-66, the quartet on the first two tracks, with the next two tunes utilizing vocalist Winston G. (who used to appear at the same gigs as the GBO), with Bond, Baker, and an unidentified band. The rest of the tracks are the quartet, and the songs came from "There's a Bond Between Us", and a Single B-side. This also includes Bond's use of the mellotron-one of the first bands to use this cumbersome, hard to play instrument. The last three tracks feature Bond, Heckststall-Smith, Baker, and Mike Falana on trumpet.

Disc Four continues into 1966, with this same group for the first four tracks. The band then changes to Bond, Heckstall-Smith, Falana, and Jon Hiseman on drums on track five, "Wade In The Water". Tracks 6-8 are a trio of Bond, Heckstall-Smith, and Hiseman. Track 9 (see above) is another version of "Wade In The Water", with Bond, Bruce, and Baker as a trio, before switching back to the usual quartet for the remaining tunes (10-18) which are live tracks from 1964. These recordings are pretty rough going sound-wise, but they do give an atmospheric indication of how good the band was live.

Many people forget (or don't know) that the GBO was one of the first bands to play music that would eventually be labeled jazz-rock. Their "popularity" was based on musical talent-not good looks. They had no real "star", no Eric Clapton, no Jimmy Page, no Steve Winwood, no (name someone) to draw people in. Bond's influence by Charlie Parker on his alto sax playing is telling, and his organ sound was out of the Ray Charles/Jimmy Smith/Booker T. sound. Baker's drumming was from Max Roach, Art Blakey, and African influences. Bruce's style on the bass was out of the jazz area and his own uniqueness, with his harp playing from the blues. McLaughlin was just beginning to formulate his own guitar sound (he was let go for "erratic timekeeping" through Baker's complaints), but he fits the blues/jazz/rock thing pretty well. Heckstall-Smith was a died in the wool jazzer, who also strayed into the blues/soul arena, and combined them when he felt it right.

The GBO never really rose above a hard working club band in the U.K. In America, they were virtually unknown. They combined jazz with the blues and some soul and rock'n'roll music, and mixed everything into their own sound. And now, with this great collection of music, more people will have the chance to go even deeper into the band's sound. Checkout Ginger Baker, singing a song he wrote ("Cold Rain"), or McLaughlin playing some good blues guitar on "Untitled Abbey Road Blues Instrumental". Or Bruce's early, slightly rough sounding harmonica on several tunes. And of course, Bond-playing the organ and his alto sax at the same time, often with Heckstall-Smith's tenor sax.

In stopping this long-but (I think) well deserved-review, I still wonder what it was like to walk into a club and hear this band wailing away. If you consider yourself a fan of British music from the 60's, and you don't know about Graham Bond, you have a gaping hole in your musical library from that era. It's a mystery to me why the band's reissued albums aren't more well known by fans of today. Judging by the number of album reviews, and comments, many people are unfamiliar with the band. Why? Hopefully this collection will become more available, and more fans of that era will check it out.

If you want to learn more about Bond, try and find a copy of Harry Shapiro's book "Graham Bond: The Mighty Shadow", which goes into some detail about Bond and his life, or more about Dick Heckstall-Smith, his book (plus a CD of unreleased tracks) "Blowing The Blues". Both give a look into that whole era of music in Britain.

Graham Bond - 1972 - Faces and Places Vol. 4

Graham Bond 
1972
Faces and Places Vol. 4





01. Wade In The Water
02. Big Boss Man
03. Early In The Morning
04. Person To Person Blues
05. Spanish Blues
06. Introduction By Dick Jordan
07. The First Time I Met The Blues
08. Stormy Monday
09. Train Time
10. What'd I Say

Bass, Harmonica, Vocals – Jack Bruce
Drums – Ginger Baker
Organ, Saxophone [Alto], Vocals – Graham Bond
Tenor Saxophone – Dick Heckstall-Smith

Producer – Giorgio Gomelsky

Recorded live at Klook's Kleek Club in London, 15th October 1964
1st Issue



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. --- Bruce Eder, AllMusic


What was it like to be sitting in a club in London during the 1960s with one of the top R&B bands of the time playing on the stage in front of you? This is probably about the nearest you can get with the Graham Bond Organisation rocking Klooks Kleek. Former members of Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated, the Graham Bond Organisation contained Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker who later made up two-thirds of Cream. At the time, London was full of blues bands, many of which, like the Graham Bond Organisation, had developed from roots in the jazz clubs of the capital.

