Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Jorma Kaukonen, Vital Parts|
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
First time on CD for 1980 release for the former Jefferson Airplane guitarist who went onto form Hot Tuna. On this release the guitarist returned in a group context, co-billing this record to the rhythm section of drummer ... more »
First time on CD for 1980 release for the former Jefferson Airplane guitarist who went onto form Hot Tuna. On this release the guitarist returned in a group context, co-billing this record to the rhythm section of drummer John Stench and bassist Denny DeGorio under the name Vital Parts. Ten tracks including a cover of 'Love Is Strange'. Standard jewel case. 2001 release.
God Save The King/BBQ Uber Alles
D. M. DeGorio | Austin, TX | 04/20/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"JORMA'S PUNK ALBUM?
When Hot Tuna broke up, in 1978, it was a strange world indeed. This amazing guitar player, troubadour of tunes and craftsman of original music always gave a tip of his hat to tradition, while he dutifully carried the torch of the reigning free spirit of the Volunteers of America and the Woodstock generation. Jorma always had an open mind, encouraged creativity in everyone around him, and back then, just as now, he remains an amazingly humble and talented person.
Jorma was not a punk-rocker, nor did he ever try to be. What he did try to be, if anything, was true to himself. To be forced into anyone's preconceived notion or expectation of what he should be would contradict everything he believed in and in my opinion all he stood for. It must have seemed odd I imagine, that the very audience that enthusiastically embraced this ideology in the sixties, were the very ones who seemed to not want to let Jorma change, grow or experiment during this time. Jorma could have easily found a Jack Cassidy replacement; there were tons of fans that practically worshiped him, enthusiastic fans that knew every single song backward and forwards. There were plenty of fans that had access to him and any one of them would have jumped at the offer to play bass for him . There may not have been anyone who could truly replace Jack, for he was (and is) truly a great and unique bass player in his own right, but he could have found someone who knew the songs and someone who could at least emulate Jack's approach. To Jorma, I think, it was about more than that. It was about the spirit.
I was there, that's how I know. I heard people shout disappointedly, "Let your freak flag fly Jorma!!!" after he had cut his hair and died it PURPLE. His hair was short and PURPLE!!!! What more of a "freak flag" do you want???!!!...This reaction seemed about as open minded in '79/'80 as a redneck hollering "get a haircut hippie" a decade earlier. As someone who grew up wanting to believe in 60's ideology it only fueled my disappointment at what had become of that generation. They appeared closed minded and biased to me.
Would his audience of been happier if he put together a professional cover band performing his greatest hits? Did they want a Hot Tuna tribute band? It certainly would seem so. Would Jorma have been? Obviously not.
When Jorma first asked me to play with him it was after he saw Bob Steeler and I play a show in our band "The Offs" at an old Jewish Temple/punk venue next door to the closed Fillmore West. When I met him I didn't know a single one of his songs (unless it had been recorded by Jefferson Airplane). I had a couple of Jefferson Airplane albums as a kid (Bless It's Pointed Head and Surrealistic Pillow were two albums I eventually snagged from my brothers record collection), and the only album I was really familiar with as it had endured many spins on my portable stereo - Volunteers of America). I called him Jorma (With a "hard" J as in "Jump"). I remember asking him about Pentacles and evil spirits as my total knowledge of the Jefferson Airplane was derived from the reading (and re-reading) of the inside of the "Volunteers of America" album: which I also note was the very first new rock album I ever bought.
We met up a couple of days after that if I recall the three of us. We got together and just jammed for hours. The next time I saw him wasn't until a gig in New York. We hadn't even practiced, not in any disciplined sense. I think it was booked as a Hot Tuna show, if I recall - but it wasn't unusual during my tenure for us to be booked as one thing for us to provide quite another.
As we continued to play together, we got a little better. There were a lot of things lacking, and the band was never as good as a band with Jorma should have been. This was for a variety of reasons, including my relative inexperience. We also had our moments, if I can say so myself - but I always thought in retrospect we could have (and probably should have) been so much better, especially with practice and professionalism - but that was the last thing we considered in those days. For these reasons and perhaps others the audience was generally unreceptive to me as a musician and a performer and I generally gave it right back. For better or worse this album chronicles that time. I keep a copy like one might keep a yearbook or a picture album. It reminds me of a younger innocent time for me. It reminds me of fun, wild and free times. It also brings back some bad memories. You can say what you will about this album, but if you listen maybe you can sense a little bit of that spirit, I can even hear it through the over-production. I think I took away a lot of things from my time with Jorma, from that experience - things I am applying now as I return to music after so many years away. After this experience I went on to play with other fantastic and talented musicians. We had True Believers with Alejandro and Javier Escovedo and Jon Dee Graham; I've lived in Austin, Texas since returning from time spent in Munich Germany, it was because of Jorma that I ever travelled there in the first place. For me this Jorma album represents the beginning.
So I give this Album three stars, and each one of those stars go completely to Jorma. (I subtract two stars for my contribution).
His guitar playing is impeccable. I honestly think that although Quah is a must have, this album rounds out any true collection representative of the man. His audience hated this album, for the most part - it sold less than any of the Albums that preceded it. The radio stations barely played it. I must say that I felt as though I was their scapegoat at times and in retrospect I understand why - but at the time it was a tough pill to swallow. They seemed to view Jorma as being a traitor for joining the "punks" (I was the "token" punk rocker). Since my only experience thus far had been playing in punk rock bands I was quite used to people throwing stuff at me; in fact I loved it - and at times I provoked them more.
I guess you could say Jorma wasn't listening to his audience at the time, and he was soon dropped from the record company immediately following the release of this album (RCA).-We parted ways not long after that, though to this day we keep in touch. Although Jorma's audience might not have been all that open minded, they were eager to forgive him and take him back. It was soon forgotten, as if it was just a prank, and he continues to forge ahead to this day. I admire Jorma now, and think it took a lot of courage to do what he's done. He continues to inspire me today and I've grown to develop a lot of respect for him. He is a brave man, and he taught me the life long lesson that it takes true courage to be yourself, sometimes even when you are unsure of what that is. Like any true artist, he is a complicated man, and this album is part of a complete picture. If you are a Jorma fan, you should buy it. If you are one of the old fans that used to throw things at me, you should buy me a beer (a root beer will do!)- or buy my album (if I ever get the dang thing recorded and released ha-ha) - and though I guess I can't really blame you for hating on me back then - in case anyone ever wondered.... I really wasn't evil incarnate (drunk perhaps but not evil)
Runnin' With The Jorma Crowd
S. C Sochet | syosset, NY United States | 02/09/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The first song, Runnin' with the Fast Crowd, is a very catchy tune. It plays over and over in your head even if you haven't listened to it in months or even years. The rest of the songs are pretty forgettable. I can't recommend an entire album for one song, but it's up to you. It is Jorma we're talking about, after all."