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Powerful and Inspiring!,
This review is from: Live Cream Volume 2 (Audio CD)
This was one of the reasons I started playing guitar!
Released a few years after the band broke up, it never failed to show why Cream had the stellar reputation it did. Without studio sweetening, these tracks stand up beautifully in a live environment.
The combination of Ginger Baker's liberally jazz-inflected drumming, Jack Bruce's roaring, snarling yet melodic bass and Clapton's soulful blues phrasing cranked up to 11 was enough to get my attention at a young age and stuck with me ever since. Combined with memorable riffs and melodies, colorful chord progressions ("Tales of Brave Ulysses" and "Deserted Cities of The Heart" as great examples)and Jack Bruce's soaring voice, this was indeed a fearsome threesome that messed me up for life in a good way. The band's ability to combine the cry of the blues, colorful psychedelia and the loose "go for it" attitude of jazz improvisation was a miracle to behold.
"Steppin Out" takes a fun blues instrumental and shoots it to the moon with Clapton and Baker kicking out the jams and taking no prisoners.
Despite the nasty internal tensions that blew the band apart after their brief existence, they managed to put out an impressive catalog of music that would inspire for years to come. Can't recommend it enough.