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Blood Sweat & Tears - Child is Father to the Man CD (album) cover

CHILD IS FATHER TO THE MAN

Blood Sweat & Tears

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.47 | 54 ratings

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vingaton
4 stars Horns ...glorious horns! This is a wacky though very progressive offering that comes straight out of the urban mayhem of New York in the late sixties. Basically bigband jazzmen combine with a hard-edged rockband, under the guidance of the genius that is Al Kooper. Why is this album progressive? First, you need to hear it, because this group is very different from the subsequent David Clayton-Thomas version of BS&T. There are no instrumentals like on later records, but there is an overture, and even an underture. Phasing, backward tape loops, full orchestration,maniacal laughter, and uncommonly long songs for this time period grace this very idiosyncratic recording. And the weirdness is all Al's doing no doubt.

Child Is The Father To The Man must have been a nightmare for Columbia Management. Unlike almost all of the following Blood Sweat & Tears LP's there are no hit singles on this one, and it appears as though it were intended to be that way. The songs vary from love-sick pop to bone-grinding bigband jazz-blues. This band was one of the first true proponents of the sound that would later be foundation for bands like Chicago, The Flock, and If. Sadly though, the creative discord within the band led to leader Kooper's swift departure, but he went on to join ex-Electric Flag (another truly great progressive horn-driven mini-orchestra) bandleader/guitarist Michael Bloomfeild, and ex Buffalo Springfeild member Steven Stills to create one of the great jam records of all time, Super Session. Later BS&T seemed much slicker and chart-oriented, though some of the albums, like the next self-titled one, have some musical merit as well.

Furthermore, if you like this one check out Kooper's later albums I Stand Alone, You Never Know Who Your Friends Are, and Easy Does It. They actually all stand up well to the test of time, if you like that sort of thing. Kooper's music can be both pleasant to the ears and the mind, especially if you have a sense of humour.

vingaton | 4/5 |

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