#1 PAINTINGS HARRIET SCHOCK
Paintings is a wondrous song about an artist not wanting to let go, ("Paintings" live on YouTube)
Harriet Schock's critically acclaimed recordings are majestic, and few can sing them the way the author does. Indeed, it takes a Johnny Mathis, Smokey Robinson, Helen Reddy, Roberta Flack and few others to capture the tender nuances Schock tucks into her melodies and expressive feelings.
2)ROLLING STONES, 'CHILD OF THE MOON"
Song Review by Richie Unterberger
As the non-LP B-side of the Rolling Stones' "Jumping Jack Flash" single in 1968, "Child of the Moon" was one of the more obscure tracks the band released in the 1960s, although it got a slightly wider hearing when it was included in the More Hot Rocks (Big Hits & Fazed Cookies) collection in the early '70s. Along with "Jumping Jack Flash" itself, it was the first recording the Stones released that was produced by Jimmy Miller, and was indicative of their slide toward a slightly more laid-back, funkier rock sound than they'd pursued on their more pop- and psychedelic-influenced 1966-1967 releases. The song has its champions as an undiscovered nugget of the group's catalog, but there's a reason it was a B-side: it's filler, and not one of their most distinguished late-'60s efforts by any means. There's a bit of a drone to the melody and a pronounced drawl to the Mick Jagger lead vocal, like a bit of a hangover from the chorus crescendos of their 1967 single "We Love You." "Child of the Moon" is a less memorable tune than "We Love You," however, with a bit of a hangover from their psychedelic era as well in the lyrics comparing the woman to a "Child of the Moon." That's a more benign, cosmic view of women, à la "She's a Rainbow," than the group often offered. As he often did during this era, Nicky Hopkins added session piano; the saxophone is played by Brian Jones, in one of the less heralded of his many contributions of instrumentation other than guitar on Rolling Stones records. For such a relatively little-known Rolling Stones song, it's gotten its share of covers, including versions by alternative rock bands the Celibate Rifles and Band of Susans.
JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE: HOLLYWOOD BOWL AUGUST 18, 1967
ALBUM COMING NOVEMBER 10 ON
EXPERIENCE HENDRIX/LEGACY RECORDINGS
HISTORIC LIVE SET MARKS THE MOMENT BEFORE HENDRIX ACHIEVED INT’L FAME; RECORDING HAS NEVER BEEN OFFICIALLY RELEASED OR BOOTLEGGED
“KILLING FLOOR” AND “SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND”
AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD & AIRPLAY NOW
On November 10, Experience Hendrix, L.L.C. in partnership with Legacy Recordings will be releasing Jimi Hendrix Experience: Hollywood Bowl August 18, 1967 on vinyl, CD and all digital platforms. This live concert performance, captured just five days before the US release of Are You Experienced, their album debut, is notable for being one of the last times the band performed in front of an audience as relative unknowns. Finally, the set can be enjoyed by the rest of the world for the first time ever; amazingly, not a single second of this unique, two-track live recording has ever been released before in any capacity, either via official channels or elsewise. Jimi Hendrix Experience: Hollywood Bowl August 18, 1967
- Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
- Killing Floor
- The Wind Cries Mary
- Foxey Lady
- Catfish Blues
- Like a Rolling Stone
- Purple Haze
- Wild Thing
Jimi Hendrix: Guitar, Lead Vocals
Mitch Mitchel: Drums
Noel Redding: Bass, Backing Vocals
Produced By Janie Hendrix, Eddie Kramer, & John McDermott for Experience Hendrix, L.L.C.
