This excellent twofer collects the debut and second album of Chicago Blues outfit `The Paul Butterfield Blues Band'. Recorded in the mid sixties, when Butterfield was barely out of his teens, the two recordings reveal a set of musicians of great talent, steeped in knowledge and experience of the Chicago blues scene and already skilled in the art of making music.
Covering mainly well known standards and with a sprinkling of similar sounding originals, the debut self titled album is a class album. Butterfield's harmonica playing is fiery and distinctive, and the band all get room to do their thing behind him, leading to some interpretations of the old stuff which are different enough to be interesting, but faithful enough to sound authentic. The original material fits right in, and an enjoyable, foot stomping blues and boogie style album results.
East-West is a more interesting album. Starting to move away from the pure blues, and experimenting with the form to include jazz elements, this shows what a talent Butterfield had. It is still true to the Chicago style, but introduces new elements that work well and stamp their own style on the music.
The two albums come on separate discs in a fold out jewel case. The remastering is pretty good, and the sound clear on my stereo. In all an excellent way of getting hold of two important blues albums.