Monday, April 11, 2016

Harvey Mandel - 1972 - Get Off In Chicago

Harvey Mandel
Get Off In Chicago

01. Jellyroll 3:52
02. High-Test Fish Line 5:19
03. Local Days 3:34
04. Check Me Out 3:46
05. Highway Blues 3:09
06. I'm A Lonely Man 6:26
07. Sweet Lynda 3:06
08. Springfield Station Theme 6:28
09. Race Track Daddy 5:52

Peter Milio - Drums
Craig Rasband - Bass
G.E. Stinson - Guitar
Nick Tountas - Bass
Norman Wagner - Guitar
Bob Davis - Drums
Judy Roberts - Keyboards, Vocals
John Bishop - Guitar
Don Cody - Bass
Dave Cooke - Keyboards
Freddie Fox - Vocals
Vicki Hubley - Vocals
Phil Johnson - Drums
Rusty Jones - Drums
Ira Kart - Keyboards
Kenneth Little - Bass, Vocals
Harvey Mandel - Guitar

"Harvey Mandel got 16 Chicago musicians together between gigs - whenever they could. They jammed, improvised, laid down vocals, and had a good time. They created this album of blues, jazz and rock in just three nights."
Recorded at Streeterville Studio.

While Mike Bloomfield & Al Kooper recorded in their adopted home of California, using their new rock-star friends to assist on their two "Super-Session" recordings, Mandel came home to Chicago, assembled the most worthy players from Chicago's jazz, rock & blues scenes, & jammed for two days.: An "Underground-Super-Session", if you will.

Harvey Mandel - 1970 - Baby Batter

Harvey Mandel 
Baby Batter

01. Baby Batter 3:45
02. Midnight Sun 6:15
03. One Way Street 4:20
04. Morton Gove MaMa 4:53
05. Freedom Ball 6:15
06. El Stinger 7:15
07. Hank The Ripper 5:11

Bass [Fender] – Larry Taylor
Congas – Big Black
Drums – Colin Bailey, Paul Lagos
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Harvey Mandel
Organ, Electric Piano – Howard Wales, Mike Melvoin
Percussion – Emil Richards (tracks: 3, 7)
Tambourine – Sandra Crouch (tracks: 1, 2)

You wanna know how good Harvey Mandell is. The Stones invivted him to join after Mick Taylor left.

Mandell must have either had a trust fund or another hell of a good reason for refusing, because the Glimmer Twins missed out on one dynamite guitar player. Need evidence; get this.

This album is basically orchestrated instumentals over which Mandell plays over. The backing tracks are just average, but that is not why we are here.

Mandell has got this amazing style: he is bluesy and jazzy, fast but never flashy. He has got this way of finding a spot on the neck, locking in--usually in the lower register-and just working magic with a pattern. He is so quick, so nimble, his runs just seem like melted butter. He never shows off, he never show boats. But he can take a pattern and just twist and turn it with so many subtleties, so quick, you are astounded.

When you add just the slightest ammount of distortion, this has amazing ressonece, but amazing untility. A guy scribbles his phone number down on the back of a matchbook. He is offhand, he is not even looking when he writes, but when he hands it to you, it is caligrophy.
That is what hearing Mandel is like.

In 2006 I was in San Fransisco on a vacation, and my freinds and I were bar hopping. We walked into a small, no name club, and there is this little band jamming. I look and look and look and think, it could not be, but I keep insisting to myself, and, Holy Chirst, its Harvey Mandel. No billing, no cover, no anything, just a bar band. But it was Harvey.

I never got to talk to him, he walked elusively off stage, but man, that was enough. Still, my not getting a chance to talk to Harvey might have had something to do with my beer soaked friend calling him HOWIE Mandel. I have forgiven the bloke since.

I hope one day you get a gift like hearing Mandel live free, but if not, this album will soothe your envy.

Harvey Mandel - 1970 - Games Guitars Play

Harvey Mandel -
Games Guitars Play

01. Leavin' Trunk 6:26
02. Honky Tonk 3:32
03. I Don't Need No Doctor 3:45
04. Dry Your Eyes 3:03
05. Ridin' High 2:45
06. Capurange 6:40
07. Senor Blues 5:30
08. Games People Play 4:45

Bass – Larry Taylor
Drums, Percussion – Eddie (Shades) Hoh
Guitar, Vocals, Organ, Piano – Russell Dashiel
Lead Guitar – Harvey Mandel

Feeling that he needed a singer to compete commercially, Mandel decided to abandon his instrumental format, taking on multi-instrumentalist Russell Dashiel as lead vocalist for a good share of the tracks. Alas, Dashiel was a mediocre singer who typified some of the lesser White blues-rock stylings of the period, and the material (with a higher percentage of blues and soul covers) was not up to the level of Mandel's first two efforts, although Harvey's playing remained accomplished and imaginative (as is evident on the original instrumental "Ridin' High" and the cover of Horace Silver's "Senor Blues").

