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Halfbreed, Keef Hartley Band. 2008 Esoteric release - Great album of blues/jazz/rock, unfairly largely forgotten these days
on 15 March 2010
For years I've been a fan of late 60s/early 70s British prog rock in the form of Colosseum and Jethro Tull. I've always loved the long jazzy workouts with complex rhythms and inventive melodies. A little while ago a friend asked `what do you think of Keef Hartley's stuff then?', and I had to admit I'd never heard of him. I started off with the band's 4th album, Overdog, and was incredibly impessed. As a result I've started to collect all of the Keef Hartley Band's records, starting with this little gem.
This is exactly the kind of music I enjoy. It's rocky, bluesy, jazzy and darned good. Extended cuts allow for a degree of experimentation, but nothing too navel gazing as some bands of the era made the mistake of doing. Generally it's nice and tight and never outstays it's welcome. The musicians are all talented, mesh together well and seem to be having a great time. You feel that they really enjoyed making the record, and as a result you enjoy listening to it all the more.
The music is at times a little reminiscent of Cream crossed with early Blodwyn Pig. Why this stuff is not better known today is a mystery to me, as it is great music that will appeal to a wide range of tastes.
This is another excellent release from Esoteric. The sound has been nicely remastered and restored, and sounds sharp and clean on my stereo. There is a booklet with some interesting notes from Hartley about the formation of the band and the recording of this, their first album. There are also a few photographs. Included on the disc is a single of the time, `Leave it `till the Morning', which adds to the album. All in all a great release. I've had a few discs form Esoteric now, and am consistently impressed with the high standards of their releases. One note - Amazon page currently lists 9 tracks, my copy only has 8, there is no repeat of `Just To Cry' as listed. I'm sure this is just a simple error on the part of whoever was typing it onto the website.
All in all a 5 star release of 5 star music.