HOT rock CD of the week (1/5/2013) (Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Steve Stills – Super Session)

Back in the ’70’s, I was way more into rockin’ bluesy stuff than I may be in these later years…. this album from Bloomfield, Kooper & Stills definitely hit the spot for me, & I don’t doubt you’ll remember it well if you were “in the same zones” as I was during those years – ENJOY!

Here are a few notes from the WIKIPEDIA entry on the album:

Kooper and Bloomfield had previously worked together on the sessions for the ground-breaking classic Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan, as well as playing in support of his controversial appearance at the Newport Folk Festival in July 1965. Kooper had recently left Blood, Sweat & Tears after recording their debut album with them, and was now working as an A&R man for Columbia. Bloomfield was about to leave Electric Flag, and at relative loose ends. Kooper telephoned Bloomfield to see if he was free to come down to the studio and jam; Bloomfield agreed, leaving Kooper to handle the arrangements.[3]

Kooper booked two days of studio time in May 1968, and recruited keyboardist Barry Goldberg and bassist Harvey Brooks, both members of the Electric Flag, along with well-known session drummer “Fast” Eddie Hoh. On the first day, the quintet recorded a group of mostly blues-based instrumental tracks, including a modal excursion “His Holy Modal Majesty” reminiscent of “East-West” from the second Butterfield Blues Band album. On the second day, with the tapes ready to roll, Bloomfield did not show up.[4]

Needing to have something to show for the second day of sessions, to sit in for Bloomfield Kooper hastily called upon Stephen Stills, also in the process of leaving his band Buffalo Springfield. Regrouping behind Stills, Kooper’s session men cut mostly vocal tracks, including “It Takes A Lot to Laugh, It Takes A Train to Cry” from Highway 61 and a lengthy and atmospheric take of “Season of the Witch” by Donovan.[5]

Some overdubbed horns were later added while the album was being mixed, and sales worth a gold record award were garnered from an album which cost just $13,000 to make. The success of this record opened the door for the “supergroup” concept of the late 1960s and 1970s — Blind Faith, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and the like. Kooper forgave Bloomfield, and the two of them made several concert appearances after the album was released. The results of one of those became the album The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper.[6]

On April 8, 2003, Legacy Records reissued the album for compact disc with four bonus tracks, including both an outtake and a live track with Bloomfield, and two with the horn overdubs mixed out.

HOT jazz CD of the week (1/5/2013) (Lee Morgan, The Sidewinder)


I’ve been a fan of Lee Morgan’s music ever since I got “hooked” on jazz way back in the ’60’s!  His music is timeless, & I’ve not a doubt in my mind that you’ll agree.  Here’s a bit of info on the album from WIKIPEDIA:

The Sidewinder is a 1964 album by jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan, recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood, New Jersey. It was released on Blue Note label as BLP 4157 and BST 84157. The title track was one of the defining recordings of the soul jazz genre, becoming a jazz standard. An edited version was released as a single. The album was to become a huge seller, and highly influential – many subsequent Lee Morgan albums, and other Blue Note discs, would duplicate (or approximate) this album’s format, by following a long, funky opening blues with a handful of conventional hard bop tunes. Record producer Michael Cuscuna recalls the unexpected success: “the company issued only 4,000 copies upon release. Needless to say, they ran out of stock in three or four days. And ‘The Sidewinder’ became a runaway smash making the pop 100 charts.” Said piece would be even used as the music of a Chrysler TV ad as well as a theme for television shows.[1][2] It was also used by Noir Désir, in the song “Lolita Nie En Bloc” (from the album One Trip, One Noise).

The original album’s five tracks, all written by Morgan but the Cole Porter-like “Hocus Pocus”, are heavily blues-based, and feature tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, then 26, whom Morgan (then 25) claimed at the time to be mentoring. Also present are the noted jazz drummer Billy Higgins, and double bassist Bob Cranshaw, who would soon switch to electric bass and begin a decades-long association with Sonny Rollins.

Please JOIN us at Zzaj Productions

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Those who’ve been with for many years now know that this site and my magazine (IMPROVIJAZZATION NATION) isn’t “about me”… it’s about YOU, & the music you play and listen to…. so please consider joining in now & sharing your ideas (when you join, you can create your OWN posts, with gig announcements, opinions & anything else you want to express, as long as it relates (in some way) to music, poetry or performance). You can also participate by posting comments against other articles/pages/posts.