5)Fernando Saunders Cashmere Dreams
Cashmere Dreams Review
by Joe Viglione [-] https://www.allmusic.com/album/cashmere-dreams-mw0000199005
If Steve Porcaro producing the hip sideman to Marianne Faithul during her A Child's Adventure phase, and Lou Reed during his Legendary Hearts/New Sensations period, sounds like a paradox, it is a joyful one. Feeling more like a Joan Armatrading disc than one of the aforementioned legends (who both have classy essays on the album jacket singing the journeyman bassist's praises), Fernando Saunders has a highly listenable disc which contains flavors of Prince without a testosterone overdose. Very subdued pop. Great album cover has Saunders in a dream state flowing into some otherworld. This is very radio-friendly stuff, from "Stallion" running wild and free (a bit reminiscent of the sentiment of "Little Red Corvette") to the catchy pop of "Hook in My Heart," the entire production (most by Saunders himself, except for the contributions by Porcaro) is a delight from start to finish. The two songs produced by Toto keyboard player Steve Porcaro actually have Jeff Porcaro on drums and Steve Lukather on guitar. On paper, Toto backing a musician from Lou Reed's band is a punk rock fan's worst nightmare, but it works.This is amazing stuff, and unlike other artists who have famous friends chipping in, everyone takes a back seat to the guy who has provided a rhythmic undertone to so many. Fernando Saunders has a great voice, his own style, and one of those records radio should be chastised for not seeking out and playing on its merits. Hearing a song co-written by Lou Reed that Michael Jackson could have a huge hit with is, in itself, monumental. Perhaps this is where Paula Abdul got the idea for her hit of the same name, "Opposites Attract," which appeared just a year later.
TIDAL HAS PICKED UP MY REVIEW OF FERNANDO
The Returning Sun Review
by Joe Viglionehttps://www.allmusic.com/album/the-returning-sun-mw0001612403
On 2005's Mayfly, lead singer of the Fixx Cy Curnin had mainstream keyboardist Bill Champlin and guitarist Bruce Gaitsch (both of Chicago/Peter Cetera fame) working with him; but fear not, with Lou Reed/Marianne Faithfull bassist extraordinaire Fernando Saunders, and the equally "faithful" (to Curnin's solo work) Billy Ward, Curnin comes up with a super contemporary album of pop hooks and high-tech sound on this outing, The Returning Sun, released two years after Mayfly . Opening track "We Might Find It" nicks exactly from the "Don't You (Forget About Me)" Simple Minds riff, recycling it 22 years after that song hit number one. And if track two, "Remember Me When I'm Gone," isn't playing with the Simple Minds title ("...don't you forget about me when I'm gone..."), well, going to that source and bringing it back to the future is the trick, and this veteran artists pulls it off majestically. "Falling Apart Together" blends Europop with just a dash of some machine shop industrial to very good effect. Meanwhile, the title track eases up a bit, perhaps some techno/folk with island flavorings, reverse reggae under a very nice melody. Real staying power here, "The Returning Sun" possibly being a double entendre -- some musical prodigal son returning to his roots -- perhaps in light of what went down on the Mayfly disc! All ten songs are under ten minutes, except for "The Future's Not What It Used to Be," maybe a nice theme song for a Terminator 4 movie? The packaging is elegant on Curnin's own record label and the music is easy to absorb. "Nothing Is Normal" would fit onto any Fixx album, and that's a good thing; the voice is strong and the message is communicated. Clark Stiles programs a wonderful "The World Will Always Turn," solid progressive pop that could easily fit onto Top 40 play lists -- and should. The stereo separation is great and there's loads of creativity keeping the tracks fresh enough to warrant repeated spins. Hopefully, the mates in his main band will embrace the final two tracks here for "Damned If You Do" also has something special to groove to, and an attractive production mixing gloss into the sound spaces. The Returning Sun is an impressive disc from Curnin and "Nothing Is Normal" keeps coming back as a standout on a collection rippling with potential.
8)Jacknifed Jean Beauvoir
by Joe Viglione[-]
Studio Engineers: John Moon, Paul Pritchard, Jonny Firth, Joe Taylor, George Oulton, Pearse Macintyre
Ginger Baker drum tech: Andy Chard
'HEAVENLY CREAM' first single out now featuring Ginger Baker, Joe Bonamassa + album release date
'HEAVENLY CREAM'' (formerly Cream Acoustic) is finally being released on November 3rd 2023 to coincide with Mark Waters' documentary THE CREAM ACOUSTIC SESSIONS.. Featuring an incredible cast of musicians including Malcolm Bruce, Ginger Baker, Pete Brown, Bernie Marsden, Joe Bonamassa, Paul Rodgers, Bobby Rush, Deborah Bonham, Abass Dodoo, Neil Murray, Pee Wee Ellis, Nathan James and more.
