Sunday Big Note — Listening Session #21

Back on Friday, March 28th, 2008 I published the post, Live Albums — Dead or Alive? in which I listed many of my favourite live albums: Zappa In New York (1978); Super Session (1968) with Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Stephen Stills; and Warren Zevon’s Stand In The Fire (1980/2007) just to name a few. Among them, though, was also an absolute favourite live album of mine which has long stood the test of time. That artist and album being John Mayall’s 1969 live release The Turning Point.

There are few albums from that era which still hold up so well today, and fewer still, live albums which do so, so it’s an incredible accomplishment of the musicianship, as well as that era’s recording abilities, which make The Turning Point (and it’s subsequent re-releases and expanded editions) the exceptional live album that it is. Each and every time I listen to it, I am drawn in again and again by it’s unique subtleties.

from the Original 1969 album liner notes:

THE TIME IS RIGHT FOR A NEW DIRECTION IN BLUES MUSIC.  HAVING DECIDED TO DISPENSE WITH HEAVY LEAD GUITAR AND DRUMS, USUALLY A ‘MUST’ FOR BLUES GROUPS TODAY, I SET ABOUT FORMING A NEW BAND WHICH WOULD BE ABLE TO EXPLORE SELDOM-USED AREAS WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF LOW VOLUME MUSIC.  THIS ALBUM IS THE RESULT OF THIS EXPERIMENT AND IT WAS RECORDED LIVE AT THE FILLMORE EAST THEATER, NEW YORK, AFTER ONLY FOUR WEEKS EXPERIENCE OF EACH OTHER’S PLAYING.
 
John Mayall – July 1969

I am very pleased to present as this Sunday Big Note, a soundboard recording of John Mayall and the Turning Point band (with special guest, Duster Bennett) performing at the Fillmore East in New York City, New York, on March 15th, 1970 (with extra bonus tracks of Duster Bennett and Mayall’s USA Union band):

Train I Ride
[audio:SBN_20110403_01 Train I Ride.mp3]

Can’t Be Wrong For Long
[audio:SBN_20110403_02 Can’t be Wrong For Long.mp3]

The Laws Must Change
[audio:SBN_20110403_03 The Laws Must Change.mp3]

Be With You Tonight (Duster Bennett)
[audio:SBN_20110403_04 Be With You Tonight (Duster Bennett).mp3]

Jumping At Shadows (Duster Bennett)
[audio:SBN_20110403_05 Jumping At Shadows (Duster Bennett).mp3]

Jam (John Mayall’s Turning Point Band with Duster Bennett)
[audio:SBN_20110403_06 Jam.mp3]

Bonus tracks:

Hooters & Winos (Mayall’s USA Union Band, Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL, 11 Sept 1970)
[audio:SBN_20110403_BONUS_03 Hookers-Winos.mp3]

Possessive Emotions (Mayall’s USA Union Band, Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL, 11 Sept 1970)
[audio:SBN_20110403_BONUS_06 Possessive Emotions.mp3]

Down The Road (Out of the Blue, 1966. Duster Bennett with Top Topham)
[audio:SBN_20110403_BONUS_04 Down The Road.mp3]

I’m Thinking About A Woman (Out of the Blue, 1966. Duster Bennett with Peter Green)
[audio:SBN_20110403_BONUS_08 I’m Thinking About A Woman.mp3]

Got A Tongue In Your Head (Smiling Like I’m Happy, 1968. Duster Bennett & His House Band)
[audio:SBN_20110403_BONUS_07 Got A Tongue In Your Head.mp3]

40 Minutes From Town (Smiling Like I’m Happy, 1968. Duster Bennett & His House Band)
[audio:SBN_20110403_BONUS_09 40 Minutes From Town.mp3]

Various line-ups:
John Mayall’s Turning Point Band (Fillmore East, March 15th, 1970):

John Mayall – vocals, harmonica, slide guitar, telecaster 6 string guitar, tambourine, mouth percussion

Jon Mark – accoustic finger-style guitar

Alex Dmochowski – bass guitar

Johnny Almond – tenor and alto saxophones,flutes,mouth percussion
Duster Bennett – bass kick drum, harmonica, 1952 Les Paul Goldtop guitar

John Mayall’s USA Union Band (Argon Ballroom, Chicago, IL, 11 Sept 1970):

John Mayall – vocals, harmonica, slide guitar, telecaster 6 string guitar, tambourine, mouth percussion
Harvey Mandel – guitars,
Larry Taylor – bass, bass guitar
Don “Sugarcane” Harris – violin

Duster Bennett’s Out of the Blue, 1966:

Duster Bennett – vocals, guitar, harmonica, percussion
Top Topham – guitar
Peter Green – guitar

Duster Bennett’s Smiling Like I’m Happy, 1968:

Duster Bennett – vocals, harmonica, guitar, bass-drum, high-hat tymbal
Stella Sutton – vocals
Peter Green – guitar
John McVie – bass
Mick Fleetwood – drums
Ham Richmond – piano

Click here to view a suberb performance of John Mayall’s Turning Point band performing “California” live in Paris, 1970.

Note: the video of “The Laws Must Change” which opens this post is from the Music Scene TV Show, 1970.

5 Responses to “Sunday Big Note — Listening Session #21”

  1. jonnybutter2 says:

    I guess I’ll be the one to cite the Mayall/Zappa reference: ‘2401’ from ‘Blues From Laurel Canyon’: “There’s a hero living at 2401, and all around…’

  2. Alex says:

    Wow! 11 Sept 1970 – exactly 31 years to the date the towers came down. Too weird.

  3. P-Rip says:

    I bought a few John Mayall records after Larry Taylor and Harvey Mandel left Canned Heat to join Mayall. But my favorite Mayall album was “Jazz / Blues Fusion”, around 1970 as well, as I recall.

  4. P-Rip says:

    Special trivia note: The announcer in the clip looks to be a very young David Steinberg, comedian, author, filmmaker, etc.

    http://www.thedavidsteinberg.com

  5. SOFA - Philostopher/Chef says:

    Yes, that is David Steinberg… Great clip!

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