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Super Session Extra tracks, Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 240 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, April 8, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

The complete smash album featuring Kooper, Stills and Bloomfield, here reissued with new remastering and four bonus tracks!
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 8, 2003)
  • Rmst ed. edition
  • Original Release Date: April 8, 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Columbia / Legacy
  • Run Time: 77 minutes
  • ASIN: B00008QSA5
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (240 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,464 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This CD shows two things, one the brilliance of Bloomfield's playing and two, just how far he had fallen as a result of his Heroin addiction. After nine hours of recording, Bloomfield and Kooper completed Bloomfield's "Albert's Shuffle", "His Holy Modal Majesty" and "Really", Howard Tate's "Stop", and Curtis Mayfield's "Man's Temptation". At the completion of these first five tunes, Bloomfield packed up his things and abruptly left the studio. Kooper wanted to complete the recording so he picked up the phone and called Stephen Stills. Still's agreed to finish the sessions. As such you get two very different sounding recordings here. The first half--Kooper and Bloomfield which contains some very nice blues and classic Bloomfield guitar. The last half features Kooper and Stills complete with jangly guitar and Buffalo Springfield like vocals. The disc is rounded out with some added bonus material featuring remix versions of "Albert's Shuffle" and "Season of the Witch" without the horns and two others. An added bonus is "Fat Grey Clound" which is a masterpiece in itself. On the other hand, while this disc has some good tunes on it the addition of Stills and absence of Bloomfield leaves the recording with a hodgepodge quality. As an alternative or in addition to this disc, check out the "Lost Concert Tapes".
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Format: Audio CD
A trick some out-of-work artists used back in the '60s was to team up and record a session and come up with some name for the effort, calling themselves some sort of "supergroup" in doing so. As far as that goes, this one was not much different. Chicago blues guitarist Mike Bloomfield had just left the Electric Flag and keyboardist Al Kooper had just left Blood Sweat and Tears. The little-known Kooper has been around the music scene as much as anybody has, involved in sessions or production for everybody from Bob Dylan to Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bloomfield was noted as one of the finest blues guitarists around. They knew each other as they had both worked with Dylan on "Highway 61 Revisited", and they saw an opportunity in 1968 to record together.

Unlike some of the pretenders, though, this one is the real deal. The opening cut is a pure exercise in raw blues guitar as Bloomfield goes all out in "Albert's Shuffle", aided ably by Kooper's organ, Barry Goldberg's electric piano, Harvey Brook's bass and Eddie Hoh's drums. Kooper, who is known as a master producer, decided the track needed horns, so he overdubbed them into the recording for release. On the CD, a bonus track plays the original recording of "Albert's Shuffle" without the horns. You decide which version is better; I like the horns myself.

Bloomfield continues with Howard Tate's "Stop", another instrumental that segues well with "Albert's Shuffle". The third track is a cover of Curtis Mayfield's "Man's Temptation" that sounds more like Blood Sweat & Tears than the previous two tracks with horns dominating this cut, not Bloomfield's guitar. Al Kooper is not a particularly good singer, so this track is a little weak.
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Format: Audio CD
This album represents the rock equivalent of a jazz "blowing session". Bloomfield and Kooper met while playing on Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" and had both left their current bands. Bloomfield quit Electric Flag while Kooper exited Blood, Sweat & Tears. This jam session with some of their friends like Barry Goldberg, Harvey Brooks and Eddie Hoh contains some of the best playing of Bloomfield's career. The opening cut "Albert's Shuffle" illustrates the influences of blues greats like Albert King, Freddie King, B.B. King and Albert Collins on Bloomfield's style. His playing while not fast and flashy like Stevie Ray Vaughan or Johnny Winter relies on string bending, dynamics and emotion. His instrumental cover of "Stop" is catchy and it may be more than coincidence that Jimi Hendrix and Joe Walsh with the James Gang both featured versions of song in their sets after "Super Session" was released. "His Holy Modal Majesty" sort of picks up where the epic "East-West" left off during his tenure with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. It features Bloomfield's eastern influenced modal playing. "Really" is another slow burner. Much to the chagrin of Kooper, Bloomfield abruptly split the session after only half of the album was recorded due to his insomnia and heroin addiction. Kooper quickly recruited Stephen Stills from Buffalo Springfield and later CSN&Y to record the rest of the album. Stills plays fairly well especially of the long jam of Donovan's "Season of the Witch". The cover of "You Don't Love Me" later covered by the Allman Brothers Band on "At Fillmore East" is given a treatment with some phasing and flanging effects.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
I think the real reason behind writing reviews like this lies in the hope that you will be able to convince some person(s) out there that something is missing form their life unless they get to hear this music. I don't think I can get any more eloquent on the brilliance of these musicians than any other reviewer here; the only words of praise in addition are for Harvey Brook's bass playing which is both beautiful, inventive and absolutely essential in tying together the Bloomfield and the Stills parts. It feels like they are somehow sailing along on the same river of bass, although they have very different playing styles. (Must mention too Stills' wah-wah playing at the end of "Season of the witch", the most "lyrical" use of this effect I have heard to this day).

So as you may understand, I have always loved this record (although I must say it took some spinnings back in -68 for it to grow on me). Those who love it, will know, and for those who haven't heard it, let it grow on you too, and it could be one of those pieces of music that will follow you through the years, make your hard times easier to endure and the good times even more enjoyable.
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