The first single 'Sunshine Of Your Love', featuring Ginger Baker, Joe Bonamassa, Bernie Marsden, Neil Murray, Abass Dodoo and Malcolm Bruce is out now.
by Joe Viglione [-]
Producer Jerry Wexler puts the earthy vocals of Maggie Bell in a beautiful setting here. She stretches John Prine's "Souvenirs" to the max with Steve Gadd ably assisting by splashing the drums as deep as Bell's vocals. Her uptempo version of J.J. Cale's "After Midnight" is more captivating than Eric Clapton's; she oozes that Etta James sexuality while Reggie Young throws some tasty guitar into the semi-calypso groove. Bell's identity is unique on much of the material, but a couple of tunes have her paying tribute to some of her sisters. The title track, "Queen of the Night," is drenched in gorgeous harmonies by the Sweet Inspirations and is pure Genya Ravan, but conversely, the cover of "A Woman Left Lonely," embraced totally by Janis Joplin on Pearl, is a sweet vocal and totally alien to how Joplin ripped the song to shreds so wonderfully. It works on an entirely different level on Queen of the Night -- Bell's voice is an instrument that slips into different styles on a moment's notice. She takes the fun but silly Ringo Starr/Vini Poncia number five hit from the same year and gives it some style, then turns around with Deadric Malone's "As the Years Go Passing By" and delivers another brand of quality sound. Cornell Dupree's fabulous guitar leads cook in the background -- the frosting on the cake for "As the Years Go Passing By." Intense and beautiful, it is the real sleeper here. While Merry Clayton was singing backup on Ringo Starr's "Oh My My" and ex-Black Oak Arkansas Ruby Starr would track Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed," Bell broke through her Stone the Crows image to cover a range of ideas, giving even David Clayton Thomas some respectability, taking his original "Yesterday's Music" to new heights with a Bonnie Bramlett-style touch of gospel. From Will Jennings to Carole Bayer Sager and Peter Allen, Bell's Queen of the Night is a stunningly marvelous mix of blues, pop, soul, and Southern rock. "We Had It All" builds with a smoldering tension that gives Bell a platform for her inspired phrasings. Sager must've been over the top when she first heard this version of "The Other Side." This is music straight from the heart, which concludes with "Trade Winds," piano, drums, and Bell's voice tapering off like the end of a great set at some intimate nightclub. This is an extraordinary creation worth pulling out when you want to appreciate a fine wine like Queen of the Night.
Crane played trumpet and sang back-up vocals with the iconic rock band “The Minutemen” from San Pedro/L.A.
He was also the writer/singer/bassist of the rock group Tragicomedy who recorded the album "Homage to Nada."
by Joe Viglione [-]
A Question of Time is an album to appreciate, as Jack Bruce nicely wraps his diverse styles up in rock & roll packaging. Willie Dixon's "Blues You Can't Lose" is extraordinary noise, the late Nicky Hopkins bringing his unmistakable piano to a mix of Albert Collins' leads, Jimmy Ripp's slide and rhythms, Bruce's bass, harmonica, and voice, and the strong drumming of Dougie Bowne. In its slow dirge statement, "Blues You Can't Lose" is as powerful as the blistering Bruce tune that opens the set, "Life on Earth." "Make Love" is a great change of pace; the first of eight Pete Brown/Jack Bruce collaborations, it utilizes innovative percussion, subtle keyboards, and -- surprise of surprises -- effects on Bruce's voice. Ginger Baker toured with Bruce at this point in time, and though Bowne is admirable on the epic pop/rock of "No Surrender," it is Baker's contributions to "Hey Now Princess" (with Ripp doing his best Clapton) and his definite drums on "Obsession" (with guitars by Allan Holdsworth and Vivian Campbell) that bring this disc to the Cream level. The transition from "Hey Now Princess" to the Willie Dixon tune is just lovely, while "Obsession" is perfect Disraeli Gears-type music. Tony Willams steps in on the reggae-esque "Kwela," the other Bruce-only composition and, without the Cream drummer on this, Bruce still manages to sound like Ginger Baker's Air Force. Produced by Joe Blaney and Bruce, the song "A Question of Time" is a bizarre, colorful mix of clashing images and sound, while the album A Question of Time is one of the more complete Bruce recordings for those fans who know him from his pop radio hits. It is one of the most accessible discs by rock's premier bassist for both those in his cult and the casual fan. This project uses his mastery of jazz, pop, acoustic, and blues to give listeners what Jack Bruce does best: rock & roll. [The 2007 edition includes one bonus track.]
