mardi 14 janvier 2014

Harvey Mandel - Baby Batter - The Snake (1971-1972 us blues rock with funk and jazz rock fusion elements - Akarma 2003 edition - Flac)

Whenever I've had the good fortune to see Harvey Mandel live, I always had the impression that he was always just on the verge of blowing up his equipment. I mean that in the good way. His playing style always approaches redline, but never enough to bring death and destruction on himself or the audience. He'd always bring you back, but man, it was always a great experience. 
So these two recordings, Baby Batter and Snakes typify what I'm talking about. The other reviewer mentioned some great guitarists like Joe Satriani and bringing up Mandel in the same breath is fine with me. Hell, he was good enough to audition for the Rolling Stones when Mick Taylor left the band, so that might tell you something. He played at Woodstock for Canned Heat and has had a stint with John Mayall. As a leader, he's always had great sidemen, including Don "Sugarcane" Harris, Larry Taylor and Fito de la Parra. 
His sound is basically overdriven, but not grinding -- but don't doubt he gets down and dirty when the piece of music calls for it. And that's not to say he can't play clean because he does that very well indeed. Listen to "Ode to the Owl," on Snake and you'll get what I'm talking about. His music is rhythm-based, blues-based and he utilizes a lot of different scales and picking techniques to keep your interest as you groove. Mandel's licks aren't ever cliche, although distinctive and clearly his own. In other words, you hear Harvey Mandel and you know it's him. I think this is what makes great musicians really stand out from the real good ones. You hear them once and their sound is immediately identifiable. 
These two albums are excellent examples of great guitar instrumental rock/blues music of the early 70s. What the hell: Classifying this music isn't easy because you'll hear jazz and some country licks in there too. What else is there to say? Just enjoy the music.(By Tim Withee)

01. Baby Batter: Baby Batter 3:44  
02. Baby Batter: Midnight Sun 6:22 
03. Baby Batter: One Way Street 4:17  
04. Baby Batter: Morton Grove Mama 4:57 
05. Baby Batter: Freedon Ball 6:21 
06. Baby Batter: El Stinger 7:24 
07. Baby Batter: Hank the Ripper 5:11 
08. The Snake: The Diving Rod 3:01 
09. The Snake: Pegasus 3:26 
10. The Snake: Lynda Love 2:30 
11. The Snake: Peruvian Flake 3:27 
12. The Snake: The Snake 3:06  
13. The Snake: Uno Ino 2:33 
14. The Snake: Ode to the Owl 2:34 
15. The Snake: Levitation 5:12 
16. The Snake: Bite the Electric Eel 4:12 

Musicians on Baby Batter
Harvey Mandel - Guitars
Larry Taylor - Bass
Howard Wales - Keyboards
Paul Lagos - Drums
Big Black - Congas
Mike Melvoin - Keyboards
Colin Bailey - Drums
Emil Richards - Percussions
Joe Picaro - Percussions
Sandra Crouch - Tambourine

Musicians on The Snake
Harvey Mandel - Guitars
Larry Taylor - Bass
Randy Resnick - Rhythm Guitar
Paul Lagos - Drums
Victor Conte - Bass
Earl Palmer - Drums
Chuck Domanico - Bass
Jim Taylor - Piano
Don sugarcane Harris - Violin & Strings
Adolfo De La Parra - Drums
Antonio De La Barreda - Bass
Kevin Burton - Organ
Charles Lloyd - Flute
Freddie Roulette - Steel Guitar