Harvey Mandel - 1969 - Righteous

Harvey Mandel 

01. Righteous 3:21
02. Jive Samba 5:57
03. Love Of Life 3:11
04. Poontang 3:52
05. Just A Hair More 3:36
06. Summer Sequence 4:12
07. Short's Stuff 7:24
08. Boo-Bee-Doo 3:55
09. Campus Blues 4:42

Bass [Fender] – Bob West
Drums – Earl Palmer
Guitar – Howard Roberts
Piano – Pete Jolly
Saxophone – Bill Perkins, Ernie Watts, Gene Cipriano, Jack Nimitz, Plas Johnson
Trombone – Lew McCreary, Mike Barone, Pete Myers, Richard Leith
Trumpet – Buddy Childers, John Audino, Ollie Mitchell, Stan Fishelson
Bass – Art Stavro
Drums – Eddie Hoh
Guitar – Harvey Mandel
Organ – Duane Hitchings

Not as consistent as his debut, due to the presence of a few pedestrian blues-rock numbers. The better tracks, though, show Mandel continuing to expand his horizons with imagination, particularly on the cuts with string and horn arrangements by noted jazz arranger Shorty Rogers. Harvey's workout on Nat Adderley's "Jive Samba" is probably his best solo performance, and an obvious touchstone for the Latin-rock hybrid of Carlos Santana (whose own debut came out the same year); on the other side of the coin, "Boo-Bee-Doo" is one of his sharpest and snazziest straight blues-rockers.

Harvey Mandel - 1968 - Cristo Redentor

Harvey Mandel 
Cristo Redentor

Original album:
01. Wade In The Water (A.Cooke/James W.Alexander) - 7:48
02. Lights Out (Harvey Mandel) - 4:51
03. Bradley's Barn (Mandel) - 3:15
04. You Can't Tell Me (Mandel/Dino Valente) - 4:17
05. Nashville 1 A.M. (Mandel/Abe Kesh) - 3:37
06. Christo Redentor (Duke Pearson) - 3:46
07. Before Six (A.Frazier) - 6:27
08. The Lark (Mandel/Kesh) - 4:37
09. Snake (Mandel) - 3:45
10. Long Wait (Mandel/Barry Goldberg) - 2:43
Barry Goldberg (1969):
11. Spirit Of Trane (Barry Goldberg) - 4:00
Canned Heat (1970):
12. My Time Ain't Long (Alan Wilson) - 3:46
13. Let's Work Together (Wilbert Harrison) - 2:47
14. That's All Right (Jimmy Rogers) - 5:28
Pure Food and Drug Act (1972):
15. A Little Soul Food (Don Harris/Shuggie Otis) - 4:02
16. What Comes Around Goes Around (Pure Food & Drug Act) - 4:19
17. My Soul's On Fire (D.Harris/Mandel/P.Lagos/V.Conte) - 4:12
Love (1974):
18. Which Witch Is Which (Arthur Lee) - 1:57

- Harvey Mandel - guitar
- Peter Drake - steel guitar
- Art Starvro - bass
- Bob Moore - bass
- Hargus Robbins - piano
- Kenny Buttery - drums
- Eddie Hoh - drums
- Chip Martin - rhythm guitar
- Bob Jones - rhythm guitar (02,09)
- Nick De Caro - piano (06), strings and horns arrangements
- Charlie Musselwhite - harp (08,10)
- Barry Goldberg - organ and electric piano (08,10)
- Stephen Miller - organ, piano (01,06,07), strings and horns arrangements
- Larry Easter - tenor sax (07), strings and horns arrangements
- Armando Perezza - conga (01)
- Carter Collins - conga (07)
- Grahame Bond - piano (04)
- Catherine Gotthofer - harp (06)
- Jacqueline May Allen, Edna Wright, Julia Tillman, Carolin Willis - voices (06)