I’m looking forward to this becoming a gathering point for any & all who love music (of any stripe).


Dick Metcalf, aka Rotcod Zzaj



OTTO ZONE – Zzaj FEATURE band!!!

If ya’ don’t dig “GREEN GROVE” by this band – yer’ dead already!  They say they’re “just having fun (& I believe ’em).  High-talent, high-energy & music you won’t soon forget.  Here’s something about them in their own words!  ” On this page there is a collection of demos for songs I been developing, with help from Stewkey on vocals, Brian Klock’s sax on zapped, & Rich Carley’s bass on snow monkeys. All were recorded at my home studio. Listen and enjoy “Just having some fun!” These folks get a DEFINITE “MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED” from me!


As you listen to “Waiting For Daybreak“, you’ll realize that these players aren’t just “smooth jazz”… they’ve got some heavy guitar lickz & superb bass driven jazz that says FAR MORE than just “smoove”!  In their own words:  “Ron Richardson was born on November 6th, 1959 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York. The youngest of seven children, Ron was exposed to music by listening to records with his father on Friday nights, after a long work week.Ron became familiar with the music of such artists as James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Jackie Wilson, and the entire Motown family. By age 12, Ron had developed a love for the sound of the electric bass.It was while listening to The Jackson Five’s ” Darling Dear” that Ron decided to ask his parents to buy him an electric bass.In April of 1972, Ron recieved his first electric bass. He began teaching himself to play by ear, listening to different records and picking out the bass notes one by one. Over the next several years Ron would be greatly influenced by the man who actually played Darling Dear, Motown’s legendary bassist James Jamerson. Ron was also greatly influenced by session bassist Chuck Rainey, Bootsy Collins, Verdine White, Robert “Pops” Popwell, Stanley Clarke, Larry Graham and Jaco Pastorious. By age 16, Ron was forced to join “Local 802” American Federation Of Musicians in N.Y.C. because he was playing in bands that often played for wedding receptions, lodge dances and concerts that were either in union venues or affiliated with the union. It was also around this time that Ron began to develop his songwriting skills. In 1984, Ron and a group of musicians did a recording with alto saxophonist Eric Wyatt that was used as the theme for a N.Y.C. T.V. news program called “Black News”. Ron and two of the other musicians, drummer, Darryl Chalmers ,and guitarist Greg Sam, formed the nucleus of the New York based jazz-funk-fusion band “Axium”. Ron composed the majority of the group’s material from it’s inception to it’s end.(1984-1989″

I definitely DIG this band!!! & you will too!

Pablo Gordy – Zzaj FEATURE artist

Ev’ry once’t in awhile, I run across a player who “hits th’ magic” without even trying!  As I listen to “Scandanavia” (for the 20th time since I first got th’ link yesterday), it’s clear that THIS CAT has GOT it!  There was some talk about “channeling” – you know, like “Prince”, “Stevie”, “P-Funk” & all those kats I cut my funk-teef on (back in th’ day, when th’ SPIKE rooled… whoopz… er’….).

I’ve sliced a (very lil’ bit) of his bio out, but you’ll DEFINITELY wanna’ be VISITING Pablo & discover more (& more) about him for yourself… PABLO GORDY!  (& be LOOKIN’ for my review of his new CD soon!!!)!

Heart of Orion – Zzaj Feature Band!!!

If you dig electronic music, you’ll surely dig “Let’s Get Loud” from this band.  Here’s what THEY had to say:  “Starting as a collaboration of musical ideas, as the songs manifested so did our love for each other. The music represents our values, ideals, frustrations, fears and love that eventually tied into a bond between us called Heart Of Orion. Our vision for Heart Of Orion is to see our music flow into the hearts of others and grow into a Art Collective where we can share and collaborate with other artists, in a cross genre atmosphere”

Ralph Buckley – Zzaj FEATURE artist!

Ay-UP… if yer’ lookin’ for somethin’ to CHANGE YER’ DAY, try on a taste o’ “Schizophrenia“… I like this track, ‘coz it’s full of th’ musical energy (& fantasy) I grew up on back in th’ ’60′s… PSYCH-e-DELIC, man! + Ralph has another 17 very well-crafted streams for you to enjoy! I’m truly diggin’ his style & spirit…  & do be sure to tell him that Zzaj Productions is who sent ya’ his way!