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They don't jam like this any more!
on 1 June 2011
This is an excellent record of 3 nights of jamming at the Fillmore, with Carlos Santana and Elvin Bishop replacing Mike Bloomfield, who was taken ill after the first night.
I guess rehearsals for the first night were few, and for the subsequent ones, non-existent! However, the musicians know each other well, and are obviously familiar with the songs, so it's a case of "hold tight, and we'll meet at the end"!
Quite a range of material in the Bloomfield section (which is most of the album), which perhaps you wouldn't expect from a man with such a strong blues background (although he had, of course, worked with Dylan as well). Some nice guitar solos, and some very sensitive rhythm playing. Al Kooper has a great Hammond organ sound, although in one or two places he experiments with what sounds like a Moog Synthesizer, which I'm not sure works too well! The rhythm section are well up to the job, and hold things together nicely.
Interesting to hear Santana on the track "Sonny Boy Williamson" (which was the b-side of a Paul Jones single!). He plays some nice blues, but it's unmistakeably Santana!
Elvin Bishop doesn't do it for me, so it's just as well he's only on 1 track (as is Santana). His lead playing for me is nothing special, and there are some rather horrible bum notes!He replaced Bloomfield in the Butterfield band, but is not in the same class.
Overall, however, I think it is a really enjoyable album, and a great document of it's time.