Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Al Kooper at B.B. Kings

Rock legend Al Kooper performing at B.B. King's Music Club, in Manhattan, on October 2, 2007. He was backed by his current band, The Funky Faculty. Joining him on a pair of blazing blues jams was “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” guitarist (and, therefore, member of the “Max Weinberg 7”) Jimmy Vivino.

Kooper formed "Blood, Sweat & Tears and was a key member of the "Blues Project." He also played organ on such little known songs such as Lynyrd Skynrd's "Freebird," Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone," and the Rolling Stones “You Can't Always Get What You Want.” Yeah, I know these are not Brittany Spears' Classics, but what the fuck!

Kooper was the centerpiece of several extremely influential albums including two released in 1968: Blood, Sweat & Tears’ first album, “Child is Father to the Man” and the famous "Super Sessions" LP which he made with Stephen Stills and Michael Bloomfield.

In addition, Kooper has played in sessions for the Who, Jimi Hedrix and George Harrison. While recording with Harrison, Kooper played with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr on the Lennon tribute song, “All those Years Ago.”

Okay, so let’s review… a FEW of the better known artists he has worked with are Dylan, Hendrix, The Stones, The Who, Simon & Garfunkel, The Byrds, Peter Paul & Mary, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blood Sweat & Tears, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Moby Grape, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, Joe Walsh, Neil Diamond, Rick Nelson, Janis Ian, Taj Mahal, The Zombies, Johnny Winter, Harry Chapin, Alice Cooper, The Atlanta Rhythm Section, The Tubes, The Blues Project AND ¾’s of The Beatles and, along the way, he played THE three most famous organ solos/intros in all of Rock Music. Other than that, he is just an ol', former-hippie, Jewish Boy from Queens, NY.

NOTE #1: The only downer to the evening was my date's staunch refusal to yell out requests for Alice Cooper songs (at my urging). C'mon, Man! Sometimes, having too much dignity is just a snore! I mean, how hard is to yell out "Billion Dollar Babies"?

NOTE #2: While Al and his band were in excellent form, and put on an excellent show... it was his paisley pimp jacket that really rocked the house!

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