How's Tricks Review
by Joe Viglione [-]
A wonderfully tortured Jack Bruce vocal on the song "Without a Word" opens up How's Tricks, the second LP for RSO records by the journeyman bassist/vocalist. Produced by Bill Halverson, who engineered Cream as well as solo Eric Clapton recordings, the material further fuses the all out jazz of Things We Like with the pop found on "Songs for a Taylor." "Johnny B'77" has the quartet driving the melody onto the fringes of rock, while "Time" bares elements Bruce brought to Disraeli Gears, defining his third of the Cream saga. As former bandmate Leslie West had his Leslie West Band out and about in the mid-70s, this quartet is listed as the Jack Bruce Band. It is yet another about-face for Bruce, singing nine more sets of lyrics by Peter Brown, with guitarist Hughie Burns and keyboardist Tony Hymas getting their chance to participate in the songwriting; it's basically well-performed pop with jazz overtones that has the voice of Jack Bruce adding the blues. The reggae of the title track, and the accompanying album art, may have made for some marketing confusion. There's a magician with cards and old-world glitz permeating this show, the band holding a crystal ball on the back-cover photograph. Having left Atlantic for Robert Stigwood's imprint, a bit more direction could have been in store for this important artist. The packaging doesn't have the elegance of Harmony Row, nor does it show respect for the music inside the package. Hughie Burns takes the lead vocal on "Baby Jane," his own composition, and it sounds out of place, disrupting the flow which returns on the exquisite "Lost Inside a Song," where Jack Bruce picks up where he left off. The Steely Dan comparisons are harder to make here, songs like "Madhouse" more hardcore jazz-rock than Fagen and Becker would care to indulge in. "Waiting for the Call" is perhaps the album's blusiest track, with magnificent harmonica-playing by the vocalist/rock legend. "Outsiders" sounds like Roxy Music gone jazz, while the final track, written by keyboardist Tony Hymas and lyricist Peter Brown, is a nice melodic vehicle for Jack Bruce's voice to conclude the album with. Simon Phillips provides solid drumming throughout, and the well-crafted lyrics are included on the inner sleeve. A strange but highly musical and important outing in the Jack Bruce catalog.
Harmony Row Review
by Joe Viglione [-]
Harmony Row is the legitimate follow-up to Jack Bruce'excellent songs for a tailor, although 1971 also saw the almost-simultaneous release of 1968 jazz tapes entitled Things We Like by this artist. An elaborate gatefold package has a shadow photo of the artist from the back, overlooking a golden sun on the waters. The self-produced disc begins with the pop excursion "Can You Follow," which blends into "Escape To The Royal Wood (On Ice)." Jack Bruce provides the voice, keyboards, bass, and some percussion, making this very much a solo project. "You Burned The Tables On Me" takes things into a progressive rock-meets-jazz arena. The only reference to blues here is Bruce's voice, but guitarist Chris Spedding's scratchy guitar, and the percussion -- either by Jack Bruce or drummer John Marshall (who plays on what is not specified) make the track sound almost like Cream without Clapton. There's a rare photo of Peter Brown in the second cardboard gatefold, and one of Bruce, while all of Brown's lyrics are spread out for public consumption. A nice touch, as Peter Brown is to Jack Bruce what Keith Reid is to Procul Harum, and the cleverly obscured words are sometimes the only foundation to grasp at while one of rock & roll's most innovative bassists goes from genre to genre, combining rhythms and melodies that defy commercial categorization. Harmony Row is the album that combines many flavors of Bruce's experimentations, making it courageous, adventurous, and hardly the product for a mass audience. "Folk Song" is barely a folk song; it is a progressive pop tune with that elegant, Procul Harum-like, sweeping, mystical statement. There's a pretty piano against church-like organ and vocals, with amazing guitar embellishments by Chris Spedding. "Folk Song" has elements Bruce would examine again, on the album Monkjack; it's a song which should have made him the darling of underground FM radio. It's a far cry from the all-out assault of his forthcoming power trio, West, Bruce & Laing, which emerged a year after this. The delicacy of "Smiles And Grins" suggests that hard jazz is what would have given the project with Leslie West a much needed diversion. But what happened was that Bruce embraced the trail Mountain stampeded down, while a purer blending of the two would have been re-readings of this Harmony Row material. "Post War" is a good example of how the underappreciated Leslie West could have expanded his influence -- Spedding's contributions are enormous, and like West, he is the only other musician save the drummer on Bruce's essential projects in 1971 and 1972, on the albums Harmony Row, and Why Dontcha. Drummer John Marshall appeared on the previous Songs for a Tailor, as did Spedding, though they didn't perform together on that disc. Here, Jack Bruce takes two players from that solo album, and moves them into another head-space. His use of the talents around him is impeccable, and yet another reason why fans should have embraced this quirky and intelligent troubadour. "A Letter Of Thanks" is so complex it borders on The Mothers Of Invention-style of non-groove, while "Victoria Sage" is more in-line with the ideas set forth on Songs for a Tailor, and with exquisite vocals by this tremendous singer. The final track, the tasty, Spanish-influenced "The Consul At Sunset," utilizes multiple percussive ideas with piano and guitars overlapping Peter Brown's words; those words are as important as the contributions from Marshall, Spedding, and Bruce. It's actually quite an amazing transition when set against the other discs released in this four-year period, and a stunning output from a major artist without yielding a Top 40 hit.
