on March 2, 2001
I got this album when it first came out when I was a kid in '72, and the artistry and command of Jack Bruce's bass playing on "Why Dont'cha" was so compelling, that it completely transformed the way I thought of rock and roll bass playing and the way I saw the role of the instrument overall. For a bass player like myself, the album is a showcase of the amazing possibilities that the instrument has to offer. Listen closely to the kinetic urgency of Bruce's bass line in "Pollution Woman" or the complex counterpointing bottom that drives the title track "Why Dont'cha" and you'll be hooked by the work of a virtuoso instrumentalist playing at the top of his game. Despite the three decades that have passed since the album's release, very few rock bassists have even approached the level of mastery that Jack Bruce displayed in "Why Dont'cha?". Every time I hear the album, I catch a new instrumental phrase or recognize some different aspect of Bruce's technique that I had never heard before; as a result, I've never stopped listening. If you love great electric bass playing as much as I do, you'll find that Jack Bruce's heartfelt bass work on "Why Dont'cha?" is something very rare and very special.
on January 27, 2002
Tiring of a virtuoso drummer/band leader- like Ginger Baker, Jack and Leslie brought on the former Mountain drummer, Corky Laing into the trio almost as a session player. There was rumour he was just paid on a small weekly salary-which left the control to Jack Bruce and Leslie West, juggernauts of the blues humbucker Gibson- guitar and bass. Jack is using; fresh from his work with Cream; his Gibson EB-3 bass here, bending strings and pulsing nasty grooves. So much of rock is mundane, but these guys take risks in their playing and it makes for much more interesting listening. The cover version of Boyd's blues standard, "Third Degree" typifies the fearless yet tasteful playing of Bruce, with Leslie West wrenching -dripping blues phrases and trills-over double tracked power chords. Bruce is a jazzer and cellist-so when he rips away on the pencil thin Gibson EB-3 neck-he is not playing garage band patterns-but highly sophisticated riffing and melodic structures. West counters that style with drenching vibrato and amplified blues tones like Volcanic lava-trilling, bending, squealing sonic majesty. Vocals are superb and crisply mixed over the booster rocket instruments. The melodic track, "Out in the Fields" would be later covered by guitar legend, Gary Moore. Songs like, "Love Is Worth The Blues, Pleasure, The Doctor and Thrid Degree" SHOULD be cranked loud, thru a good sound system. Blues power rock with Jack Bruce, as one of the best vocal tenors-rips up the competitive landscape. Even THEY could not top this production and the band "correctly" self destructed, shortly afterwards. The later produced- live album, is interesting-and recommended-but keep in mind-you are not getting the multi-tracking of this brilliant studio album. On Live N' Kickin' (Polydor 841 038-2) you have only the live virtuoso talent of a trio that is enjoying the music-almost as much as the audience. Why Dontcha, is a rare gem. Real musicians-real players; turned loose to play their hearts out, and definately a must for any serious music listener.
on December 1, 2005
I was lucky enough to see this band in Chicago back in November of 1972 right about the time this music came out.....AWESOME! Leslie West came out in front of a wall of Marshall amps and did a 30min solo with a Gibson Flying V, he was HUGE back then...made the V look like a ukelele. But, man could he make them Marshalls beg for mercy! There are so many good songs on this cd it is hard to start, WHy Dontcha, "love is worth the blues" "The Doctor" Jack Bruce is so talented,,,,what a great band, BUY THIS!
on February 3, 2016
I've owned this release for a few years and have played it periodically whenever the mood catches me, but today, this record has really hit and as I'm familiar with the musicians' backgrounds, this quick project that Corky Laing, Leslie West and Jack Bruce formed, at least on this recording, is a very strong and worthwhile offering. It seems that Mountain decided to call it a day in early '72 with bassist/writer/producer Felix Pappalardi taking a leave of absence, thus leaving West and Laing to call upon Jack Bruce(ex-Cream) to join up, resulting in a power trio formation. Bruce and Pappalardi were no strangers to each other, as in the mid- late 60's Felix was producer of Cream's best material and it was no secret when he appeared on Leslie West' s debut album, Mountain, that he subsequently formed a group format with Leslie in the intents and purpose of creating an "American Cream". With, "Why Dontcha", the crossing of the parallels is joined and although this record breaks little new ground for its creators, its a very strong collection of material and remains a forgotten artifact of the hard rock/blues era of the early 70's.
Featuring the prodigious talents of all 3 musicians involved, specifically, West and Bruce, this album boasts some great songs in the opening title track, containing Bruce's invigorating, forceful bass style paired with Corky Laing's solid, propulsive drumming and West's powerful guitar playing, the album gets off to a great start here. "Out into the Fields" is sung by Jack and is a bit pastoral in its structure, accompanied by piano,some synthesizer and angelic background vocals, this number is quite special and unique within its grand qualities. "The Doctor" is a raucous, boogie-blues with West's throaty lead vocal and some tasty slide guitar to add a bit of depth within this rockin' number, Bruce's bass playing is simply amazing on this cut as well! "Turn Me Over" features a lead vocal from drummer, Corky Laing and although its cool that he got a spot to sing, its obvious that his talents lay better at drums. This cut is a blues romp replete with Jack Bruce wailing on harmonica(ala "Train Time" or "Spoonful"), and while interesting, its not as strong as the triad of songs that began this album. "Third Degree" follows and is a cover written by Eddie Boyd and Willie Dixon, mirroring the proceeding "Turn Me Over" in its blues rhythm style. Its a Leslie West guitar workout delight and measures up to some of Clapton's accomplishments in Cream, in my opinion.
"Shake Ma Thing(Rollin Jack)" is next within the album's duration and is similar to "The Doctor" in its rhythm beat, aided by piano accompaniment and a blistering solo from West, its a solid track that helps to keep the momentum going for the listener to retain interest. "While You Sleep" is a pretty ballad sung wonderfully by West and features Jack on piano, and Leslie plays a great dobro arrangement with a credit as well of "violin guitar" and its a nice inclusion to the album without the feel of contrivance or complacency. "Pleasure" is another rollicking, boogie tune with some great interplay between the trio and retains its interest as a smokin' hot number. "Love is the Blues" is another mid-paced cut, garnering more of a hard rock feel in its delivery with West wailing on vocal as well as guitar and although it sounds quite similar to a Mountain-style number, its a strong track, particularly towards the bridge when it picks up tempo and features a great mini-workout jam. The recording ends with "Pollution Woman" sung by Bruce and is a refreshing, lighter arrangement, featuring an earnest, steady acoustic guitar with pepperings of synthesizer towards its chorus and very melodic, stately lead guitar courtesy of West, that shows the side of his playing I love the most, contrasting the sometimes, derivative blues fuzz tone that adorned some of what he did with Mountain. Corky Laing guides the song along with a great, steady backbeat and Bruce's vocal style is more ethereal in the mix of this aurally, exciting closing track.
Although this aggregation of musicians was brief, this is a great lost record, or perhaps missing link within the players' careers and anyone whom is a fan of Mountain, Cream or Leslie West or Jack Bruce, for that matter, should check this record out, you won't regret it. 4 stars