Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Blood Sweat & Tears - Child Is Father To The Man CD (album) cover


Blood Sweat & Tears


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.48 | 71 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars One thing is quite obvious with the label Columbia Records, is that its leader Clive Davis certainly pioneered jazz-rock in every sense of the word by taking almost single-handedly all of the movement under its wings, beit with jazz legend making the reach to rock (Miles Davis and its crowd from Hancock to Zawinul to McLaughlin), but also rock musicians extending their world in the jazz realm (Chicago, 2nd period Santana and Soft Machine etc.), that only a handful of artistes were not in their rank between 68 to 73: Tony Williams, Larry Coryell, Chick Corea, Colosseum. If the first direction was called jazz rock, its alter-ego (they were mostly rock or pop with a big brass/horn section was not called rock-jazz (as some Dutch musicologist teacher would have his student believe), but everyone called it brass rock. BTW & AFAIK, this is as far as I can trace back trumpet player Randy Brecker's earliest appearance on a record.

If Columbia started the movement from jazz towards rock through Miles Davis (let's not nitpick) and his incredible galaxy of sidekicks, it started the other way as soon as Blood Sweat & Tears' debut album., even if their music is sometimes hard to define as rock, more than pop, Rnb, soul or pure cheese. Indeed within the label's walls would resonate the horns of BS&T, The Flock, Chicago and the earliest form of this "brass movement" Electric Flag! As you can see on the US side, Columbia had a monopoly, even if they never tried to develop the same across the Atlantic (maybe Clive thought it was Ertegun's kingdom ;o)p))), but I digress here.

Like Electric Flag, BS&T is another product of the Bloomfield, Kooper, Butterfield, Goldberg that pretty well evolved from Chicago's blues scene (this includes Chicago Loop, Blues Project and Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Supersessions etc.) and gradually installed itself from Los Angeles (BS&T) to New York (Blues Project), both latter bands counting Kooper and Katz in their ranks. Enough background on these guys, let's tackle their music behind this flawed pompous artwork aiming at the title, but presenting us this bad ventriloquist pompous disaster.

After a cheesy and pompous Overture with string arrangements and mad laughter, announcing the pompousness of the album, the album gets into its first (and one of only two) highlight in the form of the excellent Love You More Than You'll Never Know. Behind its love title, this track is particularly well written with the best Al Kooper vocals ever, and once the track settles in a 12 bar blues in its middle section, it almost brings chills into the back with Kooper's one note organ, Katz's superb guitar and Lipsius's sax. Sadly the rest of the first side has a hard time surviving such a glorious forerunner and indeed Morning Glory (a bad cover of Buckley's song), My Days Are Numbered, Without Her, Just A Smile all pale in comparison, even if the second has its moments. Unfortunately the group had more than one singer, which didn't help the album cohesiveness behind the cheesy horn & strings arrangements.

The flipside starts on the interesting (at first anyway, but ultimately not really) I Can't Quit Her (the fuzz guitar of Katz), followed by a few more tracks that range from rudimentary psych rock, to soul, love ballads and semblance of bossa nova. The only exception on this half-disc is a soaring and searing blues Something Going On, where finally some grits and power re-emerge after taking a dive from the second track onwards. The last part of the album takes on a psychier turn with tape effects, sound collages, thus simulating a bond between unconnectable songs. Among the craziest is the crazy House in The Country song with its Procol Harum (Mabel) nonsense, but I don't like it much, even if it is a small tour de force. The following Plato, Diogenes and Freud is an interesting psych piece and the closing Love/Underture almost closing the album

Soooo their debut album is not really a must, unless you're serving a cheese fondue for a full army squad. Don't get me wrong, BS&T's debut is well recorded, well produced thanks to the excellent work of John Simon, who also contributed musically and songwriting-wise) and was even groundbreaking in its genre, but it's too cheesy, but the worst is to come yet.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this BLOOD SWEAT & TEARS review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives