Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Tommy Bolin - 1974 [1996] "Live at Ebbets Field"

During his tragically short career, Tommy Bolin played with many different musicians and bands. In early June 1974, Bolin was still a member of the about-to-splinter James Gang, and decided to book a couple of nights at the Denver club Ebbets Field to try out some new material he'd written. He called upon his old band Energy to back him up, and the show (finally officially released on CD) is a guitar player's dream, especially for those into the classic sounds of Jeff Beck, Santana, and Hendrix. And even though the five songs that contain vocals (courtesy of Jeff Cook) are quite good, it's the other five instrumental tracks that make this disc a fine testament to the Tommy Bolin legacy. Bolin lends his touch to such raging rockers as the opening "You Know, You Know" and "Homeward Strut," while fans of the Allman Brothers should definitely check out "Shakin' All Night," with its fluid slide guitar work. Also included are nasty renditions of the blues-rock standards "Born Under a Bad Sign" and "Ain't No Sunshine," combined as a medley. Even though some of these tracks ("San Francisco River," "Stratus," etc.) have been issued on some of the other releases from the Tommy Bolin Archives record label, they are all versions from different recording dates. This is an excellent live document showing what Bolin could accomplish while jamming for fun, in the company of some good friends. All Music.

Live At Ebbets Field 1974 is simple amazing. Combining Tommy's virtuoso jazz/rock/fusion guitar playing with an incredible rhythm section, this CD simply blows me away. From the opening "You Know, You Know" to the heart-pounding "Crazed Fandago" to the closing "Stratus" this CD showcases Tommy at his best. A must-have not only for Tommy Bolin fans but for anyone interested in exploring the electric guitar world.

This has to be one of the best Tommy Bolin cds out as far as his guitar playing is concerned. Great solos straight ahead rock and roll. I like most of the stuff Tommy has out but this was him cutting loose if you like live cds by Rory Gallgher or Joe Bonamassa then you will love this. Thanks for reading.

When Tommy Bolin took a break from being in the James Gang, and returned home to Colorado 1974, he gathered up some of his closest musical buddies for two nights of performances at Denver's legendary tiny Ebbets Field. Both nights were broadcast on the radio, and the result is this CD. If you love technically charged, inventive passionate guitar music that flows from powerful rock to over the top fusion playing, this set is for you. In it, Bolin proves why he is one of the most loved and respected of guitar cult legends. The likes of Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Joe Perry, Vernon Reid, and David Hidalgo are all huge fans of Bolin. With the purchase of this CD, you will understand why.

Tommy Bolin was in the midst of a tour with the James Gang in 1974 when he returned to Colorado and broadcast two nights of performances on the radio with friends, luckily someone recorded it and that is what you have on this CD - this was when he was fairly straight and his playing had not started to deteriorate once heroin started taking over in late 75 and 76 - his playing is still strong, fiery, funky and outta site ---- there are previews of songs here that would make it onto the following years "Teaser" album but for the most part this is a jam album with covers of blues songs and jazz and fusion numbers by groups that Tommy admired, leaving plenty of room for him to solo --- and boy does he deliver on those goods - at the end of the CD someone yells out for him to do a song from Spectrum, the Billy Cobham album he appeared on the previous year and Tommy agrees, rounding out the album with an exploding version of "stratus" - the solo on that song alone as it builds up intensity, power and distortion is worth the price of this CD alone - if you are new to Tommy's music this CD and the above mentioned Spectrum CD are where you need to start - he did great work on James Gang "Bang" and DP's "Come Taste the Band" but Ebbets Field 74 and Spectrum are the Kentucky Derby/ Indy 500 checkered flag winners - by far - SMOKIN.....

Tommy Bolin as blues-rock guitar hero, unleashed in a way he never was on his studio recordings. The beefed-up triple percussion section propels him through his most aggressive playing; blues covers, jazz fusion, molten hard rock, and the first airing of “Homeward Strut.” Again, the Zebra Records version adds sonic quality. This CD is culled from the 2 nights of live performances at Ebbets Field in Denver that Tommy put together during the time he was in The James Gang. The band was basically the then defunct Energy, Jeff Cook, Stanley Sheldon, and Bobby Berge, and guests Archie Shelby and Russell Bizet. The format of these shows allowed Tommy to dominate with some of his most ferocious guitar work. Songs include “You Know You Know,” “San Francisco River,” “Shakin’ All Night,” “Walkin’ My Shadow,” “Born Under a Bad Sigh/Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Crazed Fandango,” “Honey Man,” and “Stratus.” 63 Minutes.

 Track Listings

  1. You Know, You Know
  2. San Francisco River
  3. Shakin' All Night
  4. Whiskey Headed Woman
  5. Walkin' My Shadow
  6. Born Under A Bad Sign/Ain't No Sunshine
  7. Crazed Fandango
  8. Ain't Nobody's Fool
  9. Homeward Strut
  10. Honey Man
  11. Stratus


    Tommy Bolin - Guitar
    Stanley Sheldon - Bass
    Bobby Berge, Russell Bizet - Drums
    Archie Shelby - Percussion
    Jeff Cook - voice