Saturday, March 17, 2018

Tommy Bolin - 1976 [1996] "Live at Ebbets Field"

Due to the success of his back-to-back appearances at Denver's Ebbets Field club in 1974, Tommy Bolin chose to premiere his new Tommy Bolin Band at the venue in May of 1976. Included in this top-notch band were ex-Vanilla Fudge keyboardist/singer Mark Stein and drummer Narada Michael Walden (nowadays a producer), while Norma Jean Bell (saxophone) and Reggie McBride (bass) rounded out the group. Like all Tommy Bolin concerts and albums, the music is extremely varied. Included is one of Bolin's trademark songs, the swaggering "Teaser," which remains sadly overlooked by classic rock radio. You'll also find reggae sounds on "People People," jazz fusion balladry on the Narada Michael Walden-sung "Delightful," and the funky groove of "The Grind." It wouldn't be a Bolin concert without a song for Tommy to show off his guitar talent, and here it's "Marching Powder." A strong album, it's only slightly diminished by a far, far too long drum solo (almost ten minutes!), which is completely unnecessary, since the majority of the people buying Tommy Bolin CDs are doing so to hear his memorable songwriting and guitar skills. Still, it's worthy of any serious Tommy Bolin fan's time.

This recording is taken from the master radio broadcast tape from one of the first performances of The Tommy Bolin Band. This historic first lineup of Tommy’s solo band put on a high energy, unique live performance that not only showcased Tommy, but also Narada Michael Walden on drums and vocals, and original Vanilla Fudge keyboardist and vocalist Mark Stein.

Track listing:

1 Teaser 6:20
2 People People 8:00
3 The Grind 3:21
4 Wild Dogs 9:01
5 Delightful 5:03
6 I Fell In Love 5:40
7 Marching Powder 14:42
8 Lotus 7:06
9 Homeward Strut 9:01


Guitar, Vocals, Producer [Original Live Recording] – Tommy Bolin
Bass – Reggie Mcbride
Drums, Vocals – Michael Walden*
Keyboards, Vocals – Mark Stein
Saxophone, Vocals – Norma Jean Bell