This is a fine CD of Blues Brothers material, featuring the original Blues Brothers Band and frontman Larry Thurston, performing at Montreux Jazz Festival on July 12, 1989. From the late '80s through the early 90's, the Blues Brothers Band was a popular touring act throughout Europe, with Mr. Thurston doing a fine job on lead vocals. None of the other 90's Blues Brothers frontmen (Dan Ackroyd, John Goodman, Jim Belushi) appear on this CD or in this Line-Up. Not exactly "essential", but a good performance of the tour band during this period of the band's history.
From the outset, Archie Shepp's terminally misunderstood Attica Blues on Impulse during the 1970s was an attempt by the saxophonist and composer to bring together the various kinds of African American musics under one heading and have them all express the conscience of the day. His ensemble featured singers, string players, horns, drums, guitars, etc. The sounds were a Gordian knot of jazz, free music, R&B, soul, groove, and even funk. In 1979 Shepp was given the opportunity to realize the project with an ensemble of his choosing at the Palais des Glaces in Paris (New York was already courting Wimpton Marsalis). Shepp chose 30 musicians and director/conductor Ray Copeland. Among the throng were saxophonists Marion Brown, John Purcell, Patience Higgins, and John Ware.
Live at Ludlow Garage 1970 features 91 minutes of the Allman Brothers Band in concert at a Cincinnati venue that they loved, nearly a year before their legendary Fillmore shows. The acoustics are good, though a little shaky – the tape was made at seven-and-a-half IPS, the bare minimum professional standard, which leaves more hiss than one might like and a bit less clarity than a fully professional live album might show. On the other hand, the group's sound imparts its own punch and clarity, and it was done in stereo, and if not for the existence of the Fillmore tapes, and the fact that the albums they yielded sold a kajillion copies, this show might well have been released in the 1970s. It isn't as intense as the Fillmore shows, but it does capture the group as a little-known working band with but a single album out and building a reputation – and with Dickey Betts yet to emerge as either a singer or composer and their sound still being worked out ("Statesboro Blues" gets a startlingly subdued performance, anticipating the acoustic version of "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" from the '90s recording An Evening with the Allman Brothers Band: 2nd Set).
It takes an aircraft-carrier of a release such as Live at the Beacon Theatre to remind us just how unique the Allman Brothers Band always was and still is. Traditionally a byword for down-home R&B/country blues-rock, the reality is that the band's gigantic sound is almost a musical form in itself. Make no mistake, the Allmans are still making big music, now with a two-guitar front line as well as their trademark two-drummer rhythm section (augmented these days with an additional percussionist), plus Gregg Allman's Hammond cutting through all of this like a serrated knife.
2016 live archive release from the southern rockers. Live From A&R Studios: New York, August 26, 1971 was initially a radio broadcast that originally aired on WPLJ. This set features the band steamrolling through a set of songs including "Statesboro Blues, " "Trouble No More, " "One Way Out, " "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" and "Hot 'lanta." The recording was widely bootlegged, but has been remixed from the original multi-track recording. The quality, dynamic performance and ambience encompassed herein all at once make for a quite staggering sonic experience, one that fans of this legendary act in it's original line-up will relish alongside the groups other essential releases.
For roughly half a decade, from 1968 through 1975, the Band was one of the most popular and influential rock groups in the world, their music embraced by critics (and, to a somewhat lesser degree, the public) as seriously as the music of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Their albums were analyzed and reviewed as intensely as any records by their one-time employer and sometime mentor Bob Dylan.