All Music Reviews ‘Wade in the Water – Classics, Origins & Oddities’

Posted by admin on March 28, 2013 in Reviews, .

Review written by Thom Jurek from All MusicOriginal Article

Repertoire has established a fine reputation for quality reissues of classic recordings from the 1960s and ’70s. That said, this box set by the Graham Bond Organisation sets a new standard even for them. Containing four discs and 96 tracks from early 1963 through 1967, this collection includes previously unreleased material — a great example is disc one’s first cut, “Roll ‘Em Pete,” recorded for EMI in early February of 1963 by the Graham Bond Trio with Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce, as well as the first version of their standard “Cabbage Greens,” with the Velvettes as the female backing chorus. What’s notable about these sides is how assured they are: the group had just recently left Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated less than a month before and had played exactly one gig. Disc one moves forward with the band savagely backing R&B vocalist Duffy Power and later, guitarist Ernest Ranglin as the G.B.’s. in early 1964. None of this material is filler; it is all quality. John McLaughlin joined the band briefly, making it the Graham Bond Quartet, and after being fired by Baker, the great saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith entered the fold, making the legendary “Organisation” complete. Bruce and Baker, and even Heckstall-Smith, would leave eventually as well, but the excellent meld of blues, R&B, rock, and jazz (check the amazing hard rock, free jazz freakout in the blues jam, “I Love You,” from 1967 — and it all takes place in under three minutes) would roll on for another year-and-a-half or so. These four discs are loaded with live tracks, alternate takes, unreleased demos, live sides, and even an entire gig from 1964 to close out the last disc. Wade in the Water: Classics, Origins & Oddities is not a mere odds and sods collection, but a deep, well-rounded portrait of the band from its beginnings at EMI to its glory years at Decca to Columbia and its eventual dissolution in 1967. The influence of these sides on British music cannot be overstated. It would inform not only the British blues scene, but its R&B and rock scenes, both at the time and in the future. One can hear Bond’s influence on everyone from the Who and Georgie Fame, to the latter-era Jam and Paul Weller’s solo material, the James Taylor Quartet, and the acid jazz scene in general. The notes are beautifully annotated, with a solid intro by producer Pete Brown, who, along with Heckstall-Smith, did a fine job remixing and remastering the material.

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