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Blood Sweat & Tears: Child Is Father To The Man

Glenn Astarita By

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Back in the 1960s, keyboardist, vocalist Al Kooper played a prominent role as a coordinator and innovator in the flourishing blues, pop and rock idioms. He played the Hammond organ part on Bob Dylan's " perennial classic "Like a Rolling Stone," and recorded with wunderkind guitarist Mike Bloomfield, leading to the highly revered Super Session (Columbia, 1968) album also featuring guitarist Stephen Stills, and was a member of the Blues Project. He's also a fabled session artist and scored soundtracks for TV, other than his brief role as a producer for Columbia Records as the list goes on. Here, Kooper provides insightful notes on the process and end results, regarding this sterling digital transformation to a multichannel Super Audio CD (SACD) mix. Kooper also takes us through the steps leading to this seminal 1968 recording of the inaugural Blood, Sweat & Tears album that is often overshadowed by the band's subsequent, self-titled and more pop-oriented release with vocalist David Clayton Thomas. *Kooper left the original incarnation of BS&T due to artistic differences.

Child Is Father To The Man is a groundbreaking effort. Its radiance sparkles anew with this salient revamping of the original LP. Moreover, Kooper credits producer John Simon, stating the album looms as the blueprint for subsequent recordings. Therefore, Kooper and his cohorts started a Renaissance where the pop genre was elevated towards applications and processes signaling a strategic uprising for the roads previously travelled.

The festivities commence with the strings ensemble piece "Overture," spiced with a nod to The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby," including someone laughing in the background, serving as a giddy psychedelic-like overlay. Moving forward, Kooper's silvery organ lines tender the whispery emotive sentiment on the soul rock ballad "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know," contrasted with Steve Katz' sustain guitar licks and the accenting horns arrangement. And they give singer-songwriter Tim Buckley's "Morning Glory" a throwback classic jazz arrangement via a floating motif, again, tinted with Kooper's lustrous organ work and a gorgeous hook. Hence, the band's ingenuity is based on a parade of novel concepts, including a breezy, mid-tempo and samba hued spin on pop icon Harry Nillsson's "Without Her," enamored by Fred Lipsius (alto sax) and Randy Brecker's (flugelhorn) voluble soloing spots.

Steve Katz dishes out the straight-laced vocals on his trippy, dreamlike and affable piece "Meagan's Gypsy Eyes." And Kooper's charming composition "The Modern Adventures of Plato, Diogenes and Freud," is fostered by a lovely melody and chamber-based strings accompaniment. Nonetheless, this iridescent jewel is a timeless classic that is resurrected with an absolutely killer soundscape, thanks to the crystal clear SACD 5.1 mix.

Track Listing: Overture; I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know; Morning Glory; My Days Are Numbered; Without Her; Just One Smile; I Can’t Quit Her; Meagan’s Gypsy Eyes; Somethin’ Goin’ On; House in the Country; The Modern Adventures of Plato, Diogenes and Freud; So Much Love/Underture.

Personnel: Al Kooper: organ, piano, ondioline, vocals; Steve Katz: guitar, acoustic guitar, lute and vocals; Fred Lipsius: alto saxophone, piano and good judgment; Randy Brecker: trumpet and flugelhorn; Dick Halligan: trombone; Jerry Weiss: trumpet and flugelhorn; Jim Fielder: Fender bass; Bobby Colomby: drums, percussion and vocals; The BS&T String Ensemble – Gene Orloff: violin; Leon Kruczek: violin; Paul Gershman: violin; Harry Lookofsky: violin; Julie Heid: violin; Manny Green: violin; Anahid Ajemian: violin; Harry Katzman: violin; Manny Vardi: viola; Harold Colletta: viola; Charles McCracken: cello; Alan Schulman: cello.

Title: Child Is Father To The Man | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Audio Fidelity

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