Super Session

Super Session (1968) – Al Kooper/Mike Bloomfield/Stephen Stills

Super Session ushered a new phase in sixties rock’s current transformations. From the 2-3 min danceable pop songs, Super Session emphasized on longer tunes while paying more attention to the technical and artistic subtleties.
The triumvirate of Kooper/Bloomfield/Stills were on a brief ‘hiatus’ from their current projects:
Kooper, just finishing the groundbreaking ‘Child Is Father to the Man’ with Blood Sweat and Tears; Bloomfield fresh from a stint with Electric Flag; and Stills in between Buffalo Springfield and CSNY.
The trio actually never performed together in the album –  with Kooper and Bloomfield doing one side of the album while the other side being a Kooper/Stills session. Highlights of the Kopper/Bloomfield side is ‘Albert’s Shuffle’ and ‘Man’s Temptation’ a brass fueled soul track which could have been mistaken for Blood, Sweat, and Tears number.
Because of health issues, Bloomfield was never able to complete the record and Kooper contacted Stills to complete the session.
Notable cut in the album is the classic Donovan original,‘Season of the Witch’ – showcasing the synergy between Kooper and Stills. Another interesting cut is ‘You Don’t Love Me’ with its heavily amplified and distorted licks ala Hendrix.
Super Session ushered in the concept of the supergroups of the late 60’s and 70’s-  Blind Faith, Crosby, Stills & Nash,
Like good vintage wine, this album gets better with age. And after almost three decades, this is still a regular in my turntable. . . definitely a staple in any rock collection.
Oh, and by the way, the album also includes Harvey’s Tune, a favorite ‘fluke’ of mine ,to close the session.

Super Session – an album that truly lives up to it’s name.

– May 2005

 

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