Michael BLOOMFIELD, John HAMMOND & Dr.JOHN – Trumvirate 1973

Michael BLOOMFIELD, John HAMMOND & Dr.JOHN – Trumvirate 1973
COL 473696 2

Blues

It is a laid-back display of the genius of three very different bluesmen who have made a superb album in which not one of them tries to steal the show and in which all contribute their particular skill to form a magnificent whole.
True, you won’t find a firework display of Bloomfield guitar playing, but you will hear Bloomfield’s guitar in its place, as you will Dr. John’s piano and swampy rhythms, and John Hammond’s smoky voice and blues delivery. It’s a weird and wonderful three-way crossroads where Lousiana meets Chicago meets East Coast.
The material is excellent and track selection is sensitive, with each artist getting at least one showcase item: e.g. Dr. John (Sho Bout to Drive Me Wild); Bloomfield (Rock Me Baby), John Hammond just about everywhere since he does the vocals…
Add to this the fact that it is a superior production, beautifully recorded in LA and San Francisco
By David Essel.
**
These guys may or may not have gotten together in a cynical attempt to create a roots music supergroup, but their sole album is in fact a lot better than its lack of commercial success might suggest. Each member has a signature specialty–Hammond’s in country blues, Bloomfield’s at the more modern Chicago variety, with Dr. John the epitome of New Orleans second-line R&B piano–and the material is split accordingly.

Hammond, however, is the designated frontman and he’s up to the task, although Dr. John’s evocatively gruff vocals are missed. Among the highpoints are a sensitive reading of the blues classic “It Hurts Me Too,” with terrific horn charts and strong soloing by Bloomfield, and a spooky version of John Lee Hooker’s “Groundhog Blues,” which has the distinction of being the one song here where all three styles are convincingly meshed.
From cduniverse.
**
The year was 1973, an era when super groups were the vogue a la Blind Faith. The idea was to take a piano player whose style was New Orleans Cajun- Dr. John, a guitar icon with roots in Chicago Blues – Mike Bloomfield and a vocalist who reverently performed delta blues classics – John Hammond. It could have worked and made a huge impact on the music of the day and brought more people to the way of the blues – it didn’t. Instead it was a blip in all of these great musicians careers – few people took note of it then or now.
While none of the artists on the album seem to be spotlighted to show the degree of talent that they possessed, it is an interesting cd with some good numbers on it. Such numbers as Cha dooky-doo and I yi yi seem silly and dated – others as Sho Bout to Drive me Wild, It Hurts Me Too and Rock Me Baby are noteworthy and a good listen.

All in all, the cd is worth the price, especially for fans of Dr. John, Mike Bloomfield or John Hammond. For those not familiar with their work or blues in general another cd would be a better choice.
By booknblueslady.
**
Well this may be a misleading “triumvirate”, as one may assume this is another of those Supersessions where Mike Bloomfield flashy guitar playing had a leading role, often in long Jams that would bring out the best of him; that’s not the case here! Neither should one expect typically front mixed Dr.John piano nor Hammond’s acoustic and harp defining sound! Sure there are traits of each one of them here, but buried in a group effort where no one seems to want to step on the other’s toes; a successful formula on paper, that had not the expected practical results;
This is a collection of short Blues based tracks, Boogie Woogie; R&Blues, Chicago or Delta blues standards, correctly arranged and played but lacking the excitement to raise them above the average; heavy on John Hammond lead vocals, horns arrangements and Female backing vocals, there’s little space for improvisation;

Bloomfield sole solo parts happen on the lively Chicago Blues “Rock me Baby”, where they alternate with the verses ; otherwise, his is just an embellishment role, with bottlenecks on the slow blues “Last Night” or on the Delta “Ground Hog”, some blistering lead fills , on the Funky “Sho’Bout to Drive me Wild”, riffs and rhythm slashes on the James Brown reminiscent one chord groove of “Baby let me Kiss you”, or clean sounding on top of mellow horns, on the lazy modulated blues chances of “It Hurts me too”;
Nice bouts of rolling piano can be heard on “Cha-Dooky-Doo” or “Last Night”, and Dr.John switches to a barrel-house vibe on “2 Yi Yi”, while Hammond’s harp twists around the vocal (pairing with the guitar), on “Last Night” or on the Muddy Waters reminiscent groove of “Just to be with You”!
All in all, a decent work no one will be ashamed of owning, and a document of a one time gathering, but also a record one can easily live without!
By Comus Duke.
**
Dr. John- Organ, Banjo, Guitar, Percussion, Vocals, Keyboards, Piano
John F. Hammond- Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
Blue Mitchell- Trumpet, Horn
Michael Bloomfield- Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Robbie Montgomery- Vocals, Vocals (Background)
Jessica Smith- Vocals, Vocals (Background)
Jessie Smith- Vocals (Background)
Thomas Jefferson Kaye- Guitar, Vocals, Producer, Vocals (Background)
Jim Gordon- Baritone Sax
George Bohannon- Trombone
James Beck Gordon- Baritone Sax
Jerry Jumonville- Alto Saprano and Tenor Sax
Benny Parks- Percussion
John Boudreaux- Percussion
Lorraine Rebennack- Bass, Vocals (Background)
Chris Ethridge- Bass
Fred Staehle- Drums
**
01. Cha-Dooky-Doo 3:40
02. Last Night 2:52
03. I Yi Yi 3:40
04. Just To Be With You 4:08
05. Baby Let Me Kiss You 3:00
06. Sho Bout To Drive Me Wild 3:29
07. It Hurts Me Too 3:45
08. Rock Me Baby 3:37
09. Ground Hog Blues 3:29
10. Pretty Thing 4:38
**


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