The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper

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The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper
Live album by Mike Bloomfield & Al Kooper
Released 1969
Recorded September 26th-28th 1968
Genre Rock, blues
Length 85:19
Label Columbia KGP-6 (original 1969 issue)
CBS 66216 (UK & initial CD release)
Sony Mid-price (1997)
Producer Al Kooper
Mike Bloomfield & Al Kooper chronology
Super Session
(1968)
The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper
(1969)
The Lost Concert
(1969)

The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper is a double album recorded at the Fillmore West venue, the album is a successor to the studio album Super Session which included both Bloomfield and Kooper in addition to Stephen Stills, and had achieved commercial and critical success earlier in 1968.

The performances, recordings and production cannot be described as flawless; in his sleeve notes, Kooper describes the difficulties of finding rehearsal space, Bloomfield's insomnia,[1] and the failure of a vocal microphone during "Dear Mr Fantasy"; the track "I Wonder Who" is faded during a Bloomfield solo for no apparent reason.
Nevertheless, the album remains an important, if raw, document of a live blues-rock performance of the period and apart from its intrinsic qualities is notable for not only one of the earliest live recordings by Carlos Santana, but also Bloomfield's debut as a vocalist. Whilst he is not historically noted in this role, in "Don't Throw Your Love on Me So Strong", according to Kooper, "he displays consummate homage to the traditional guitar-voice trade-offs; a lesson in phrasing and understanding."

Live Adventures has since been re-released on CD but without any additional material beyond its initial release; the concerts took place over three nights, and according to Kooper,[2] for two sets a night; this should have yielded in the region of twelve hours of recordings, of which the album provides just short of ninety minutes.

Bloomfield died in 1981 but this album is one of the major reasons for his reputation as a blues guitarist; Kooper now teaches songwriting and production, and still plays live concerts.

Track listing[edit]

Side One[edit]

  1. "Opening Speech" (Mike Bloomfield) – 1:30
"One-two..Uh, listen here now, here's what...here's where it's at, this is the thing of this gig and here's...I'll tell ya 'bout it now. Uh, awhile ago my friend Alan Kooper called me on the phone and said "Let's make this gig, an Lp in Los Angeles, and we'll jam together and we'll see what will happen. . ."[3]
  1. "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" (Paul Simon) – 5:38[4]
  2. "I Wonder Who" (Ray Charles) – 6:04
  3. "Her Holy Modal Highness" (Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield) – 9:08[5]

Side Two[edit]

  1. "The Weight" (Robbie Robertson) – 4:00
  2. "Mary Ann" (Ray Charles) – 5:19
  3. "Together 'Til the End of Time" (Frank Wilson) – 4:15
  4. "That's All Right" (Arthur Crudup) – 3:28[6]
  5. "Green Onions" (Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Al Jackson, Jr., Lewie Steinberg) – 5:26

Side Three[edit]

  1. "Opening Speech" (Al Kooper) – 1:28
  2. "Sonny Boy Williamson"[7] (Jack Bruce, Paul Jones) – 6:04
  3. "No More Lonely Nights"[8] (Sonny Boy Williamson I) – 12:27

Side Four[edit]

  1. "Dear Mr. Fantasy" (Jim Capaldi, Stevie Winwood, Chris Wood) – 8:04
  2. "Don't Throw Your Love on Me So Strong" (Albert King) – 10:56
  3. "Finale-Refugee"[9] (Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield) – 2:04

Album cover[edit]

The gatefold sleeve features

  • on the front cover, a painting of Bloomfield and Kooper by Norman Rockwell.
  • on the rear cover, against a background of a montage of crowd scenes (not necessarily from the concert audience), superimposed photographs of the core band and a track listing.
  • on the interior, a more detailed track listing, text of Bloomfield's opening speech, and notes by Kooper, as well as other album credits.

According to Kooper, Rockwell's original artwork ended up on the wall of CBS Art Director, John Berg, who later sold it despite Kooper having expressed an interest in having the painting.[10]

Personnel[edit]

Steve Miller and Dave Brown had also volunteered their services but if they performed, their contributions do not appear (at least credited) on the album

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Possibly a euphemism for his heroin addiction, which had already caused him to drop out of the Super Session recordings
  2. ^ in the sleeve notes
  3. ^ According to Kooper, this impromptu introduction "...loosened up the audience and the musicians considerably and we played a very comfortable set."
  4. ^ Paul Simon provides overdubbed vocals on this track, having been impressed by the raw concert tapes
  5. ^ This is an extension of, or reply to, the track "His Holy Modal Majesty" from the Super Session album. Departing from the blues/rock of the remainder of the album, it is a free-form jazz improvisation.
  6. ^ Bloomfield can be heard at about two minutes in, calling out to the band "stay there, stay there", presumably indicating that he's not ready to finish the song; he then asks the audience between guitar licks, "is that all right?"
  7. ^ features Carlos Santana on guitar
  8. ^ features Elvin Bishop on guitar & vocals
  9. ^ Contains the possibly unique credit "Guitar dropping on floor - Mike Bloomfield", although Bloomfield was not present on the final night of recording
  10. ^ Rockwell's artwork
  11. ^ For speculation on this, see [1]; see also an interview with Tom Rush at [2]