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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Steven Stills

Super Session (Hybrid Multichannel SACD)

Review by Gary Hill

This is a new limited edition, numbered audiophile reissue of a classic old album. The sound here is great and the whole package is well worth having. I have to admit that I’d never heard this album before, and I’m glad I got the opportunity to check it out now. It’s a very strong release ranging from bluesy sounds to jazzy ones to psychedelic rock and a lot more. I can’t recommend this enough.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Albert's Shuffle

As one might guess from the title, this is a blues shuffle. It’s got some great instrumental moments built into it. In particular, the guitar soloing is tasteful and tasty. I love the keyboard solo on this number, too. The horn section adds some great jazz to this instrumental, too. This really gets powerful at times along the road. It’s quite a dynamic ride, while sticking with the same standard progression.

Stop
This instrumental jam has a lot more psychedelic rock and even some prog in the mix. The horns are again a real selling point. The keyboard jamming is top notch and so is the guitar playing. It’s just overall a killer ride. I’d say that, as good as the opener was, this is superior in pretty much every way.
Man's Temptation
Jazzy 1960s pop rock is the order of business here. It’s the first song of the disc to feature vocals and I like the vocal arrangement quite a bit. The horn section is top-notch here, as well.  This is really a nice change of pace. This gets quite soulful later in the piece, too.
His Holy Modal Majesty
With the keyboards soloing like crazy (and I mean “crazy”) over the top, this is very much a progressive rock meets psychedelia type of jam. It does work out to more of a mellower jam after this opening section. That said, it’s still prog (although the jazz psychedelia argument could be made) and the keyboards still drive this thing. The guitar solo section takes it at times into surf territory, but also jam band zones. Still, there is plenty of progressive rock built in, even then. It keeps evolving from there and the keyboards shine again later, too. It’s another instrumental.
Really
This is a smoking hot electric instrumental blues jam. Everyone gets a chance to shine and even here there are hints of progressive rock.
It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
The vocals return here. It’s a song that’s got folk rock, psychedelia and more built into it. This is very much a 1960s kind of thing.
Season of the Witch
I think I like every version of this song I’ve ever heard. These guys put in a rendition that’s over eleven minutes in length. The horn section (which has been absent for a little while) returns. This is proggy and psychedelic and just plain rocks. The first instrumental section mid track is a magical powerhouse. There’s an organ led jam later that’s special in its own way. There’s a more space rock, trippy instrumental section further down the road, too.
You Don't Love Me
Imagine combining Cream with The Who. You’d probably wind up pretty close to this. It’s a cool tune with a real 1960s psychedelic rock vibe to it.
Harvey's Tune
Jazz, progressive rock and psychedelia all merge on this tasty instrumental. It feels a little short, but it’s spacey goodness through and through.

 

 
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