The album was recorded towards the end of 1964 in-between the release of the band's two albums. Jack Bruce had left by the time the second album was available so presumably it was not long after this gig.

The album opens with the powerful Wade in the Water. This is a taste of what is to come later in the gig. Released as the b-side to the second single Tammy, the instrumental Wade in the Water is far more representative of the band. The track acts as a good introduction, showcasing the different instruments. Listen out for the amazing bass guitar solo in Big Boss Man. This sounds like a guitar solo but bear in mind that Jack Bruce is playing bass.

Early in the Morning is introduced as a Ginger Baker song but, like Wade in the Water it is a traditional song that has been arranged by the group and again it is an instrumental. Person to Person Blues features Graham Bond on vocals.

The instrumentals continue with Spanish Blues. Presumably this has a Moorish influence as the track sounds more Middle Eastern than Spanish!

Train Time will be familiar to Cream fans. This is noted as a group composition although Cream's BBC Sessions credits it to Jack Bruce. The track features a superb harmonica performance by Bruce.

The final track is the Ray Charles standard What'd I Say. (makingtime.co.uk)


Graham Bond With Magick - 1971 - We Put Our Magick On You

Graham Bond With Magick 
1971
We Put Our Magick On You





01.Forbidden Fruit, Pt. 1 (4:48)
02.Moving Towards The Light (5:18)
03.Ajama (6:19)
04.Druid (4:58)
05.I Put My Magick On You (5:45)
06.Time To Die (4:09)
07.Hail Ra Harakhite (5:42)
08.Forbidden Fruit, Pt. 2 (2:48)

Graham Bond with Magick:
Bass Guitar - Terry
Drums - Pugwash
Guitar - Hedley
Percussion - Gaspar Lawall
Saxophone, Vocals - Graham
Vocals - Diane




One of the founding fathers of the British blues movement, Graham Bond released two spectacular albums in 1965 as the Graham Bond Organization. The Sound of '65 and There's a Bond Between Us (also re-released on BGO Records) are essential jazz/blues albums for any music fan. When Bond broke up the Organization, he moved to the United States where he recorded two "solo" albums in 1965. In 1966, he returned to England where he became a member of Ginger Baker's Air Force for a time then left and formed the band Magick with his wife Diane Stewart. Holy Magick, the band's debut album, was originally released on the "progressive" Vertigo label in 1970 . The album was based on Bond's interest in white magic and Druid and Celtic mysticism. Holy Magick consists of two parts containing 18 songs based around mantras, rituals, and improvisational pieces. The band, a flexible unit, featured some of the top musicians Britain had to offer in 1970 including Rick Gretch (Blind Faith), Victor Bronx, Alex Dmochowski, Jon Moreshead from the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation, and a host of session performers. While barely accessible to a rock audience, this album has been both dismissed and praised by critics and fans, depending on one's musical taste. The music was very much jazz oriented. When it was originally released it did not sell well and became a collector's item. In 1971 Bond released the second Magick album which was intended to be the second part of his Magick trilogy. The theme behind this album was Eastern mysticism, in particular the Hindu and Aquarian philosophy. The lineup for this album had changed, but the sound was an extension of the debut only with different themes and more of a blues direction. Again the album was released on Vertigo but did not sell well so Bond postponed the third part of the trilogy and took a break from the music business. Unfortunately, he died a tragic death in 1974, and the trilogy was never completed. This set by BGO Records contains both albums on a single CD. It has been remastered from original master tapes, and the package contains an in-depth essay on the history of Bond and both projects along with photos and reproductions of the original album graphics.

Graham Bond - 1970 - Holy Magick

Graham Bond -
1970 
Holy Magick




01.Meditation AUMGN - 23:09
  01. Meditation Aumgn
  02. The Qabalistic Cross
  03. The Word Of The Aeon
  04. Invocation To The Light
  05. The Pentagram Ritual
  06. Qabalistic Cross
  07. Hymn Of Praise
  08. 12 Gates To The City
  09. The Holy Words Iao Sabao (Those Are The Words)
  10. Aquarius Mantra (In Egyptian)
  11. Enochian (Atlantean) Call
  12. Abrahadabra The Word Of The Aeon
  13. Praise ''City Of Light''
  14. The Qabalistic Cross - Aumgn
02.Return Of Arthur - 05:04
03.The Magician - 04:02
04.The Judgement - 04:44
05.My Archangel MIKAEL - 04:08
06.Water Water (Single version) - 03:44
07.Twelve Gates To The City (Single Version) - 03:38


