Bloomfield, Hammond, Dr. John: Triumvirate

Rating: 6.2/10
Rated as:
Album
Album Status: of Discographical Interest
Released: 1973
Main Genre: Blues
Specific Genres: Rhythm&Blues, New Orleans Jazz, Funk, Electric Blues
Label: Columbia

1 Cha-Dooky-Doo 2 Last Night 3 I Yi Yi 4 Just to Be With You 5 Baby Let Me Kiss You 6 Sho Bout to Drive Me Wild 7 It Hurts Me Too 8 Rock Me Baby 9 Ground Hog Blues 10 Pretty Thing

Uh-huh! Cha-Dooky-Do! Uh-huh…

Well, apart from Dr. John who had just issued In the Right Place neither John Hammond, having recorded a row of lackluster albums, nor Mike Bloomfield, coming from interesting, draining jam-experiments like The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper, were exactly on a hot streak at this point in time. Of course the rootsy music here is rock solid: these guys learned from the masters and had their respective blues idioms down pat. Hammond sings all the songs, making me question if this was supposed to be the start of a supergroup with a „frontman proper“ instead of a one-off project, and while he’s technically the most skilled singer, I’m not sure his mannered style really fits the mood better here than Bloomfield’s comparatively unrefined vocals or Dr. John’s infamous croak.

The album’s most interesting aspects therefore derive from the mix of Chicago- and New Orleans-styles – Dr. John’s presence sort of forces some funky, Orleans-ian piano rhythm&blues into the affair, adding a heavily syncopated base to the more conventional blues patterns. He never really dominates with a solo though, often drowned out by a quite loud horn section – well well. But apart from the album closers (the swampy „Ground Hog Blues“ and the playful, flute-driven „Pretty Thing“), this is mostly solid, not super. I remember being really excited getting this as an American import – I’m still glad I have it, and I’d still recommend it as a historical trophy object, but it’s one of those „obvious“ team-ups that didn’t create additional magic.

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