by Joe Viglione [-] https://www.allmusic.com/album/songs-for-a-tailor-mw0000194919
With a live version of "Crossroads" going Top 30 for Cream, Songs for a Tailor was released in 1969, showing many more sides of Jack Bruce. George Harrison (again using his L'Angelo Misterioso moniker) appears on the first track, "Never Tell Your Mother She's Out of Tune," though his guitar is not as prominent as the performance on "Badge." The song is bass heavy with Colosseum members Dick Heckstall-Smith and Jon Hiseman providing a different flavor to what Bruce fans had become accustomed to. Hiseman drums on eight of the ten compositions, including "Theme From an Imaginary Western," the second track, and Jack Bruce's greatest hit that never charted. With "just" Chris Spedding on guitar and Jon Hiseman on drums, Bruce paints a masterpiece performing the bass, piano, organ, and vocals. The song is so significant it was covered by Mountain, Colosseum, and a Colosseum spin-off, Greenslade. One has to keep in mind that the influential Blind Faith album was being recorded this same year (and according to the late Jimmy Miller, producer of that disc, Jack Bruce filled in for Rick Grech on some of the Blind Faith material). Bruce's omnipresence on the charts and in the studio gives the diversity on Songs for a Tailor that much more intrigue. "Tickets to Water Falls" and "Weird of Hermiston" feature the Hiseman/Spedding/Bruce trio, and though the wild abandon of Ginger Baker is replaced by Hiseman's jazz undercurrents, these are still basically two- to three-and-a-half-minute songs, not as extended as the material on Bruce's work on his John McLaughlin/Heckstall-Smith/Hiseman disc Things We Like recorded a year before this, but released two years after Songs for a Tailor in 1971. The history is important because this album is one of the most unique fusions of jazz with pop and contains less emphasis on the blues, a genre so essential to Bruce's career. Indeed, "Theme From an Imaginary Western" is total pop. It is to Jack Bruce what "Midnight Rider" is to Greg Allman, a real defining moment. "Rope Ladder to the Moon" has that refreshing sparkle found on "Tickets to Water Falls" and "Weird of Hermiston," but Bruce has only John Marshall on drums and producer Felix Pappalardi adding some vocals while he provides cellos, vocals, guitar, piano, and bass. Side two goes back to the thick progressive sound of the first track on side one, and has a lot in common with another important album from this year, Janis Joplin's I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! Jack Bruce and Janis Joplin were two of the most familiar superstar voices on radio performing hard blues-pop. Joplin added horns to augment her expression the same time Jack Bruce was mixing saxes and trumpets to three tracks of this jazz/pop exploration. "He the Richmond" deviates from that, throwing a curve with Bruce on acoustic guitar, Pappalardi on percussion, and Marshall slipping in again on drums. But the short one minute and 44 second "Boston Ball Game, 1967" proves the point about the pop/jazz fusion succinctly and is a nice little burst of creativity. "To Isengard" has Chris Spedding, Felix Pappalardi, and Jack Bruce on acoustic guitars, a dreamy folk tune until Hiseman's drums kick in on some freeform journey, Spedding's guitar sounding more like the group Roxy Music, which he would eventually join as a sideman, over the total jazz of the bass and drums. "The Clearout" has Spedding, Hiseman, and Bruce end the album with progressive pop slightly different from the other recordings here. As with 1971's Harmony Row, Peter Brown composed all the lyrics on Songs for a Tailor with Jack Bruce writing the music. A lyric sheet is enclosed and displays the serious nature of this project. It is picture perfect in construction, performance, and presentation.
by Joe Viglione[-] https://www.allmusic.com/album/monkjack-mw0000178308
"The Boy," track two on Jack Bruce's exquisite CD, Monkjack, has the former blues/hard rocker sounding like John Cale, introspective and ready to tell some tales. The instrumental "Shouldn't We" has the bassist/vocalist from Cream pitting his piano against collaborator Bernie Worrell's Hammond B-3, in a wonderful interplay of keyboard sounds. "David's Harp" has melodies which Aimee Mann toys with, but they are drenched in Bruce's bluesy pop voice, a voice that rules on classic rock radio when "White Room" blasts to break up the tedium of consultant run play lists. A classic voice should be an integral part of classic rock radio, and this jazzy/folksy/all keyboard disc would fit very nicely in that format. The sounds of both the piano and the hammond organ, recorded at Ztudio Zerkal, Germany, by Walter Quintus, are rich and resonant with the skills of a journeyman. Inside the CD case, Bruce peers out from among the buses, and on the front and back cover his face is a photographic negative. There is little information about the recording of this project in the beautiful 16-page booklet which accompanies this package. The music speaks for itself, with just lyrics, credits, pleasant artwork, and colors among the photos. To take each title and critique it would do great injustice to this release -- all the material is grade A. To single out the effectiveness of titles, and show appreciation, that is what is in order here. "Laughing on Music Street" is a melancholy piano piece with Bruce's voice augmented by Hammond B-3 swells which come up at the right moments. The lyrics to this in the booklet are next to a profile of Bruce against a very liquid-looking piano top. Again, John Cale has made a career out of this type of presentation, but Cale goes off onto a dark rampage where Bruce keeps things on a plateau that doesn't go over the edge. "Weird of Hermiston" is the fourth of the Bruce/Brown compositions here, and it is so very like John Cale, only with that Hammond B3 of Bernie Worrell's oozing in and out rather than a string quartet. "Tightrope" has piano runs holding up a dangling vocal by Bruce -- and it persists, one of four songs over five minutes in length. "Third Degree" would be nice in a private detective film, a moody, jazzy, dramatic piece with chords from the depths. For fans of this legend, a very nice glimpse into the working of his creative mind. For those who want something to listen to while doing other things, Monkjack does not get in the way -- it kind of stays along side of you. A very wonderful selection of compositions by a familiar voice in a different setting.
Out of the Storm Review https://www.allmusic.com/album/out-of-the-storm-mw0000199860
by Joe Viglione[-]
Out Of The Storm is Jack Bruce yet again taking a different path. No one can accuse this man of being redundant as he leaves behind the hard rock of Whatever Turns You On from his 1973 work with West, Bruce & Laing and takes on Steely Dan with a track like "Keep On Wondering." The problem with West, Bruce & Laing is that they should have been the back-up band providing Jack Bruce the vehicle to express his artistry. "Keep It Down" would have been a tremendous track for WBL, and Lou Reed/Alice Cooper guitarist Steve Hunter provides the tasteful licks which Leslie West would've used a sledgehammer to find. The title track is real introspection with more "I" references than found on a page in a Marie Osmond autobiography. Bruce uses the rock format to sing the poetry that he and long time collaborator Peter Brown have crafted here. When played next to his other albums, from Things We Like to Monkjack, as well as the aforementioned Leslie West collaborations, the indellible voice of Jack Bruce is found to belong, not to a chameleon, but to a true changeling. In an industry that resists change, his music evolves in relentless fashion, switching formats as efficiently and quickly as he switches record labels. While Eric Clapton achieves the acclaim, it is Jack Bruce who delivers a novel and totally original title like "One" with a vocal that moves from cabaret to blues to soul. The man has one of the most powerful and identifiable rock & roll voices, and his body of work is overpowering. "One" has the drums of Jim Gordon and another venture into the Procul Harum sound Bruce has toyed with over various albums in different ways. Out Of The Storm is another excellent chapter with Steve Hunter showing proficiency and remarkable restraint. Robin Trower, Mick Taylor, Leslie West, Eric Clapton and so many other guitar greats have put their sound next to Jack Bruce's voice, and this is Steve Hunter aiding and abetting, but not getting in the way of Bruce's creative pop/jazz.