Graham Bond - organ, sax, vocals
Diane Stewart - vocals
John Gross  - sax
Rick Gech & Alex Dmochowski - bass
John Moorshead & Kevin Stacey - guitar
Steve York, Aliki Ashman, Annette Brox & Victor Brox - vocals
Keith Bailey & Godfrey McLean - drums
Pete Bailey - percussion
Jerry Salisbury - horns




One of the founding fathers of the British blues movement, Graham Bond released two spectacular albums in 1965 as the Graham Bond Organization. The Sound of '65 and There's a Bond Between Us (also re-released on BGO Records) are essential jazz/blues albums for any music fan. When Bond broke up the Organization, he moved to the United States where he recorded two "solo" albums in 1965. In 1966, he returned to England where he became a member of Ginger Baker's Air Force for a time then left and formed the band Magick with his wife Diane Stewart. Holy Magick, the band's debut album, was originally released on the "progressive" Vertigo label in 1970 . The album was based on Bond's interest in white magic and Druid and Celtic mysticism. Holy Magick consists of two parts containing 18 songs based around mantras, rituals, and improvisational pieces. The band, a flexible unit, featured some of the top musicians Britain had to offer in 1970 including Rick Gretch (Blind Faith), Victor Bronx, Alex Dmochowski, Jon Moreshead from the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation, and a host of session performers.

An important, underappreciated figure of early British R&B, Graham Bond is known in the U.S., if at all, for heading the group that Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker played in before they joined Cream. Originally an alto sax jazz player -- in fact, he was voted Britain's New Jazz Star in 1961. The band was called the Graham Bond Organization and in their prime played rhythm & blues with a strong jazzy flavor, emphasizing Bond's demonic organ and gruff vocals.

The band performed imaginative covers and fairly strong original material, and Bond was also perhaps the very first rock musician to record with the Mellotron synthesizer. After the original band split Bond never recaptured the heights of his work with the Organization. In the late '60s he moved to the U.S., recording albums with musicians including Harvey Brooks, Harvey Mandel, and Hal Blaine. Moving back to Britain, he worked with Ginger Baker's Airforce, the Jack Bruce Band, and Cream lyricist Pete Brown, as well as forming the band Holy Magick, who recorded a couple albums. Bond's demise was more tragic than most: he developed serious drug and alcohol problems and an obsession with the occult, and it has even been posthumously speculated (in the British Bond biography Mighty Shadow) that he sexually abused his stepdaughter. He committed suicide by throwing himself into the path of a London Underground train in 1974.

Graham Bond was getting more into "magick" in his private life at the beginning of the 1970s, and those interests are heavily reflected in this album. That's particularly true of the side-long medley that occupies the first half of the LP, with its attempts to musically re-create rituals. The problem was a mundane one afflicting many ambitious concept albums of the era: The music wasn't as interesting as the concept. It was meandering, sometimes improvised-sounding blues-jazz-soul-rock, featuring Bond's distinctive organ, female soul backup vocals, and John Gross' tenor sax. The irony was that it actually didn't sound as sinister as Bond's more demonic recordings in the mid-'60s as leader of the Graham Bond Organisation, even though those earlier recordings had no explicit magickal references in the lyrics. Nor was it nearly as effective or memorable as the voodoo rock of early Dr. John, an unavoidable comparison as far as the mood for which Bond seemed to be aiming. For side two, Bond returned, nominally at least, to a more conventional song-oriented format, presenting four songs on as many tracks, though with a similar lyrical focus. These pieces weren't too different from the other side, however, though there was a bit more of a funky, earthy blues feel

Graham Bond - 1970 - Solid Bond

Graham Bond 
1970 
Solid Bond



01. Green Onions
02. Springtime In The City
03. Can't Stand It
04. Only Sixteen
05. Last Night
06. Long Legged Baby
07. Walkin' In The Park
08. It's Not Goodbye
09. Neighbour, Neighbour
10. Ho Ho Country Kicking Blues
11. The Grass Is Greener
12. Doxy
13. Waltz For The Pig (Bonus Track)
14. Wade in the Water (Bonus Track)

Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone – Dick Heckstall-Smith (tracks: A1 to A3, B1 to B4, C1, C2)
Bass – Jack Bruce (tracks: D1, D2, C3)
Drums – Ginger Baker (tracks: D1, D2, C3), Jon Hiseman (tracks: A1, to A3, B1 to B4, C1, C2)
Guitar – John McLaughlin (tracks: D1, D2, C3)
Organ, Saxophone [Alto], Piano, Vocals – Graham Bond

Recorded Live at Klooks Kleek, 1963 MONO: D1, D2, C3
Recorded At Olympic Studios, 1966, STEREO A1 to A3, B1 to B4, C1, C2




This rather odd double LP is a patchy, yet good assortment of '60s material that Bond did not put out during that decade, and which remains unavailable on any other release. Nine of the 12 tracks date from 1966, with Bond accompanied by Dick Heckstall-Smith on sax and Jon Hiseman on drums (Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker had by this time left to join Cream). Most of those nine songs are not on the two proper albums he issued in the '60s (The Sound of '65 and There's a Bond Between Us), and though a few did appear on those albums and non-LP singles, these recordings are different versions. While not up to the level of the best cuts waxed by the Bruce/Baker lineup, these Hiseman/Heckstall-Smith-backed numbers are still solid jazzy R&B with that aura of faint menace unique to Bond's mid-'60s work. His singing is particularly effective in its drawn-out anguish on "It's Not Goodbye" and "Springtime in the City" has those uneasy descending chord progressions and creepy R&B black-mass organ that were Bond specialties. "Neighbour Neighbour" and "Walkin' in the Park" aren't as good as the versions he did with Bond and Baker on the first two Graham Bond Organization LPs, but they're different enough to merit hearing. The three remaining songs were done in 1963 with Bruce, Baker, Heckstall-Smith, and John McLaughlin, and are long, straight jazz pieces that are much different in nature. Historically they're interesting, particularly in their documentation of the period in which McLaughlin (who solos well, though his free jazz style was a long way off in coming) was in the band. However, Bond's outfit became much more distinguished as an R&B group than they were as an average jazz one, making the 1963 material more of a curiosity than a highlight of his discography.

Grahame Bond - 1969 - Mighty Grahame Bond

Grahame Bond
1969
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!

Grahame Bond - 1967 - Love Is The Law

Grahame Bond 
1967
Love Is The Law




01. Love Is The Law 3:25
02. Moving Towards The Light 4:29
03. Our Love Will Come Shining Through 3:03
04. I Couldn't Stand It Anymore 4:10
05. Sun Dance 2:24
06. Crossroads Time 2:33
07. Bad News Blues 2:50
08. Strange Times, Sad Times 3:57
09. The Naz 3:30
10. The World Will Soon Be Free 3:55

Bonus Tracks
11. Long Tall Shorty 2:21
12. Long Legged Lady 2:17
13. Tell Me 2:50
14. Love Come Shining Through 2:02
15. Lease On Love 2:46
16. My Heart's In Little Pieces 3:22
17. St. James Infirmary 3:39
18. Soul Tango 3:09

Hal Blaine Drums
Graham Bond Keyboards, Primary Artist, Saxophone, Vocals
Dave Sheehan Drums, Percussion
Diane Stewart Vocals

Originally released in 1967 on Pulsar Records.
8 bonus tracks ( 4 singles originally released between 1964 and 1966 ).




Love Is the Law is the first of the two LPs Graham Bond recorded for the Pulsar label in the late '60s after his move to the United States, and is the better of the pair by a wide margin. That doesn't mean, it should be cautioned, that it's that great, and it's considerably below the standard of the discs he cut in the U.K. in the mid-'60s as the leader of the Graham Bond Organisation. That might not only be because he was missing musicians of the extremely high caliber of his supporting players in the Organisation; it might also be due to him having played everything himself on the LP, with the exception of drums (by Hal Blaine) and some soulful female backup vocals. Yet there's still substantial pleasure -- if that's the right word to use for a musician with such a demonic vocal, instrumental, and compositional flavor -- to be had from Bond's consistently spooky blues-rock organ and Mellotron. If his vocals are a bit croaky, and his lyrics (where odes to free love dovetail with dread and the occult) a bit creepy, that's part of the reason the music stands out even from the eclectic palette of late-'60s rock; there's nothing else quite like it, even if it might not be his best work. The title track and "The World Will Soon Be Free" are certainly among the absolute highlights of his post-Organisation discography, and if the remake of "Our Love Will Come Shining Through" isn't up to the level of the great obscure mid-'60s U.K. 45 on which he first issued the song, it's still pretty good. If some of the lyrics seem a bit awkward and confused in their confluence of naïve romanticism and ominous foreboding, they're made up for by some quite groovy blues-jazz organ riffs. Overall, it sounds like the songwriting could have done with some polish and the arrangements with some fleshing out, but Bond fans will still find it worthwhile to seek out this rare LP.

