Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band: Got A Mind to Give Up Living: Live 1966

Doug Collette By

Sign in to view read count
Real Gone Music's release of The Paul Butterfield Blues Band's Live 1966 is a godsend for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it reminds, if that's indeed necessary, of what a vital influence on contemporary blues was (and is) this sextet.

Forget for a moment the profundity of an integrated group of musicians bonded together at the time of civil rights upheaval in the United States—that's for sociologists. Better instead to focus instead on how righteously well-schooled were these players, having steeped themselves in the genre on Chicago's south side, among whom we can count America's first bonafide guitar hero, Michael Bloomfield (if for no other reason than the height of his profile based on his participation in Bob Dylan's gravitation to electric music, both on stage and in the studio).

Yet, as documented on the heretofore unreleased Got A Mind to Give Up Living's eclectic song selection, the Butterfield blues Band was not satisfied to copy the work of their heroes, even as they covered some of their best material, such as Allen Toussaint's "Get Out of My Life Woman." The dual guitars of Bloomfield and his counterpart Elvin Bishop (who actually preceded his fretboard partner in this lineup) widened up the path Elmore James' opened with "Look Over Yonders Wall," while the choice of jazz-oriented material such as (brother of Cannonball) Nat Adderley's "Work Song" presaged not only its future studio rendition on East-West (Elektra, 1966), but later incarnations of Butter's band with a horn section, not to mention its accurate reflection of the blues-heavy jazz scene of the times.

The presence of an equally authentic tune that would go otherwise wholly unrecorded by this incarnation of the Butterfield Band, Percy Mayfield's "Memory Pain" (which Johnny Winter included on his three-lp-sided sophomore effort Second Winter (Columbia, 1969)) further distinguishes the combination of fervent scholarship and fiery, disciplined musicianship that makes Live 1966 a treasure: though it lacks the band's raga-influence stylistic masterwork "East-West," there's plenty of concise jamming here as on "Comin' Home Baby." And "Born in Chicago," composed by Butterfield's early blues companion student Nick Gravenites, is an original that speaks to and describes the world discovered and revered by members of this group and like-minded aficionados such as the author.

Including the blurry likes of the stage shot at the center of the enclosed booklet,Live 1966 is adorned with vintage photos that capture a moment in time, images of memorabilia effectively replicating the graphic design and style of the Butterfield Blues Band's early Elektra Records releases Yet Got A Mind to Give Up Living is much more than an academic artifact: it is instead a living, breathing testament to the power and vision of one of America's most forward-thinking contemporary musical units and its stolid leader, whose impassioned harp work challenges those around him to elevate their own playing.

Even as the thin sound quality, as recorded in Boston's Unicorn Coffee House, leaves more than a little to be desired despite its remastering, the presence of Butterfield, Bloomfield and co.'s is so forceful, the compulsion to ratchet up the volume to compensate is ultimately as joyful as it is irresistible.

Track Listing: Instrumental Intro; Look Over Yonders Wall; Born in Chicago; Love Her with a Feeling; Get Out of My Life, Woman; Never Say No; One More Heartache; Work Song; Coming Home Baby; Memory Pain; I Got a Mind to Give Up Living; Walking by Myself; Got My Mojo Working.

Personnel:

Title: Got A Mind to Give Up Living: Live 1966 | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Real Gone Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances Album Reviews
Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances
By Dan McClenaghan
May 21, 2019
Read Crowded Heart Album Reviews
Crowded Heart
By Nicholas F. Mondello
May 21, 2019
Read That's a Computer Album Reviews
That's a Computer
By Jerome Wilson
May 21, 2019
Read All I Do Is Bleed Album Reviews
All I Do Is Bleed
By Paul Naser
May 21, 2019
Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Karl Ackermann
May 20, 2019
Read Remembering Miles Album Reviews
Remembering Miles
By Dan McClenaghan
May 20, 2019
Read Merry Peers Album Reviews
Merry Peers
By Bruce Lindsay
May 20, 2019