on 10 June 2014
As a diehard fan of "modern" jazz in early 60's , I first became aware of GB as the standout soloist on Roarin' with Don Rendell . I was familiar with the Hammond B3 via Jimmy Smith et al , had seen Dick H-S as a solo @ local club & had heard of Jack Bruce & Peter (Ginger) Baker as up & coming jazzers. A mate persuaded me to join him on the train to London from our educational establishment in East Anglia to visit somewhere in Soho called The Flamingo to see the GBO in action. When these guys wandered onto the stage - sinister was my impression. Dick is a big guy - flat cap & glasses. Ginger looked extremely annoyed and up for a fight. Jack was deadpan with a thousand yard stare & GB - also quite large - with brushed forward short black hair & Fu Man Chu 'tash exuded a satanic mein (ironic really) . What appears on this LP is but a pale imitation of of the band live. Thunderously loud, aggressive , pulsating, driving, energetic to the max, full blooded driving R&B with more than a Jazz flavour. Hooked instantly ! Bought the LP - still got it but it's worn out. Saw them several times and many other R&B bands - but none came within a light year to GBO for sheer excitement and musicianship- not even Mayall or Zoot. So tragic that GB met the end that he did. What if was still around now??
on 27 February 2011
The Graham Bond ORGANIsation's first studio album, The Sound Of 65, shows a band attempting engagingly to pervert the blues in every conceivable direction. It combines the expected traditional blues covers ("Hoochie Coochie Man", "Got My Mojo Working") and instrumental R'n'B workouts ("Wade In The Water", "Train Time"), reworked in distinctive, individual fashion, with lyrically naïve but musically adventurous Bond originals which move confidently in the direction of what would later be called "jazz-rock". All the tracks are carried along by the sheer, rough-edged energy of Bond's vocals and the irrepressible swing of the band's ensemble playing, plus a remarkable cheap-studio production with plenty of reverb that gives the impression of a live recording. In fact the album was the ORGANisation's well-honed live set with each number pared down to three minutes or less, the solos from Bond's growling B-3 and Heckstall-Smith's squalling tenor short and ferocious rather than extended and building. High spots include the flavouring of "Wade In The Water" with more than a soupçon of Bach's Toccata, the spoof field holler of "Early In The Morning", Bruce's rumbling upright bass figures on "Mojo", Bond's and Heckstall-Smith's wailing snake-charmer licks on "Spanish Blues", and the eerie "Baby Make Love To Me" which is carried on just harmonised saxes, bass and drums and boasts lead vocal and braggadocio harmonica from Bruce. Only the mandatory (and thankfully truncated) Baker drum solo on "Oh Baby" and the maudlin closer "Tammy" (intended as a "commercial" single) conspire to lower the overall appeal.
The second and final ORGANisation album There's A Bond Between Us offered a slightly wider musical range played with a bit less verve, and Bond's pioneering use of the Mellotron (before the Beatles, Stones and Moody Blues discovered it) presaged his move towards progressive music. The BGO twofer combining both studio albums is a bargain; for a flavour of the band's live sound, try Solid Bond, the posthumous Rhino release featuring the short-lived final line-up of Bond, Heckstall-Smith and Jon Hiseman.