This recording is the trunk of the tree jazz rock grew from(the "non-fusion" jazzrock). Al Kooper's vision was "right on it", as he had the notion to utilize horns in rockmusics with a "big band" concept in mind, wonderful expansive chords voiced by the section, not just the usual R&B riffing that was the state of things in pop musics until then.
The three members of Niacin each have high profile reputations. Bassist Billy Sheehan worked with Mr. Big, Talas, & David Lee Roth. Keyboardist John Novello worked with Chick Corea & Andy Summers, & drummer Dennis Chambers worked with Santana, George Clinton, & Stanley Clarke. As Niacin, they write songs that allow them to show off their musical gifts & powerful, soulful style. The sum of the parts makes the band a unique & identifiable force. The album features 2 unreleased studio tracks 'Front & Center' & 'Gelatin'.
The difference between Blood, Sweat & Tears and the group's preceding long-player, Child Is Father to the Man, is the difference between a monumental seller and a record that was "merely" a huge critical success. Arguably, the Blood, Sweat & Tears that made this self-titled second album – consisting of five of the eight original members and four newcomers, including singer David Clayton-Thomas – was really a different group from the one that made Child Is Father to the Man, which was done largely under the direction of singer/songwriter/keyboard player/arranger Al Kooper…
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music.
History has not been as kind as it might, and arguably should, have been to Blood Sweat and Tears. In their day, they made some of the most exciting progressively influenced jazz rock ever. Their greatest asset was the wonderful voice of David Clayton- Thomas, but there was far more to the band than simply a voice and a brass section.