The Graham Bond Organization - 1965 - There's A Bond Between Us

The Graham Bond Organization 
1965
There's A Bond Between Us





01 Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?
02 Hear Me Calling Your Name
03 The Night Time Is The Right Time
04 Walkin' In The Park
05 Last Night
06 Baby Can It Be True
07 What'd I Say
08 Dick's Instrumental
09 Don't Let Go
10 Keep A Drivin'
11 Have You Ever Loved A Woman?
12 Camels And Elephants

Bass, Vocals – Jack Bruce
Drums – Ginger Baker (tracks: 1 to 16), Jon Hiseman (tracks: 17, 18)
Organ [Hammond Organ], Alto Saxophone, Mellotron, Lead Vocals – Graham Bond
Tenor Saxophone – Dick Heckstall-Smith





The Graham Bond Organization's second and final album came out in 1965, not long after their debut. Featuring the same lineup of Graham Bond (vocals/organ/mellotron/sax), Dick Heckstall-Smith (sax), Jack Bruce (bass/harmonica/vocals) and Ginger Baker (drums), it continued to explore their distinctive dark, jazzy R&B sound. The songs featured two Ray Charles numbers ("The Night Time Is The Right Time" and "What'd I Say") and the Freddie King blues classic "Have You Ever Loved A Woman?". It also notably featured some originals from all band members, including Heckstall-Smith's "Dick's Intrumental", Bruce's "Hear Me Calling Your Name" (which he sang lead on) and Baker's "Camels And Elephants". Also interesting was Bond's use of the mellotron - he was perhaps the first rock musician to make use of this new keyboard instrument.
However despite having two great albums under their belt, the Organization's days were numbered. By the time of the second album's release, Jack Bruce had been fired. Baker was the next to go in 1966. Bruce served short stints in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and Manfred Mann before reuniting with Baker to form Cream with Eric Clapton. Bond found a new drummer in Jon Hiseman, and as a trio the group went on for a little longer, releasing one single before breaking up in early 1967. Hiseman and Heckstall-Smith then went to join the Bluesbreakers themselves for one album, before forming their own group, Colosseum.
Graham Bond himself moved to America. By this time he was suffering from mental disorders and was using drugs heavily. He was also becoming increasing interested in the occult.



The Graham Bond Oraganization - 1965 - The Sound Of `65

The Graham Bond Oraganization 
1965
The Sound Of `65




01. Hoochie Coochie
02. Baby Make Love To Me
03. Neighbour, Neighbour
04. Early In The Morning
05. Spanish Blues
06. Oh Baby
07. Little Girl
08. I Want You
09. Wade In The Water
10. Got My Mojo Working
11. Train Time
12. Baby Be Good To Me
13. Half A Man
14. Tammy

15. Hi-Heel Sneakers
16. Hoochie Coochie Man
17. Little Girl
18. Strut Around
19. Long Tall Shorty
20. Long Legged Baby
21. Tell Me (I'm Gonna Love Again) 2:49
22. Love Come Shining Through 2:02



Bass Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals – Jack Bruce
Drums – Ginger Baker
Tenor Saxophone – Dick Heckstall-Smith
Vocals, Organ [Hammond], Alto Saxophone – Graham Bond


Including 8 bonus tracks.

Tracks 15 to 18 taken from the compilation "Rhythm & Blues" (UK) Decca LK4616 (P) 1964

Tracks 19 and 20 previously released as single (UK) Decca F.11909, (P) 1964

Tracks 21 and 22 previously released as single (UK) Columbia DB 7528, (P) 1965

It’s a matter of record that the British Blues Boom of the sixties – as discrete from British Rhythm‘n’Blues, a similar but different beast – was originally created not by former rock’n’roll or Beat musicians but principally by ex-jazz players searching for a new “authentic” music. Its earliest practitioners came to the blues via skiffle, the ersatz rural American folk movement of the mid-fifties; subsequent ones via the brief vogue for revivalist traditional jazz at the turn of the sixties. Furthermore, the Blues Boom began not, as popularly thought, with erstwhile jazzman John Mayall’s landmark 1966 album Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton, but with the formation of Alexis Korner’s influential, ever-mutating Blues Incorporated in 1961. Bluesbreakers may be the defining record of the British Blues Boom, the one that induced a whole regiment of Beat guitarists to emulate Muddy, Wolf and BB, but by the time it hit the decks the ground had already been prepared by other former jazzers, notably Korner and his acolyte, the larger-than-life, manic-depressive Hammond organist Graham Bond.