In the mold of Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, and Mike Bloomfield, Mandel is an extremely creative rock guitarist with heavy blues and jazz influences. And like those guitarists, his vocal abilities are basically nonexistent, though Mandel, unlike some similar musicians, has always known this, and concentrated on recordings that are entirely instrumental, or feature other singers. A minor figure most known for auditioning unsuccessfully for the Rolling Stones, he recorded some intriguing (though erratic) work on his own that anticipated some of the better elements of jazz-rock fusion, showcasing his concise chops, his command of a multitude of tone pedal controls, and an eclecticism that found him working with string orchestras and country steel guitar wizards. Mandel got his first toehold in the fertile Chicago white blues-rock scene of the mid-'60s (which cultivated talents like Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield, and Steve Miller), and made his first recordings as the lead guitarist for harmonica virtuoso Charlie Musselwhite. Enticed to go solo by Blue Cheer producer Abe Kesh, Harvey cut a couple of nearly wholly instrumental albums for Phillips in the late '60s that were underground FM radio favorites, establishing him as one of the most versatile young American guitar lions. He gained his most recognition, though, not as a solo artist, but as a lead guitarist for Canned Heat in 1969 and 1970, replacing Henry Vestine and appearing with the band at Woodstock. Shortly afterward, he signed up for a stint in John Mayall's band, just after the British bluesman had relocated to California. Mandel unwisely decided to use a vocalist for his third and least successful Philips album. After his term with Mayall (on USA Union and Back to the Roots) had run its course, he resumed his solo career, and also formed Pure Food & Drug Act with violinist Don "Sugarcane" Harris (from the '50s R&B duo Don & Dewey), which made several albums. In the mid-'70s, when the Rolling Stones were looking for a replacement for Mick Taylor, Mandel auditioned for a spot in the group; although he lost to Ron Wood, his guitar does appear on two cuts on the Stones' 1976 album, Black & Blue. Recording intermittently since then as a solo artist and a sessionman, his influence on the contemporary scene is felt via the two-handed fretboard tapping technique that he introduced on his 1973 album Shangrenade, later employed by Eddie Van Halen, Stanley Jordan, and Steve Vai.

Unless you’re able to find “Cristo Redentor” [which means Christ The Redeemer in Portuguese] with the bonus material, this album is for all intent and purposes an instrumental bit of wanderlust from a far overlooked artist, a session and sideman of the first caliber, a man who’s played with the likes of John Mayall, Canned Heat, Charlie Musselwhite, and with the departure of Mick Taylor, auditioned for the Rolling Stones.

Mandel’s sound is all his own, with John Mayall once describing it as “Harvey’s wall of sound,” then going to say that while brilliant and all encompassing, that Harvey’s vision would have changed the course and structure of Mayall’s vision ... so he took his Gibson 355 and set out to see what doors he could open with his mastery of controlled feedback, delay, and penchant for blues and jazz infused psychedelia.  People often wave off psychedelia as nothing more than a brief moment in time, belonging mainly to Jimi Hendrix.  But listening to Mandrel’s arrangements, arrangements that are tight, restrained, controlled, well constructed, fluid, and adventurous without moving into the world of progressive music, it’s easy to hear that this is a man with a vision ... equal to anything The Paul Butterfield Blues Band did on their hypnotic outing “East West.”

This is a late night adventure, and there’s a reason this album lends itself to a wee hours of the morning listening, where Mandrel gathered together a host of talent ... Kenny Buttry and Bob Moore, who would soon bring Dylan’s “Nashville Skyline” to life, the Wrecking Crew rhythm section of Eddie Hoh and Art Stavro, along with Stalwarts, who would be a guiding force for nearly all of the early Monkees’ sessions, Pete Drake, a Nashville genius on pedal steel, and finally, his long time friend and collaborator Barry Goldberg, who’s responsible for the funkier sides.   There’s no magic here, no accidents, it’s because of this grouping of talent, that “Cristo Redentor” flowers with such variety and intensity, never sounding dated, styled, or locked into a theme.

This is one of those brilliant albums that cries for a full bodied stereo, one that can deliver and channel the dream.  Listening to “Cristo Redentor” is not a step back in time, nor is it a step forward, it rather seems always to be in the moment ... and that moment is a pure delight.

Volker Kriegel - 1976 - Octember Variations

Volker Kriegel 
Octember Variations

01. Funk You Very Much (5:37)
02. Ballad Garden & Palm Dreams (6:02)
03. Octember Variation (6:30)
04. Und Schön Ist Die Fahrt (5:50)
05. Dora (6:30)
06. Flugsteig B (2:06)
07. Spiral Crackers (3:30)

Volker Kriegel / Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Sitar [Sitar-guitar], Producer
Hans Peter Ströer / Bass
Evert Fraterman / Drums
Thomas Bettermann / Keyboards
Nippi Noya / Percussion

“Jazz” is scary word for most people, and by my way of thinking, it shouldn’t be, especially if one is a fan of Steely Dan, a group who created accessible underlying currents of jazz throughout all of their work, and finally moved headlong into the genre with their release of Aja.

Most purists would consider Volker Kriegerl’s Octember Variations to be an exploration of jazz fusion, and while that’s certainly true, it’s much more inclusive and slick, sliding in an array of steady rolling funk and boppy rhythmic sequential chord changes essentially designed for the interplay of guitar, organ, and electric piano, which at times dance on the edges of straight ahead progressive rock ... sparking me to wonder what it would have been like to see this artist live, in a jamming atmosphere, where he could bounce and link musical ideas with his companions.

The album is locked in tight, divided into three sections that are defined by well established free-from jazz maneuvers that allow Octember Variations to soar and swirl in a delightful intoxicating manner, perfect for beginning your day, or winding it down.

Volker Kriegel - 1975 - Topical Harvest

Volker Kriegel
Topical Harvest

01. Hypnotic Pignose (4:27)
02. Circus Gambet (4:41)
03. Hallo Albert (3:36)
04. Remember Gereba (3:08)
05. Sister Matic (3:49)
06. Oriente (6:06)
07. Bahia Next Yera (5:36)
08. Tribut (1:02)
09. Let's Say Windmill (4:35)
10. Saturnalia (2:41)

-Volker Kriegel / electric guitar, acoustic guitar, flute
-Rainer Bruninghaus / keyboards, electric piano, organ
-Hans Peter Stroer / bass, mellotron, flute
-Ray Mantilla / congas, percussion
-Peter Giger / percussion
-Joe Nay / drums
-Albert Mangelsdorff / trombone
-Peter Coura / acoustic guitar

Volker Kriegel was an important part of the German jazz/rock scene in its earliest, most exciting days. This was his fourth album, from 1975, and it brings together a fine grouping of German musicians: Volker Kriegel (electric guitar), Albert Mangelsdorff (trombone), Rainer Brüninghaus (electric piano and keyboards), Hans Peter Stroer (bass, etc), Peter Giger (drums and percussion), etc. This is not as great as his earlier MPS releases; the bloom was fading from the rose of early, adventurous jazz/rock, but this is still a great listen.
 This album of Kriegel is a beautifull sample of a nice and smod kind of jazz, rock and fusion style. He makes a mix of elements that give colors to his fine songs.
I recomend this album to all prog fans who like the mix of jazz in the progressive style.

Volker Kriegel - 1974 - Mild Maniac

Volker Kriegel 
Mild Maniac

01. Mindwill (6:45)
02. Prinz Eisenherz (4:37)
03. Schnellhorspiel (5:26)
04. Mild Maniac (5:08)
05. The Visit (7:26)
06. D-Dodel (12:12)

-Volker Kriegel / electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass guitar (on 1)
-Rainer Bruninghaus / keyboards
-Eberhardt Weber / bass, electric bass, bass guitar, cello
-Joe Nay / drums
-Peter Giger / percussion

German jazz guitarist Volker Kriegel has been hailed in certain quarters as the father of European jazz-rock. This is in part due to his work with the US avant-garde vibraphonist Dave Pike in his influential fusion combo The Dave Pike Set, as well as the subsequent series of erudite albums he himself produced for the MPS label during the early '70s. Mild Maniac (1974) was the fourth recording in that series. Kriegel was responsible for the cover illustration and design of this album; in addition to being a talented musician and producer, he also wrote and illustrated children's books. Another of his claims to fame was that he co- founded the United Rock and Jazz Ensemble with, among others, Jon Hiseman.
Another founder of this ensemble, bass player Eberhardt Weber, joins Kriegel on Mild Maniac. The other musicians are Rainer Bruninghaus (keys), Joe Nay (drums) and Swiss percussionist Peter Giger. The album consists of 6 instrumental pieces all of which were composed by Kriegel apart from the lengthy closer D-Dodel, which was a group composition. This is a 12-minute experimental piece built around an extended Weber bass solo. Kriegel's clean-toned guitar chats cosily with Bruninghaus's vibrant electric piano for the first few minutes (for me, Bruninghaus really steals the show on this album) before Weber's interruption. Speaking with my symphonic head on, the best way I can describe this is to imagine Moonchild with a lengthy bass improvisation. Not the most accessible of pieces, for sure.

The remainder of the album is more approachable. Mindwill has a nice laidback groove with synthesizer and electric piano weaving their way around Kriegel's electric and acoustic solos. I'm a bit of a jazz novice but I get the impression that the next piece, Prinz Eisenherz, might be the sort of track that is disparagingly called 'elevator music', pleasant though it is with more acoustic guitar and electric piano. The lively Schnellhorspiel moves along at a good pace although I find the temple blocks a little intrusive during Bruninghaus's solo. Still, this is one of the album's highlights. The title track is another one that's easy on the ear, featuring some wonderful rippling acoustic piano. Krieger's guitar is treated with different effects on penultimate track, The Visit, and this is another that bounces along nicely. By all accounts Spectrum is his best album, but this one is certainly good