It wasn't until the 1980 Victims of the Fury album, seven years into his solo career, that Robin Trower would employ former Procul Harum bandmate Keith Reid to provide lyrics (with Reid probably the only lyricist in history to get band status). Though this is officially a Robin Trower release entitled B.L.T., the marquee giving Jack Bruce and Bill Lordan equal heading above the double-sized name of Robin Trower, the project is shouldered by all talents involved and inhibited by a dreadful cover photo of a white bread sandwich: bacon, lettuce and tomato with -- if you look closely -- raw bacon. All concerned would have been better off titling this a Jack Bruce/Robin Trower project with drummer Bill Lordan. The vocals are all the work of Bruce with the production by Trower, and a moment like "Won't Let You Down" is among the best for both the vocalist of Cream and the guitar player from Procol Harum. "Won't Let You Down" is subtle, stunning, and beautiful. It oozes out of the speakers with double-tracked Trower guitar work that sounds like he was listening to Hendrix's Cry of Love album again. And there's nothing wrong with that. "Into Money," "What It Is" (another song about money), and "No Island Lost" are interesting because they take the West, Bruce & Laing concept further into the realm of progressive rock, a place where all parties concerned feel very comfortable. For the Trower fans who couldn't get enough of him sounding like Hendrix, take the "Voodoo Chile" riffs of "No Island Lost" and add the highly commercial voice of Jack Bruce. The combination is appealing while the artists lift the melody of "Voodoo Chile" as well the guitar, making for some amazing and magnetic stuff. With the exception of "End Game" and "Won't Let You Down," the songs are all in the three-minute range for this artistic experiment which works so well. Where Peter Brown is to Jack Bruce what Dewer and Reid are to Trower (a rare Brown/Bruce/Trower composition would show up on the following disc, Truce), this is only the second album where Keith Reid gets to collaborate with his former bandmate in the eight years between Trower's solo debut and B.L.T.. There would be more. The Trower/Reid combo makes perfect sense, especially since the lyricist is probably the only one in history who got band billing. The music these fellows weave is tremendous and becomes a distinctive work in the Jack Bruce catalog, combining his talents with colleagues who share his vision. The fluid sounds which make "Life on Earth" such an appealing opener for side two show that even on a title written solely by Bruce,the only one on the disc, it blends in perfectly with the material, mostly written by Trower and Reid. "Carmen" is absolutely haunting, and this is one of those beautiful discs that true fans have to seek out. Couple the terrible album cover of B.L.T. with the equally absurd marketing of West, Bruce & Laing's Whatever Turns You On and one gets the feeling that numerous record labels were trying their hardest to keep Jack Bruce's music as underground as possible. He deserves better, and B.L.T. is an experiment that, musically, is very successful and holds many revelations. A more compelling package is in order for the magic that's in these grooves. © Joe Viglione © 2012 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/blt-r20535/review
The album hending with “Pollution Woman”. About the song, critic Joe Viglione wrote that this was the direction the band should have taken for the entire album. He also suggests that keyboards might have stabilized the band. The inclusion of keys via Mountain’s Knight or Blind Faith’s Winwood would have been monumental in establishing a firmer ground upon which to develop the band’s sound. I might have to agree to some degree, though not entirely, because some of these songs are phenomenal as they are. However, I will agree with Viglione regarding the production of the album. There wasn’t as much “oomph” in the production to give it that heavy-ass Mountain sound with the jazzy basslines Bruce’s blues contained. It wasn’t all Johns’ fault, as the band did have a hand in production.
From Joe Viglione’s review of the album: “Harmony Row is the album that combines many flavors of Bruce’s experimentations, making it courageous, adventurous, and hardly the product for a mass audience. “Folk Song” is barely a folk song; it is a progressive pop tune with that elegant, Procul Harum-like, sweeping, mystical statement. … it’s a song which should have made him the darling of underground FM radio.”