Bond had started out as a bebop alto saxophonist in Charlie Parker vein, but at the turn of the sixties he switched to organ and, along with other high-profile jazz instrumentalists, began to concentrate on the twelve-bar form. Enlisting fellow Korner alumni Jack Bruce on upright and Fender basses, Ginger Baker on drums and (after rapidly firing early guitarist John McLaughlin) Dick Heckstall-Smith on tenor sax, Bond christened his outfit the Graham Bond ORGANisation, leaving no doubt where the engine room lay. The band immediately became a live tour-de-force on the London club circuit but, as with so many other artists who are ahead of their time, failed to find commercial success in terms of record sales; its albums weren’t even released in North America, where the whole concept of “British Blues” was initially treated as a joke. The ORGANisation lasted for two studio albums before disbanding shortly after Bruce and Baker, finding the bipolar Bond too difficult a taskmaster, departed for new challenges.

Compared with the straight-ahead purist electric blues of Bluesbreakers, the earlier Sound Of 65 shows a band attempting engagingly to pervert the blues in every conceivable direction. It combines the expected traditional blues covers (“Hoochie Coochie Man”, “Got My Mojo Working”) and instrumental R’n’B workouts (“Wade In The Water”, “Train Time”), reworked in distinctive, individual fashion, with lyrically naïve but musically adventurous Bond originals which move confidently in the direction of what would later be called “jazz-rock”. All the tracks are carried along by the sheer, rough-edged energy of Bond’s vocals and the irrepressible swing of the band’s ensemble playing, plus a remarkable cheap-studio production with plenty of reverb that gives the impression of a live recording. In fact the album was the ORGANisation’s well-honed live set with each number pared down to three minutes or less, the solos from Bond’s growling B-3 and Heckstall-Smith’s squalling tenor short and ferocious rather than extended and building. High spots include the flavouring of “Wade In The Water” with more than a soupçon of Bach’s Toccata, the spoof field holler of “Early In The Morning”, Bruce’s rumbling upright bass figures on “Mojo”, Bond’s and Heckstall-Smith’s wailing snake-charmer licks on “Spanish Blues”, and the eerie “Baby Make Love To Me” which is carried on just harmonised saxes, bass and drums and boasts lead vocal and braggadocio harmonica from Bruce. Only the mandatory (and thankfully truncated) Baker drum solo on “Oh Baby” and the maudlin closer “Tammy” (intended as a “commercial” single) conspire to lower the overall appeal.

The second and final ORGANisation album There’s A Bond Between Us offered a slightly wider musical range played with a bit less verve, and Bond’s pioneering use of the Mellotron (before the Beatles, Stones and Moody Blues discovered it) presaged his move towards progressive music. After an erratic subsequent career and involvement with hard drugs and Satanism he was mysteriously found dead under a stationary London Underground train in 1974: a sad end to one of rock’s most colourful characters. The BGO twofer combining both studio albums is a bargain; for a flavour of the band’s live sound, try Solid Bond, the posthumous Rhino release featuring the short-lived final line-up of Bond, Heckstall-Smith and Jon Hiseman.

Although the Organization's first album was recorded a mere year or two before Cream's debut, it bears little resemblance to Cream's pioneering hard blues-rock. Instead, it's taut British R&B with a considerable jazz influence. That influence comes not so much from the rhythm section as saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith and lead singer/organist Bond himself. This LP is not as exciting or rock-oriented as those of contemporaries like the Rolling Stones or John Mayall, but is respectably gritty, mostly original material, with an occasionally nasty edge. There are some obscure treasures of the British R&B explosion to be found here, including the original version of "Train Time" (later performed by Cream), the thrilling bass runs on "Baby Be Good to Me," and the group's hardboiled rearrangements of such traditional standards as "Wade in the Water" and "Early in the Morning." Even their blatant stab at commercialism (the ballad "Tammy") has its charm.