Thursday, April 7, 2016

Al Kooper - 1970 - Easy Does It

Al Kooper 
Easy Does It

01. Brand New Day 5:09
02. Piano Solo Introduction 2:00
03. I Got A Woman 4:30
04. Country Road 4:23
05. I Bought You The Shoes 1:58
06. Introduction 0:50
07. Easy Does It 5:24
08. Buckskin Boy 4:11
09. Love Theme From "The Landlord" 3:11
10. Sad, Sad Sunshine 5:04
11. Let The Dutchess No 3:17
12. She Gets Me Where I Live 3:34
13. A Rose And A Baby Ruth 3:29
14. Baby, Please Don't Go 12:28
15. God Sheds His Grace On Thee 3:28

Keith Allison Guitar
Joe Beck Guitar
David Bromberg Guitar, Guitar (Steel), Pedal Steel
Kenny Buttrey Drums
Bobby Colomby Congas, Drums, Vocals
Joe Corero, Jr. Drums
Tom Cosgrove Guitar, Guitar (Electric)
Charlie Daniels Bass, Guitar
George Devens Percussion
Pete Drake Guitar (Steel), Pedal Steel
Milt Holland Percussion, Tabla
Peter Ivers Harp
Larry Knechtel Keyboards, Piano
Al Kooper Electronic Effects, Guitar, Guitar (Electric), Keyboards, Ondioline, Organ, Piano, Primary Artist, Producer, Sitar, Vibraphone, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
Fred Lipsius Saxophone, Soloist
Rick Marotta Drums, Vocals (Background)
Charlie McCoy Bass, Harmonica
John Miller Bass
Wayne Moss Guitar
Joe Osborn Bass
Earl Palmer Drums
Lyle Ritz Bass
Alexis Rodgers Drums, Guitar
Al Rogers Drums
Stuart Scharf Guitar
Louie Shelton Guitar
Tommy Tedesco Guitar
Freddy Weller Guitar
Neil Wilburn Engineer
Stu Woods Bass, Vocals (Background)

This is the third solo effort from rock & roll wunderkind Al Kooper. Originally issued as a two-LP set, Easy Does It (1970) is a diverse album that reveals the layer upon layer of musicality that has become synonymous with the artist. He draws deeply upon his skills as a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and equally engaging arranger. The extended run-time of the double album format likewise allows Kooper to thoroughly exhibit his wide-ranging and virtually mythical adaptability as an artist whose sheer talent defies the boundaries of genre or style. The set kicks off with the youthfully optimistic rocker "Brand New Day." This is the first of two tracks Kooper used in his score for Hal Ashby's directorial cinematic debut, The Landlord, a highly affable counterculture classic starring Beau Bridges. The haunting "The Landlord Love Theme" is also included, and is poignantly dovetailed with one of the disc's profoundly affective epics. "Buckskin Boy" is an uptempo rocker that lyrically offers a brutally honest assessment of the Native American situation, which was quickly becoming a national plague upon the social conscience of the country in the early '70s. The song is replete with Kooper's dynamic chord changes and trademark phrasing. The "morning after" fallout from a particularly potent experience with LSD is credited as the inspiration behind "Sad, Sad Sunshine." The cut features some heavily Eastern-influenced lead sitar work reminiscent of the sounds of Donovan circa Hurdy Gurdy Man (1968) and the burgeoning Canterbury-based progressive folk movement of the late '60s and early '70s. There is a decidedly Yankee contrast on the country-rocker "I Bought You the Shoes (You're Walking Away In)" as well as the cover of John Loudermilk's "A Rose and a Baby Ruth." Other well-placed cover tunes include a classy, soulfully subdued reading of Ray Charles "I Got a Woman'" as well as the spacy and well-jammed-out version of "Baby Please Don't Go." Throughout the 12-plus minute side there are definite recollections of the extended instrumental interaction that defined Kooper's former band, the Blues Project, as well as some of the inspirational improvisation heard on the original Super Session (1968). This performance alone is more than worth the time and effort of seeking out Easy Does It.

1 comment: