domenica 25 agosto 2013

Harvey Mandel - Baby Batter 1971

In the mold of Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, and Mike Bloomfield, Mandel is an extremely creative rock guitarist with heavy blues and jazz influences. And like those guitarists, his vocal abilities are basically nonexistent, though Mandel, unlike some similar musicians, has always known this, and concentrated on recordings that are entirely instrumental, or feature other singers. A minor figure most known for auditioning unsuccessfully for the Rolling Stones, he recorded some intriguing (though erratic) work on his own that anticipated some of the better elements of jazz-rock fusion, showcasing his concise chops, his command of a multitude of tone pedal controls, and an eclecticism that found him working with string orchestras and country steel guitar wizards. Mandel got his first toehold in the fertile Chicago white blues-rock scene of the mid-'60s (which cultivated talents like Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield, and Steve Miller), and made his first recordings as the lead guitarist for harmonica virtuoso Charlie Musselwhite. Enticed to go solo by Blue Cheer producer Abe Kesh, Harvey cut a couple of nearly wholly instrumental albums for Phillips in the late '60s that were underground FM radio favorites, establishing him as one of the most versatile young American guitar lions. He gained his most recognition, though, not as a solo artist, but as a lead guitarist for Canned Heat in 1969 and 1970, replacing Henry Vestine and appearing with the band at Woodstock. Shortly afterward, he signed up for a stint in John Mayall's band, just after the British bluesman had relocated to California. Mandel unwisely decided to use a vocalist for his third and least successful Philips album. After his term with Mayall (on USA Union and Back to the Roots) had run its course, he resumed his solo career, and also formed Pure Food & Drug Act with violinist Don "Sugarcane" Harris (from the '50s R&B duo Don & Dewey), which made several albums. In the mid-'70s, when the Rolling Stones were looking for a replacement for Mick Taylor, Mandel auditioned for a spot in the group; although he lost to Ron Wood, his guitar does appear on two cuts on the Stones' 1976 album, Black & Blue. Recording intermittently since then as a solo artist and a sessionman, his influence on the contemporary scene is felt via the two-handed fretboard tapping technique that he introduced on his 1973 album Shangrenade, later employed by Eddie Van Halen, Stanley Jordan, and Steve Vai. allmusic.com

Tracklist:
01.Baby Batter
02.Midnight Sun
03.One Way Street
04.Morton Grove Mama
05.Freedoom Ball
06.El Stinger
07.Hank the Ripper

Musicians:
Colin Bailey - Drums
Sandra Crouch - Tambourine
Paul Lagos - Drums
Harvey Mandel - Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar
Mike Melvoin - Organ, Keyboards, Piano
Joe Picaro - Percussion
Jeff Porcaro - Percussion
Emil Richards - Percussion
Larry Taylor - Bass, Fender Rhodes
Howard Wales - Organ, Keyboards, Piano

3 commenti:

Solidboy ha detto...

Flac Cue Log Scans 238 Mb

adamus67 ha detto...

Do you think Jeff Beck was the only guitarist to make a groundbreaking jazz-rock-fusion instrumental album? Well, he wasn’t. Long before Beck every got to that point in his career there was a man named Harvey Mandel that made an excellent all instrumental fusion recording that was light years ahead of its time entitled "Baby Batter." I covered "The Snake" before this, and it doesn’t even come close to the greatness of this album, and I thought "The Snake" was a very good album. To be perfectly honest… I didn’t expect this record to be this good. It turned out that it was far beyond my wildest expectations.

Harvey Mandel got his start in the white-blues scene of Chicago. He, like a lot of other musicians at the time, liked mixing his blues with rock and soul, similar to the work of Paul Butterfield. Later on he joined Canned Heat. This album was released right after he left that group, and what a nice album it is.

The LP opens Baby Batter, starts with a long lead organ solo, with Mandel slowly ramping up the rhythm guitar bursts until he soars into the fray with an extended lead guitar solo that is at once syncopated and oddly rhythmic. Midnight Sun, the second track, has a much lighter and freer sound, with Mandel holding back on the furious guitar attack. An interesting break in the middle of the song leads to a funky drum solo, followed by a bass lead heading to strings, and then Mandel comes back in with his tastily refined lead guitar. Mandel recorded a blazing version of this cut as Midnight Sun 2 on his 1973 album Shangrenade. The third cut, One Way Street, opens with a furious guitar burst, and he shifts gears a few times, varying the speed and sound of his playing.

The rest of the album has much the same flavor – fiery, passionate instrumental blues-rock deeply rooted in jazz. Each song has a different feel to it, but Mandel’s guitar dominates throughout. Heavily laden with fuzz, wah and volume, explosive bursts of frenzied guitar followed by tasty, melodic lines. The pyrotechnics may seem tame by the standards set by the shredders of the eighties, but the songwriting, passion and intensity are, in my opinion, far superior. Overall, Baby Batter is a pretty good record.

@Solidboy: Thx for sharing!

sparkler ha detto...

such a great album. thx for sharing

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