Sunday, 17 November 2013

Al Kooper - Easy Does It (Great Double Album US 1970)


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Bitrate: 256
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Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

Easy Does It was the third solo album by New York City-based singer-songwriter Al Kooper, recorded and released in 1970 for Columbia Records.


Click on picture for bigger size
A double album, Easy Does It featured Kooper on an expanded number of instruments, including sitar (used to effect on the country-tinged "Sad, Sad Sunshine"), vibes and electronic effects. While mostly backed by Bretheren rhythm section Stu Woods and Rick Marotta, Kooper also utilized groups in Nashville and Los Angeles to record the tracks for the album.

Two tracks were also featured on the soundtrack to the counter-culture film The Landlord, "Brand New Day" and "Love Theme from The Landlord".

This is the third solo effort from rock & roll wunderkind Al Kooper. Originally issued as a two-LP set, Easy Does It (1970) is a diverse album that reveals the layer upon layer of musicality that has become synonymous with the artist. He draws deeply upon his skills as a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and equally engaging arranger. 


The extended run-time of the double album format likewise allows Kooper to thoroughly exhibit his wide-ranging and virtually mythical adaptability as an artist whose sheer talent defies the boundaries of genre or style. 

The set kicks off with the youthfully optimistic rocker "Brand New Day." This is the first of two tracks Kooper used in his score for Hal Ashby's directorial cinematic debut, The Landlord, a highly affable counterculture classic starring Beau Bridges. The haunting "The Landlord Love Theme" is also included, and is poignantly dovetailed with one of the disc's profoundly affective epics. "Buckskin Boy" is an uptempo rocker that lyrically offers a brutally honest assessment of the Native American situation, which was quickly becoming a national plague upon the social conscience of the country in the early '70s. 

The song is replete with Kooper's dynamic chord changes and trademark phrasing. The "morning after" fallout from a particularly potent experience with LSD is credited as the inspiration behind "Sad, Sad Sunshine." The cut features some heavily Eastern-influenced lead sitar work reminiscent of the sounds of Donovan circa Hurdy Gurdy Man (1968) and the burgeoning Canterbury-based progressive folk movement of the late '60s and early '70s. 


Al Kooper Ticket 1970
There is a decidedly Yankee contrast on the country-rocker "I Bought You the Shoes (You're Walking Away In)" as well as the cover of John Loudermilk's "A Rose and a Baby Ruth." Other well-placed cover tunes include a classy, soulfully subdued reading of Ray Charles "I Got a Woman'" as well as the spacy and well-jammed-out version of "Baby Please Don't Go." 

Throughout the 12-plus minute side there are definite recollections of the extended instrumental interaction that defined Kooper's former band, the Blues Project, as well as some of the inspirational improvisation heard on the original Super Session (1968). This performance alone is more than worth the time and effort of seeking out Easy Does It.

01. "Brand New Day" (Al Kooper) – 5:10
02. "Piano Solo Introduction to I Got a Woman" (2:00)
03. "I Got a Woman" (Ray Charles, Renald Richard) – 4:30
04. "Country Road" (James Taylor) – 4:22
05. "I Bought You The Shoes (You're Walking Away In)" (Bob Brass, Irwin Levine, Kooper) – 1:57
06. "Introduction" (0:50)
07. "Easy Does It" (Kooper) – 5:25
08. "Buckskin Boy" (Kooper, Charlie Calello) – 3:10
09. "Love Theme from The Landlord" (Kooper) – 3:12
10. "Sad, Sad Sunshine" (Kooper) – 5:04
11. "Let the Duchess No" (John Gregory, Jim Roberts) – 3:17
12. "She Gets Me Where I Live" (Kooper, Calello) – 3:34
13. "A Rose and a Baby Ruth" (J.D. Loudermilk) – 3:29
14. "Baby, Please Don't Go" (Big Joe Williams) – 12:26
15. "God Sheds His Grace on Thee" (Kooper, Calello) – 3:27

1. Link
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2. Link
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Billboard Advertise 1970

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Very ineresting album.
All the best!
Mark

Anonymous said...

Ya lo tenia a 192 kbps pero no en edicion japonesa.Muchisimas gracias

Anonymous said...

Gracias por continuar.Eres un ejemplo a seguir de persona desinteresada.

Anonymous said...

Al Kooper is one of those major figures who not enough people know about. Thanks Chris!

Anonymous said...

great to see a new post thanks

Anonymous said...

hi, chris, thank you very much for al. i like his music and have 10 or 12 records from him:-)and: i know what you mean and how you feel when you do a lot of work and no one says thank you! lg, m

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for posting this Chris.
Please keep on rockin'.
God bless you my brother.

Anonymous said...

Gotta love it!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Chris. Al wrote a great autobiography - Backstage Passes & Backstabbing Bastards: Memoirs of a Rock 'N' Roll Survivor. Well worth reading.I'm not that big a fan of Al's music, but he is great at what he does. So I guess it's more an appreciation for great musical skills rather than an emotional connection for me (obviously it varies for many others).

Bob W.

Fernando said...

I heard the sound of Al Kooper for the first time when I bought the LP Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan. The organ played by Al Kooper was spiked in my mind ....., brilliant performance.
__________
Hey Chris, thanks for coming back.

Fer (Brazil)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Chris - great post and glad to see your blog is still hanging in there!

heathcliff said...

Nice. Thanks!

Grey said...

Thanks - really enjoyed it!

Pepe Mendes said...

You are great. Thank you.

Pepe Mendes said...

You are great. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Crikey, there you go, one minute we hear you're about to retire from the exciting life of giving pleasure to your readers and then you post a really nice piece of Al!

Thanks Chris.

I to am anonymous.

Anonymous said...

More thanks for this fine album I listened to at friends' in the 70s...so it conveys mixed emotions and memories...
Take care.
JJ

Ian Van Groove said...

Great to see you back & getting the comments you deserve. Gotta love Al Kooper too, what a dude!

DoKtor Alphonzo said...

brightened a rainy day - many thanks for the sunshine

Magic Kaic's Music said...

huge thanks for this one ! I didn't know it..

Anonymous said...

I don't download very often, so don't comment often either...but my life would be poorer without its daily dose of CGR. Always admired you for sticking with it despite all the shit you bloggers have to put up with.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

just one word: thanks!

sensi05 said...

your blog is a beacon in the night: hank you for all the efforts you do to give us quality music.

Jay said...

Many thanks - your posts make my life richer and Al Kooper makes me feel very wealthy indeed.

Narrow Dog said...

Thanks Chris, just been listening to a few Al tracks at the moment, so this will compliment what I have. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Chris. Thanks for the Al Kooper. Hard to find his recordings, particularly the older ones!

KevinB said...

Thanks for this and a great blog!

Magic Kaic's Music said...

F... !!! I'm 47, it's a brand new day, and I just discovered another fantastic record. Life is a miracle !

Anonymous said...

Nice album thanks :-)

Doug said...

Thanks Chris ... it is good to see folks commenting.

Woody said...

También nuevo para mi. Thank you very much!!!!!

Rochacrimson said...

Excellent!!!

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