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"CAPTAIN BILLY’S MAGIC 8 BALL" - "THE ZELIG OF ROCK AND ROLL" - "AL'S BIG DEAL" FEATURING THE ALBUM "AL'S BIG DEAL" WITH AL KOOPER IN HIGH DEF WITH NARRATIVE - EPISODE # 63 -THE CAPTAIN EXPLORES HIS COVE OF 8 TRACKS TREASURES

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“THE ZELIG OF ROCK AND ROLL” AL’S BIG DEAL by Al Kooper (Columbia, 1975) Alan Peter Kuperschmidt, from Queens, NY is a producing-arranging titan; he has been present at some of the of the most momentous events in the history of popular music, and he has embedded himself into the fabric of modern musical memory: (That organ riff in Like a Rolling Stone; the French Horn signature in You Can’t Always Get What You Want; the iconic live album, Super Session; The invention of the big band Blood, Sweat, and Tears; the teenage pop writer of This Diamond Ring; the swaggering keyboardist of the seminal The Blues Project, producer of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama; etc, etc, etc.) He was kind of like the T-bone Burnett of the 60’s – except more versatile. And, hilarious – in his memoir, Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards, he amusingly recounts some of his “from the front lines“ memories and exacts funny payback for some unpaid psychic debts.

I don’t know if he has ever agonized over the fact that his solo efforts weren’t more appreciated, but I’ve always felt that keenly for him. He wasn’t a compelling vocalist, and I think this might have been part of the problem. But, I always loved his voice – so real, and more supple than it first appears. His natural musicianship is evident in the creative arrangements and imaginative, soul-inflected longing. Similar to my feeling for Jerry Garcia, I never get tired of listening to Al’s wobbly caterwauling.

Al’s Big Deal is a compilation of some of Mr. Kooper’s career highlights, a few goodies from his solo albums, some live stuff, odd covers (Sam Stone?), and previously unseen tidbits. It’s a worthy overview and a cornucopia of “Unsold Freight”. Let us pay some respect to this rock n roll architect.

“I Can’t Quit Her” (Al Kooper, Bob Brass, Irwin Levine) – 3:37 “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know” (Kooper) – 5:56 “My Days Are Numbered” (Kooper) – 3:17 “Without Her” (Harry Nilsson) – 2:41 “So Much Love/Underture” (Gerry Goffin, Carole King) – 4:42 “Albert’s Shuffle” (Kooper, Mike Bloomfield) – 6:51 “Season of the Witch” (Donovan Leitch) – 11:02 “If Dogs Run Free” (Bob Dylan) – 3:38 “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” (Paul Simon) – 5:31 “The Weight” (Robbie Robertson) – 3:56 “Bury My Body” (Traditional, arranged by Kooper) – 8:50 “Jolie” (Kooper) – 3:47 “I Stand Alone” (Kooper) – 3:37 “Brand New Day” (Kooper) – 5:08 “Sam Stone” (John Prine) – 4:41 “New York City (You’re a Woman)” (Kooper) – 5:14 “I Got a Woman” (Ray Charles, Renald Richard) – 5:111 Notes The 1989 single-CD version of the album omitted the Blood, Sweat and Tears tracks “My Days Are Numbered”, “Without Her”, “So Much Love/Underture” and the solo track “I Got a Woman”, and added a remixed version of “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” from his 1982 album Championship Wrestling.[1] It also contained a completely different track order from the original LP.

Personnel Patti Austin – Background vocals Barry Bailey – Electric guitar Michael Bloomfield – Guitar The Blossoms – Background vocals Randy Brecker – Flugelhorn, Horn, Trumpet Harvey Brooks – Bass Kenny Buttrey – Drums Charles Calello – Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements Fred Catero – Engineer J.R. Cobb – Guitar Bobby Colomby – Drums, Background vocals Ron Cornelius – Guitar Charlie Daniels – Bass, Guitar Dean Daughtry – Piano Bob Dylan – Acoustic guitar, Vocals Emerson-Loew – Photography Hugh Fielder – Liner Notes Jim Fielder – Bass Herbie Flowers – Bass Eileen Gilbert – Background vocals Paul Goddard – Bass Barry Goldberg – Electric piano Al Gorgoni – Gut-string Guitar Dick Halligan – Horn, Trombone Hilda Harris – Background vocals “Fast” Eddie Hoh – Drums John Kahn – Bass Steve Katz – Electric guitar Wells Kelly – Drums Jerry Kennedy – Guitar Al Kooper – 6-String Bass, Arranger, Guitar, Horn Synthesizer, Keyboards, Mellotron, Organ, Synthesizer Strings, Vibraphone, Vocals Russ Kunkel – Drums Tim Langford – Engineer Arthur Levy – Liner Notes


By Rich Buckland 06/26/2022 01:14 PM

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