Not the sum of its parts
tin2x | Staten Island, NY USA | 12/15/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"You know the saying. So when you get a New Orleans/piano legend, a delta blues revivalist, and the leading white American blues guitarist of his today together you would expect a dynamite jam session. What this album feels more like though is that everyone waited back for the "magic" to happen. And it never did. There isn't much here to celebrate. That's not to say it's bad. It just doesn't live up to expectations.For someone who bought this to hear Bloomfield's guitar it's too far back in the mix and there's too little of it. I also like Dr. John but there isn't enough of his New Orleans funk here either. It's just sort of 'eh'. At the same time if a young blues/r&b outfit put this out today we'd probably talk about the promise they displayed and admire their restraint. It just doesn't do the individual artists justice. The liner notes, once you've got the CD, give you a warning as they cover the failed first attempt for these guys to find some chemistry in playing together. Not terrible, just unremarkable."
Too Much Hammond, Not Enough Magic
Todd and In Charge | Miami, FL | 12/07/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is the blues equivalent of Blind Faith, a supergroup that never took off. The reason is on the record, a lackluster, tepid effort from three guys who each waited for the other to take the reins and run. No one did. While it's not awful, and some tracks are quite enjoyable ("Cha-Dooky-Doo," "I Yi-Yi"), the overall experience leaves you a bit wanting. Personally, I would have liked a lot more Dr. John and Bloomfield, and a lot less Hammond. At least on this recording, he strikes me as out of his depth and simply not in the same league as his band mates.
I did notice the inestimable Thomas Jefferson Kaye sat in on these recordings, no doubt supplying the chemical support needed to keep these guys happy and in the studio. Apparently, according to the liner notes, that was not an easy job. This is a curio, for hard-core fans of these musicians only."
Power of three
Dave Essel | on the web | 06/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been relistening to this album in the last few days and suddenly thought to look at the Amazon reviews.
For the first time in a long time, I find myself disagreeing with some clearly serious reviewers.
I rate this as a five star album precisely _because_ it is a laid-back display of the genius of three very different bluesmen who have made a superb album in which not one of them tries to steal the show and in which all contribute their particular skill to form a magnificent whole.
True, you won't find a firework display of Bloomfield guitar playing, but you will hear Bloomfield's guitar in its place, as you will Dr. John's piano and swampy rhythms, and John Hammond's smoky voice and blues delivery. It's a weird and wonderful three-way crossroads where Lousiana meets Chicago meets East Coast.
The material is excellent and track selection is sensitive, with each artist getting at least one showcase item: e.g. Dr. John (Sho Bout to Drive Me Wild); Bloomfield (Rock Me Baby), John Hammond just about everywhere since he does the vocals...
Add to this the fact that it is a superior production, beautifully recorded in LA and San Francisco and I rate this album as one of the best I own.