Jack Bruce has long been one of my all time favourite bassists due to his work with Cream but I’m ashamed to say that aside from his 1969 solo album Songs For A Tailor, I’m not overly familiar with the rest of his solo career. However that changed after hearing this excellent recording of a show he played at Fillmore East in New York with Jack Bruce & Friends, which includes Mitch Mitchell on drums, Larry Coryell on guitar and Mike Mandell on organ. The band only played seventeen dates together between the 24th January and 1st March 1970 and sadly there are less than a handful of live recordings of them. Thankfully, however, this late show recording from the 31st January is one of them.
I’m a huge fan of The Allman Brothers Band with a few of their albums already having featured in my CLASSIC ALBUM SERIES. But for this installment I turn to their 2000 live album Peakin’ At The Beacon which was the last of their albums to feature Dickey Betts in any form, and the first to feature Derek Trucks. The songs captured on this album are taken from their March 2000 run at the Beacon Theatre in New York and even though those shows are seen favorably by fans of the band, it’s historic nonetheless.
It’s not every day that a new recording is unearthed featuring The Allman Brothers Band with Duane Allman, but that’s exactly what we have here. Recorded on the 9th July 1970 at S.U.N.Y. at Stony Brook in New York, it really is a remarkable sounding recording given how much time has passed since it was made. For the full history of the recording and how it was made and since released, head here. What follows below is my take and thoughts on the recording itself in the form of a BOOTLEG SERIES article.
For whatever reason, Derek and the Dominos are one band where very little video footage exists from their time together and considering the Layla song and album are seen as some of the best music of all time, it’s mind blowing that very little is out there. To put it into perspective for you, there’s more footage of Duane Allman than there is of Derek and the Dominos…and there isn’t much of Duane. The only officially released video footage that exists is from their performance on The Johnny Cash Show on the 5th November 1970 and even then there are only two videos.
But that was an official TV performance. When it comes to actual live shows from their UK or US tours, there’s absolutely nothing which is a real shame. The only fan footage that does exist is from the 23rd October 1970 when they played two shows at the Fillmore East in New York City. You can check it out below.
Yes, I know that clip is 8 seconds in length but that’s all that exists of Derek and the Dominos outside of the Cash performances. That clip isn’t the full thing though, there’s supposedly around 40 seconds of footage out there which I’ve been told will be used in an upcoming documentary on Eric Clapton and his career. When that will be released I do not know but I can assure you that I am always looking for more previously unseen video footage while I’m writing my book on the band.
Recorded in May 1967 at Atlantic Studios in New York, the Disraeli Gears album sessions only took three and a half days. One of the tracks the band recorded was Sunshine Of Your Love which is now considered not only one of Cream’s finest songs, but one of the best songs of all time and Eric’s solo in the song is widely seen as the finest he ever put to vinyl. Exquisite would be a good would to describe it.
The solo features the famous “woman tone” which Eric made famous during this time and especially on Disraeli Gears, a thick and smooth tone we all know and love. It’s great to hear Eric’s guitar parts stripped away like this. When you listen to the track as a whole it seems very complex but in actual fact the guitar parts are quite simple, yet brilliantly executed.