Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

430

The Allman Brothers Band: Boston Common 8/17/71

Doug Collette By

Sign in to view read count
The latest Allman Brothers archive title, Boston Common 8-17-71, is not essential for either the devout Peach-head or the casually curious. But it will remind both the aficionado and the dilettante that the scintillating peaks scaled by The Brothers' At Fillmore East were nevertheless revisited fairly regularly.

The group brings an edgy energy---and, during the lengthiest improvisations, an altogether melancholy majesty—to a fairly standard set. The list of titles may look familiar but, then as now, hardly tells the story of the music itself. While the angular slash of guitars, guttural growl of voices and piston-fire interaction of drums isn't so polished as the famous Fillmore shows (recorded earlier that same year), cuts like "Statesboro Blues" make a case for The Allmans as the finest of all contemporary blues-rock bands.

Commencing with shorter tracks like "Trouble No More and "Don't Keep Me Wonderin,' The Brothers are building momentum. The former, a Muddy Waters song, illustrates how they remained true to their roots while, through Gregg Allman's' original material like the latter, ABB were expanding beyond those roots into a style they could rightfully call their own.

A formidable arsenal of skill within their ranks fostered that remarkable evolution. In addition to his role as second (!) lead guitarist, Dickey Betts was developing into a composer of significance, offering instrumentals like "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed that encouraged the jazz leanings of the band's firebrand leader/guitarist Duane Allman.

For his part, the older sibling extended the influence of seminal blues slide guitarist Elmore James, particularly during his solo forays on a twenty-six minute version of "You Don't Love Me. But it's the ferocious, fearless intensity of Allman's work on "Whipping Post where his genius is manifest. He leads the group through a tour de force from shuffle to light chording by way of bone-crunching riffs channeled from the British hard rock of the day.

Berry Oakley functioned as the nexus of the band. The bassist linked the interplay between drummers Butch Trucks and Jaimoe with the virtual telepathy of guitarists Allman and Betts. Would that more time had been spent on the tapes of this show to deepen and clarify the sound—the rhythm section virtually disappears at some intervals—but perhaps the source is just not sufficiently high quality.

This lack of detail in the sonics is ultimately no more of a shortfall than that in the cover graphics. Preceding ABB archive releases, even the first—which was released before The Allmans' new millennium renaissance—did not look this generic. But, as with The Brothers in their heyday, the music itself takes precedence over everything else. Boston Common 8/17/71 (available at concerts and the ABB merchandizing site) may not be the first or best place to find out why this band has created such a profound legacy, but it'll give you a good enough idea.

Track Listing: Tuning; Statesboro Blues; Trouble No More; Don't Keep Me Wondering; You Don't Love Me; Hoochie Coochie Man; In Memory of Elizabeth Reed; Whipping Post.

Personnel: Duane Allman: lead, slide guitar; Gregg Allman: vocals, Hammond B3 organ; Berry Oakley: bass guitar, vocals; Dickey Betts: lead guitar; Jaimoe: drums, percussion; Butch Trucks: drums, tympani.

Title: Boston Common 8/17/71 | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: The Allman Brothers Band Recording Company

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House CD/LP/Track Review Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Journey to a New World CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by John Sharpe
Published: January 21, 2018
Read 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert CD/LP/Track Review 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Lux CD/LP/Track Review Lux
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Unleashed CD/LP/Track Review Unleashed
by John Sharpe
Published: January 20, 2018
Read "The Moonlight Sessions, Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review The Moonlight Sessions, Volume 1
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 15, 2017
Read "A Night Walking Through Mirrors" CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "Rejoice! I'm Dead!" CD/LP/Track Review Rejoice! I'm Dead!
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "Silent Voices" CD/LP/Track Review Silent Voices
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: August 4, 2017
Read "Synesthesia" CD/LP/Track Review Synesthesia
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 29, 2017
Read "Second Act" CD/LP/Track Review Second Act
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 23, 2017